BHS Swim Team Launches Campaign to Purchase Record Board to be Displayed in School Gym

By Julie Perine on April 14, 2018 via

At this year’s state swim meet, Bridgeport High School broke a 200-freestyle relay medley record, thanks to combined efforts of Sarah Stallman, Catie Wilson, Darian Spencer and Maria Lacaria. That record could stand for some time or it could be broken next season.
Each time a school swim record is broken, Tribe swimmers’ names are recorded in school history. Coach Jan Grisso thinks those names should be displayed where people can see them. The Indian Swim Team has launched a campaign to raise money to purchase a Swim Board for that purpose.
“I just finished my 25th year coaching and it’s amazing to see that some of these records have been there for years and still stand,” said Coach Jan Grisso. “That shows the quality of swimmers we’ve had throughout the years. I’ve always wanted to get a Swim Board to display those names.”
A recent visit to Parkersburg South High School fueled Grisso’s desire to get that established.
“I was there for a wrestling match and saw the school’s swim team’s records and was really impressed with that,” Grisso said. “I came back and talked to (BHS Principal) Mark DeFazio and (Assistant Principal/Athletic Director) Matt DeMotto and they were all for it.”
A letter has been drafted that is being sent to parents of past and present BHS swim team members.
“I think some parents receiving this letter don’t even realize their children still hold records,” Grisso said. “I’m talking about swimmer like Amy Sickles, who is 27 years old. Some of these kids have been out of school all these years and still hold records.”
The swim board is an ideal way to track the history of the sport and would likely prove to be a tool to instill incentive in young swimmers, Grisso said. She said she has already had two upcoming freshmen tell her they plan to break a certain record by the time they are BHS seniors.
If adequate funds are raised and the board is purchased in the near future, the plan is to display it in the BHS gymnasium, but once the new indoor sports complex is established and the Indians have a team pool, it would likely be relocated there.
Grisso plans to coach at BHS for a few more years.
“I wanted to get this going because I knew it would take some time and I’d like to see it in place before I leave,” she said.
A committee is working with a reputable company who will provide a high-quality record board for about $2,500. Individuals who would like to make a donation to the campaign can make checks payable to BHS Swim Team and send to BHS in care of Grant Spencer, Swim Team Treasurer, 515 Johnson Avenue, Bridgeport, WV 26330.
Many BHS swimmers have gone on to swim on the college level, several to Division I schools. Those swimmers include, but aren’t limited to, Ashley Wilson, Amy Sickles, Michael Walker, Frank Csonka and Brittany Csonka. Several former Indian swimmers now compete at Fairmont State University, including Becka Crandall and Harrison Hess. Logan Lehosit also swam four years for the Fighting Falcons.

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