West Virginia Swimming Wins West Virginia State Games

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Photo Courtesy: West Virginia Athletics

West Virginia Swimming opened up the season with its fifth straight win at the West Virginia State Games.

West Virginia Press Release:

The West Virginia University swimming and diving teams won its fifth consecutive West Virginia State Games on Friday at the WVU Natatorium.

“I’m very pleased with each team’s performances this week,” said coach Vic Riggs. “The energy and the commitment from racing at a high level to the very last relay was impressive. We’ve had trouble in past years maintaining focus, and we didn’t this year.”

In the season opener the Mountaineers dominated on the second day, winning every event. The WVU men and women’s teams took the victory over the nine-team events.

“Both teams won every event this year, which is something we haven’t done in a few years,” said Riggs.

The final day of the West Virginia State Games started off with the women’s 200-yard medley relay, then proceeded with 28 events. Freshman Marah Bieger came out strong, racing in her first debut as a Mountaineer, winning both the 100-yard breaststroke and the 400-individual medley.

“We had some very strong swims from both our upperclassmen and freshmen,” said Riggs. “I was impressed with the focus and adjustments from last week.”

WVU recorded first and second-place finishes in the women’s 200-yard medley relay. Courtney Miller, Emma Harris, Natalie Johnsen and Jaimee Gillmore won in 1:48.47, and in second, WVU’s Maggie Miller, Marah Bieger, Amelie Currat and Rachel Ward touched the wall in 1:49.87.

On the men’s relay team, Andrew Marsh, Max Spencer, Chase Williams and Ross Glegg won in 1:32.24. In second was Fernando Duenas, Aidan Fumagali, Daniel Rodriguez and Merwane Elmerini with a time of 1:36.69.

WVU finished first and fifth in the women’s 400-yard IM, with Bieger in first (4:33.16), and Taylor Gill in fifth (4:40.51), and for the men, Nate Carr won in 3:59.25, Drew Damich placed in second (4:10.38), James Koval finished third (4:16.34) and Jake Preaskorn touched the wall in fourth (4:20.62).

WVU swept the top four finishes in men’s 100 butterfly. Marsh finished in first, touching the wall in 49.59, followed by Chase Williams (52.31), Fernando Duenas (52.55) and Frank Csonka (52.88).

In the women’s 200 free, WVU led with a 1-2-3-5 finishes. Emma Mitchell placed first in 1:53.74, Currat finished second in 1:56.77, Kelsey Frantz placed third in 1:57.01 and Baldus came in fifth (1:57.75).

In the men’s 200 free event, WVU swept top five spots. Glegg in first (1:41.99), followed by Carr in second (1:42.03), Chris McMahon in third (1:45.18), Damich in fourth (1:45.41) and Nathan Howells in fifth (1:46.53).

Bieger and Emma Harris were the top two finishers in the 100 breaststroke. Bieger won 1:07.80, and Harris placed second in 1:08.58.

The women dominated in the 100 backstroke, claiming each of the top six finishes. Courtney Miller led the way in 56.42, followed by Currat in second in 58.27 and Maggie Miller in third in 58.48.

Marsh took first overall in the 100 backstroke, hitting the wall in 49.19. Elmerini finished third in 53.04, followed by Duenas in fourth (53.10) and Jay Hickey in fifth (53.26).

In the 800-free relay event both the men’s and women’s took first and second-place finishes. For the women, Mitchell, Currat, Frantz and Baldus won in 7:50.46. For the men, Marsh swam the last leg of the race, racing the team to a first-place finish in 6:48.59.

“We swam a three day championship format in less than 24 hours, and our third session was nearly as strong as our first, which is a good indication of our fitness,” said Riggs.

WVU took 1-2-3-5 finishes in the women’s 200 backstroke. Currat won the race touching the wall in 2:06.11. Maggie Miller finished second in 2:06.26, followed by her sister Courtney Miller in third (2:06.82) and Gill in fifth (2:10.56).

WVU’s Gillmore and Marsh won the women’s and men’s 100 free. Gillmore touched the wall in 53.66 for the women, and Marsh touched in 46.22

“The diver’s had a great meet as well, and having the women place in first, second and third on both boards was key to maintaining our lead over Marshall going into the last session,” said Riggs.

On the springboard, senior diver Lindsay Schmidt won the 1-meter dive, with a score of 291.10. Averly Hobbs came in second with a score of 266.50, followed by Julia Calcut in third (243.05).

“Lindsay and Averly qualified for zones on the 1-meter, and Alex qualified in zones on the 3-meter, today, and Julia qualified for zones, yesterday,” said diving coach Michael Grapner. “I’m excited to see what this young diving squad will bring this year.”

Dominating on the 1-meter board, the WVU men recorded each of the top five scores. Alex Obendorf secured the win, scoring 321.80 points. Logan McHenry held second with a score of 309.90, Mike Proietto in third (296.90), Austin Smith in fourth (235.35) and Emmott Blitch in fifth (204.70).

“Overall, it’s great way to start our season, but now we’ll turn our attention to next week’s challenge and try to improve from this week,” said Riggs.

The Mountaineers take a week break before hosting the Big 12 vs. ACC Weekend quad meet, featuring Georgia Tech on Friday, Oct. 16 at 5:00 p.m. and Virginia Tech on Saturday, Oct. 17 at 2:00 p.m. at the WVU Natatorium.

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