Ferry girls, St. C. boys claim pentathlon titles

WHEELING – The thirteenth annual Red Devil Swimming Pentathlon kicked off the 2013-14 swimming season Saturday afternoon at Wheeling Jesuit University.

It would be Martins Ferry edging out host St. Clairsville by just two points to win the girls events and St. Clairsville dominating the boys events at the McDonough Center pool. Alyssa Kalinski won the girls hi-point award leading the Purple Riders to their win. Micheal Eaton began his senior season winning the hi-point award for the Red Devils as he set four new meet records.

Eaton began the morning with a new record in the 50 yard butterfly besting last year’s champion Daniel Clifford of Cambridge’s time of 25.67 touching in 25.62.

St. John’s Austin Schramm and Purple Rider Brandon Bliss both gave Eaton a race in the backstroke but the Red Devil senior shaved a second off of his seed time to win the event.

Eaton once again shaved nearly a full second off his record time from last season touching at 27.75 in the breaststroke. Eaton then erased his 2012 record in the 50 freestyle by 2 tenths with a 22.71.

Eaton concluded a stellar day by shaving over a second off his IM time posting a 56.95 in the 100 yard event.

“I have never worked harder,” said Eaton of his success. “Last season, the way it played out left a bitter taste in my mouth.”

“This year my goal is to win state,” Eaton has been swimming both in the morning before school and after school at practice sessions. “While I may not win state; I guarantee no one is going to out work me this year.”

Nicholas Levi, head coach for Martins Ferry, was very pleased with the debut of his freshman as Kalinski won four of her five events.

The Purple Rider frosh swimmer placed second in the backstroke behind Madeline Gulan of Steubenville Catholic Central.

It was also announced that the annual kickoff swim canceled by the early season snow last Tuesday will not be rescheduled.

Palmer can be reached via email at mpalmer@timesleaderonline.com