BUCKHANNON, W.Va. – The Buckhannon-Upshur High School swim team only has 12 athletes on its roster, but that won’t change the big goals the team has in mind.
BUHS swimming head coach Will Squires said the goals won’t change for his team, but the focus will shift.
“We still realize that we’re small, we don’t have that many kids. We can only do so much at big meets but we really like to look at individual events even relays as just one event. Especially on the girls side I feel like we can do as much as we did last year if not a little more and then the boys team as well we still have a couple of boys that placed really well at the state meet and I know their really hungry to place even better this year,” Squires said.
Much of last season’s success came from the girls. A key swimmer returning for the Bucs is sophomore Cadence Vincent.
Vincent finished in first place and broke the state record in the 50 free last season at the state meet and expectations are high for her again.
“She set the state record in the 50 free last year. She would love to break it again. And then really gun for her second event. It’s really up in the air what her second event is she’s a really versatile athlete she can really swim probably in three or four different events and place in the top two very very easily,” Squires said.
Vincent also a part of the 200 freestyle relay team that brought home gold at last season’s state meet as well.
Good thing for the Bucs, every member of that relay team returns in Vincent, Alayna Whitehair, Cameron Zuliani and McKenzie Reynolds.
“We still have only one senior on that team now this year so we’ll have three of them back in the following year. So it’s really exciting and I think it set the bar for them and they expect to do just the same and they really want to place even better in their second relay this year,” Squires said.
On the boys side, Squires is excited to see sophomore Preston Bennett compete after a strong freshman year in the pool and a dedicated offseason.
“He’s had a really really good offseason and swam a lot. And I think his expectations are even better this year and for him he would like to break into the top three in both of his events and I really think he could and I think he will,” Squires said.
The Buccaneers’ first meet is March 10 at the Mylan Aquatic Center in Morgantown.