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October 16, 2010
H2Okies open season with first-place finishes in 31 of 32 events.
The men's team took home 16 titles while the women won 15

CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. - The Virginia Tech H2Okies opened the 2010-2011 swimming and diving season with a sweep of the College of Charleston and Radford University (women). The men’s team took home 16 titles with 12 event sweeps, defeating the Cougars, 168-110. The women won 15 events with 13 sweeps, defeating the Cougars, 173-106, and the Highlanders, 175-110. Charleston’s women defeated Radford, 210-87.

In the inaugural intercollegiate meet at the new Christiansburg Aquatic Center, the H2Okies set 31 pool records, allowing just one non-H2Okie, Sarah Boyle of Charleston, to put her name in the record books. The male H2Okies are now 1-0, while the male Cougars are 0-1. The female H2Okies open the season 2-0, the female Cougars 1-1, and the Highlanders slip to 1-2.

"We had a great day in every way," said Head Coach Ned Skinner. "The team did a real nice job competing, knowing how challenging the training has been. We had a fantastic turnout and the energy from our fans and team made it a fun morning. The facilty is a wonderful place to enjoy a swimming and diving meet."

Junior Erika Hajnal came home with the most titles, winning the 200-yard backstroke (2:06.04), the 200 butterfly (2:04.19) and the 200 individual medley (2:06.33). Meaghan Holloway had two individual first-place finishes, winning the 100 (1:06.03) and 200 breaststroke (2:23.06), and was a member of the winning 200-yard medley relay (1:47.64) team, along with Caroline Higgins, Heather Savage and Morgan Allen. Savage, who swam the butterfly leg of the relay, also won the 100 butterfly (57.91) in her debut with the H2Okies. Sarah Milton swept the women’s diving competition, scoring a 310.60 on the 3-meter springboard and a 283.75 on the 1-meter.

On the men’s side, Karl Botha took home three gold medals, winning the 50 free (20.89) and being a member of both first-place relay teams. Alex Lutterbein, Blake Trabuchi-Downey and Charlie Higgins each took home two titles. Lutterbein won the 1000 free (9:42.62) and the 200 backstroke (1:54.53), Trabuchi-Downey came in first in the 500 free (4:39.81) and the 200 free, with a new personal-best time of 1:42.30, and Higgins won the 100 back (50.10) and the 100 butterfly (51.91). Logan Shinholser swept the men’s diving competition, scoring a career-high 392.75 on the 1-meter springboard and a 362.00 on the 3-meter. Shinholser’s 1-meter score is just over five points below the H2Okies’ all-time record of 397.90, which Mikey McDonald set in 2009.

The H2Okies opened the day with wins in the 200 medley relay. The women’s B team swam to a 1:47.64 first-place finish, and the men swept the event, with the H2Okies’ B team of Stephen Hawkins, Nathan Hoisington, Karl Botha and Richard Ulatowski clocking in at 1:31.92. Both teams then swept the 1000 freestyle, with Laura Simon winning for the women, coming in at 10:25.85, and Alex Lutterbein swimming a 9:42.62. Ben Munster, who took third for the men, set a new personal best at 9:52.47.

Senior team captain Lauren Ritter took home gold in the 200 freestyle, swimming a 1:53.19, and Blake Trabuchi-Downey and Matt Baumler both set new personal top times, with Trabuchi-Downey winning the event in 1:42.30 and Baumler coming in third with a time of 1:43.77.

The men’s team swept the 100 backstroke, as Charlie Higgins clocked in at 50.10 and Tom Sheranek set a new personal top time, placing third at 51.99. Ryne Francis took second place in the race (51.40). Charleston’s Sarah Boyle won the women’s 100 backstroke, defeating freshman Brittany Boone by one hundredth of a second for the only Charleston win of the day. Boyle finished in 59.81.

The women quickly recovered, sweeping the next 11 events. Emily Ferguson won the 50 free in 23.95 and Steffi Drechsel won the 100 free in 52.33. Becky Flora was the final H2Okie women’s swimmer to take home a title, winning the 500 free in 5:09.12, before Drechsel, Savage, Ferguson and Kaleigh Gomes closed out the meet with a victory in the 200 freestyle relay, clocking in at 1:35.96.

For the men, Nevin Cook and Trey Stewart won back-to-back races, as Cook swam a 57.92 in the 100 breaststroke and Stewart finished the 200 butterfly in 1:52.65. Greg Mahon and Matt Baumler won the 100 freestyle (46.89) and the 200 IM (1:55.52), respectively, and freshman Emmett Dignan took home his first title, swimming a 2:12.11 in the 200 breaststroke.

The men’s team closed out the competition with a sweep of the 200 freestyle relay, as Ryne Francis, Karl Botha, Gregory Mahon and Trevor Carr swam a 1:23.76, including a 20.27 split from Botha.

Diver Sarah Milton took home gold medals in the 1- and 3-meter springboard events. Sara Mokhtari came in second on the 1-meter with a career-high 281.95 points and Andrea Sawchuk beat her best score in the 3-meter, placing fourth with a score of 257.85. Cara Murnan had the only other 300+ score of the day, earning a 307.10 for a second-place finish in the 3-meter.

Every male H2Okie diver scored over a 300 on both springboard events. Shinholser won both events, and Daniel Martin came in second place on the 3-meter, scoring a 360.65, and in third on the 1-meter with a career-high 361.30 points. Freshman Ryan Hawkins took second on the 1-meter (370.55) and third on the 3-meter (358.45), and classmate John Trope took fourth on the 1-meter (300.25).

The H2Okies are back in action next Saturday when they head north to take on the Nittany Lions of Pennsylvania State University. The meet is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. on Oct. 23.

For the full results, click here.

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

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