Partly Cloudy 70°
    November 20, 2009
    Hajnal, deMarrais lead H2Okies through day two of Invitational
    Both have earned three NCAA qualifying marks in two days of competition

    KNOXVILLE, TENN. – Kelly deMarrais and Erika Hajnal were significant contributors for the H2Okies on the second day of the Volunteer Invitational, posting top finishes and earning NCAA qualifying marks, and helping the women keep the second-place spot with 548.5 points. The men remain in fourth with 949.5 points.

    deMarrais and Hajnal paced the No. 17 women’s team with first and second-place finishes in the 200 free and 400 IM, respectively, each earning NCAA “B” qualifying marks. After winning the preliminary 200 freestyle race, deMarrais came out even stronger in the finals, beating her preliminary mark and taking first with a finish in 1:48.06, half a second off of her school-record time. Hajnal added a second-place finish in the women’s 400 IM event with a season-best mark of 4:18.04. Both deMarrais and Hajnal earned NCAA “B” qualifying marks in the 500 freestyle on Thursday as well.

    The deMarrais and Hajnal duo would strike again in the day’s final event, helping the women’s 800 freestyle team earn the first-place title with a finishing time of 7:21.52 and notch an NCAA “B” qualifying mark.

    Philip LaRosa led the H2Okie men with a third-place mark in the 400 IM, finishing in 3:59.20. Charlie Higgins also factored in a strong performance, earning fourth in the 100 backstroke with a team season-best time of 49.67. Gregory Mahon was the next H2Okie to finish in the top-10 in the 100 back, finishing in 51.05.

    Meaghan Holloway and Mahon each recorded seventh-place, season-best finishes in the 100 butterfly events in 56.31 and 49.38, respectively, collecting the fastest times for the H2Okies this season. Gregory Morgan also posted his best time of the season, pacing Tech in the men’s 200 freestyle with a finish in 1:40.89.

    Alabama dominated in the 100 breaststroke, winning both the men’s and women’s events and earning NCAA “B” qualifying marks. Holloway and Jonathan Huss topped the H2Okies in both events with top-10 finishes, as Holloway set a season-best finish in 1:04.92, while Huss crossed in 57.67. Steffi Drechsel and Sara Shapiro also added top-10 finishes in the women’s 100 back.

    Both Virginia Tech squads continued to show improvement through the 200 medley relays, as the men recorded their quickest finish of the season, finishing fourth in 1:30.96. The women posted their second-fastest time of the season, taking fifth in 1:44.98, and added a sixth-place finish as well. Kentucky, Tennessee and Alabama took the top-three spots for the women, respectively, each reaching NCAA “B” qualifying standards, while Tennessee and Kentucky finished 1-2 for the men, also earning NCAA “B” marks.

    The men’s 800 freestyle team also took 10 seconds off their previous season-best time, placing fifth with a time of 6:48.26, and adding a seventh-place finish.

    In the diving events, Mikey McDonald took second in the men’s one-meter championship final, earning a score of 355.55 behind Alabama’s Aaron Fleshner, who broke the three-meter pool record on Thursday. Sarah Milton led the women in the three-meter event with another strong fifth-place performance, scoring 276.30 points, while Carissa Santora posted a sixth-place finish with a score of 267.55. The teams will compete in the platform event tomorrow.

    After two days of competition, the No. 17 Tech women remain in second with 548.5 points, while the No. 23 Tech men remain in fourth with 401 points. Kentucky leads both the women and men, while the Tennessee men are in second and the women are in third. The Alabama men and women are in third and fourth, respectively.

    The H2Okies will close out the Volunteer Invitational on Saturday. Preliminary competition is slated to begin at 9 a.m. with finals beginning at 3 p.m. Live results can be found at http://www.utsports.com/livestats/m-swim/.

    For updates on Virginia Tech swimming & diving, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_SwimDive).

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