CHRISTIANSBURG, Virginia, March 12. WITH just one qualified swimmer and no NCAA A cuts in terms of relays, Virginia Tech head coach Ned Skinner was looking at a bit of a light travel schedule for the women’s NCAA meet.
Last week, the NCAA announced that sophomore Weronika Paluszek had qualified for the NCAA Division I Women’s Championships in Minneapolis in both the 100 and 200-yard breaststroke events.
The story might have ended there for the Hokies, with the team focusing on the newly-crowned ACC champion men’s team in Austin the next week at NCAAs.
But head diving coach Ron Piemonte changed the equation for the Hokies by qualifying three divers via Zone Diving this week. Kaylea Arnett, Ashley Buchter and Kelli Stockton all three made NCAAs as part of Zone A diving.
With the new rules in place regarding NCAA qualification, where relays are almost an afterthought after individuals are qualified, Virginia Tech now has four “individual qualifiers.” Which means, that both of their NCAA provisional relay qualifying times are now eligible to be filled by up to four relay alternates. Virginia Tech finished the year with the 800 free relay and 400 medley relay both clearing the provisional cuts, and will now be adding those swims to their schedule.
“Virginia Tech is pleased that the flexibility within the NCAA qualifying standards and procedures allows us to take additional swimmers to our National Championship. One of the greatest accomplishments in our sport is the ability to represent your school at the fastest meet in the world. We are so happy that 4 additional women get to experience such an incredible meet.”