The William Byrd swimmers got off to a fast start last week with a meet at the Bedford Y and a trip to Christiansburg for the Southwest Virginia High School Invitational at the Christiansburg Aquatic Center.
Byrd has a roster of 31 swimmers this year, including senior captains Austin Nielsen, Griffin Horacek and Emma Copening. The team had a dozen seniors in the water when they took the horn last Wednesday at the Bedford Y against Staunton River and Jefferson Forest.
“Our upperclassmen have done a wonderful job helping swimmers new to our team learn the ropes,” said coach Krista Martin. “Wednesday’s meet was a great way to kick off our season.”
The boys won the meet with 148 points, followed by Jefferson Forest with 105 and Staunton River with 21. First place finishes in Bedford included the Boys 200 Medley Relay team of Aiden Brinkley, Nielsen, Colin Murtaugh and Nathan Miller, earning a state cut for the event. Byrd swept the relays as the 200 Freestyle team of Miller, Horacek, Matthew Hoyos and Dawson Brinkley took first, as did the 400 Free team of Nielsen, Aiden Brinkley, Dawson Brinkley and Murtaugh.
Individually, Aiden Brinkley won the 200 IM and 100 Butterfly while Dawson won the 100 Free. Murtaugh took the 50 Free and 100 Backstroke and Michael Hoyos won the 200 Free.
Jefferson Forest won the girls’ meet with 157 points, followed by Byrd with 86 and Staunton River with 29. Byrd’s Emma Copening won the 100 Fly.
Last Saturday the Terriers competed in the first big meet of the year as 26 teams gathered at the Christiansburg Aquatic Center. Science Hill High of Tennessee swept the team titles but the William Byrd boys finished second with 212 points to 271 for Science Hill.
“It was super exciting to have so many teams in one place,” said Martin. “We were not able to participate in any big regular season meets like this last season due to COVID. It was so nice to be back. We had some terrific races, several best times and our boys’ team really proved they are going to be contenders this year for big things.”
Byrd had a bunch of swimmers finish in the top three in the boys’ meet. The 200 Free relay team won with a time of 1:31.32, earning a state cut and breaking the school record by over three seconds. That team was comprised of both Brinkley boys, Miller and Murtaugh, and the 400 Free relay team also took first with the same four Terriers in the lineup.
Individually, Murtaugh took a first in both the 50 Free and 100 Butterfly while Dawson Brinkley was second in the 200 IM, second in the 100 Breast and earned his state cut in the 50 Free as the lead off man for Byrd’s relay team. Aiden Brinkley was third in the 200 freestyle and third in the 100 Back, earning his state cut.
In the girls’ meet Science Hill dominated with 329 points, topping runnerup Patrick Henry by 69 points. The Byrd girls were 17th with 30 points.
The Terriers stay busy this week. They were scheduled to swim at the Gator Center Wednesday against Glenvar and James River, and Friday Byrd is at the Kirk YMCA to swim against Patrick Henry at 6 pm.