ATLANTA, Georgia, January 19. THE Virginia Tech swimming and diving squad finished first in 20 of 28 events to sweep ACC opponent Georgia Tech as the No. 22-nationally ranked women won by a score of 177.5-84.5, while the men swam past the Yellow Jackets, 159.5-102.5, at the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center, upcoming site of the 2008 ACC Championships.
With the win, the women move up to 10-2 (3-1 ACC), and the men (8-3, 2-2 ACC) earn their second ACC victory of the year to get back to .500 in the conference. The teams did not participate in the full slate of 32 events due to repairs taking place in the diving well.
"I thought the team responded well to the challenge of still being in the training phase, yet finding a way to race," head coach Ned Skinner said. "And not just post wins and points but also some good times. We were real excited about the performance of our kids."
For the women, All-Americans Jessica Botzum (Raleigh, N.C.) and Sara Smith (McGaheysville, Va.) led the charge again as they set the pace for the squad early on, winning the 200 medley relay along with Jordan McHorney (Virginia Beach, Va.) and Megan Newell (Ashburn, Va.).
Botzum would go on to also win the 100 and 200 breaststroke events, while finishing second in the 200 IM behind first-place finisher Allison Luttermoser (Mechanicsburg, Pa.), who won another event in the 200 freestyle. Smith was victorious in the 50 and 100 freestyle before helping McHorney, Newell and Kaleigh Gomes (Charlotte, N.C.) win the 400 freestyle relay race to conclude the day.
Kelly deMarrais (Bernardsville, N.J.) added points by placing first in the 200 backstroke ahead of Sara Shapiro (Franklin, Tenn.), who had a strong day herself after earlier winning the 100 backstroke ahead of McHorney.
"Shapiro has overcome a lot with a pretty bad knee injury, so it was good to see her have two strong swims," Skinner said about the sophomore.
On the men's side, the 200 medley relay team of Scott Beard (Chesterfield, Va.), Jake Bova (Roanoke, Va.), Ian deToll (Culpeper, Va.) and Kaan Tayla (Ankara, Turkey) put Tech ahead of the Yellow Jackets from the start. Two-time ACC Performer of the Week Beard added three individual event victories in the 100 backstroke, 200 backstroke and 100 butterfly to put distance between the two squads. Tayla finished first in the 50 freestyle, while deToll took second in the 100 freestyle.
"Scott Beard had another fantastic day," Skinner said. "He showed why he's one of the top swimmers in the conference and frankly one of the top-20 swimmers in the country at this point."
Griffin Lutterbein (Manakin-Sabot, Va.), Trey Stewart (Luling, La.) and Carter Moore (Richmond, Va.) placed first in the 1,000 freestyle, 200 butterfly and 200 IM, respectively. Stewart also finished second in the 500 freestyle behind Zac Czaplicki (North Haven, Conn.), who won the 500 freestyle and took second in the 200 freestyle. Czaplicki also helped Tayla, Bova and deToll win the 400 freestyle relay to cap off the day for the men.
"Coming into this semester, Zac has been a great shot in the arm for our men, not just because of his fast swimming but because of his cohesive nature," Skinner said. "He seems to bring our mean together, so we're really excited about that."
Special thanks to Virginia Tech for contributing this report.