West Virginia Swimming Opens Big 12, ACC Challenge With Split Against Georgia Tech

Photo Courtesy: Taylor Brien

West Virginia swimming kicked off the Big 12 vs. ACC Challenge Weekend against Georgia Tech with a split.

West Virginia Press Release:

The West Virginia University men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams completed the first night of the Big 12 vs. ACC Weekend against Georgia Tech, on Friday at the WVU Natatorium.

The WVU women’s squad overcame the Yellow Jackets totaling a team score of 133, while GT’s women scored 110. WVU men’s team fell short, scoring 108 to Georgia Tech’s 135. WVU posted 11 first-place finishes in the 26 events.

“For us having the opportunity to race different teams every couple of years is important,” said coach Vic Riggs. “Obviously we have our traditions, but I think having a different teams come in challenges us. That’s a very talented team we competed against today.

“If we’re expected to get better, and compete at a higher level, we have to go up against teams that are better than us. The women had an outstanding meet. The men did too. We just came up a little bit short.”

Senior Andrew Marsh won two events, one as part of the 400-yard medley relay team and the other in the 100 backstroke. Marsh owned the water as he set two new WVU pool records in the 100 back (48.09) and in the 100-yard free (44:59) as he was the first leg of the 400 free relay team.

In relay competition, both the WVU men and women won the 400-yard medley relay. For the women, Courtney Miller, Natalie Johnsen, Marah Bieger and Jaimee Gillmore won the relay in 3:50.60, and for the men, Nate Carr, Marsh, Max Spencer and Frank Csonka finished first in 3:20.19.

In the women’s 1,000 free, WVU led with 1-2-3 finishes. Emma Skelly took first with a time of 10:11.17, followed by Kelsey Frantz (10:31.22) and Mackenzie Braden (10:50.73).
The 50-yard freestyle was led by both WVU’s men and women. Gillmore won, touching the wall in 23.96, and senior Ross Glegg came in first in the men’s competition with a time of 20.95.

Other first place finishes for the Mountaineers were in the women’s 100 back, with Courtney Miller touching the wall in 56.41. In the men’s 100-yard breaststroke, Spencer led with a time of 56.29.

On the 1-meter diving board, the Mountaineers took first, third and fourth. Lindsay Schmidt placed first with a score of 283.80. Julia Calcut came in third (257.47), and Averly Hobbs in fourth (226.20).

“I am thrilled with tonight’s performance,” said diving coach Mike Grapner. “The divers all came together and did as well as they could have. To see Lindsay win the 1-meter, and with Julia just 5 points behind in third shows how outstanding they were. The men had a solid performance tonight and are starting to put all the pieces together.”

The WVU men recorded 2-4 finishes on the 1-meter. Alex Obendorf placed second with a 288.00. Mike Proietto took third (282.37) and Logan McHenry placed fourth (277.05).

“We talked with both teams after the meet. We talked to the men about how proud we were of them and how they raced, but tomorrow will dictate what kind of team we really are,” said Riggs. “If we can race all the way through to the last event, like today, then I think we’re moving in the right direction. The same for the women. We really get to enjoy this victory for a short amount of time, then we have to come in tomorrow and do the same thing. It’s a tougher challenge for both programs. We need to take care of ourselves and make sure we prepare correctly.”

The Mountaineers will continue with the Big 12 vs. ACC Weekend by hosting Virginia Tech tomorrow, Oct. 17 at 2 p.m. at the WVU Natatorium.

Admission is free for all fans.

Following this weekend, the Mountaineers will host their fourth home meet of the season, with the Big 12 vs. Big East Weekend on Friday, Oct. 23 at 6 p.m., and Saturday, Oct. 24 at 10 a.m. Butler, Seton Hall and Xavier will be the Mountaineers’ competition.

Georgia Tech Press Release:

The Georgia Tech swimming & diving team continued their season Friday night in a dual meet at West Virginia. The men prevailed over the Mountaineers by a score of 135-108, while the women fell 133-110.

Senior Yuval Safra and freshman Iris Wang led the way for the men and women, with each earning a pair of individual victories. Wang came away victorious in the women’s 100 and 200 freeseyle events, while Safra came out on top in the 500 and 1000 freestyle races. Additionally, Wang was part of the 400 freestyle relay team that came out on top.

Other race winners included Laura Branton (100 butterfly), Moises Loschi (400 IM), Ben Southern (100 butterfly), Florina Ilie (100 breaststroke) and Noah Harasz (100 freestyle). In addition, Brad Homza won the men’s 1-meter dive, while Shannon Lumbra and Omar Eteiba won the women’s and men’s 3-meter dives.

“I thought the men and women both performed well,” said head coach Courtney Shealy Hart. “I thought both teams closed very well, which is something we have stressed since our last meet. We’re looking forward to facing some quality ACC competition in Pittsburgh tomorrow.”

The Yellow Jackets will face the Pittsburgh Panthers in a dual meet on Saturday at 11 a.m. Live stats can be followed at http://bit.ly/1ZK9Cxy.

For the second time in program history, Georgia Tech and the CRC will serve as the host site for the NCAA Swimming & Diving Championships. The Women’s Championships will be held March 16-19, followed by the Men’s Championships March 23-26. Georgia Tech previously hosted the 2007 NCAA Championships and the CRC was also the site of the 1996 Summer Olympics swimming and diving competitions.

Admission to all home Georgia Tech swimming events are free and open to the public. Home events are held at the McAuley Aquatic Center located inside the Campus Recreation Center (CRC).

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