November 18, 2010
H2Okies look strong in first wave of preliminaries at Volunteer Invite
Women sweep 500 free prelims with three NCAA "B" cuts

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The H2Okies opened competition this morning at the Volunteer Invitational in Knoxville, Tenn., with the preliminary rounds of the 500 freestyle, the 200 individual medley, the 50 freestyle, the men’s 1-meter springboard and the women’s 3-meter springboard. Tech will send at least five swimmers to the next round in all six swimming events, while three men and four women finished in the top eight to qualify for the diving finals. In the first day of preliminaries, Alabama took first in three swimming races, and Tennessee, Kentucky and Virginia Tech each had one first-place finish. Tennessee placed first in both diving preliminaries.

Erika Hajnal finished first in the 500 free, followed by Lauren Ritter and Katarina Filova to complete a sweep of the prelims, all swimming NCAA “B” cut times. The H2Okies will send eight women to tonight’s final round of the 500 free.

Keri Sink, Meaghan Holloway and Jace Howanitz led the way for the H2Okies in the 200 IM, qualifying for the next round with sixth, seventh and eighth place preliminary finishes. Four more ladies will join them in tonight’s final.

Kaleigh Gomes swam to a fifth-place finish in the 50 free, followed by Filova in sixth, to lead five H2Okies into the final round of the sprint event.

Cara Murnan came in fourth in the preliminary round of the 3-meter springboard, followed by final-round qualifiers Sarah Milton (5th), Carissa Santora (6th) and Sara Mokhtari (8th).

Gregory Mahon had the highest finish for the men’s swimmers this morning, coming in second in the 200 IM, followed by Nathan Hoisington in fourth. Tech will send six total swimmers to tonight’s 200 IM final.

Bryan Uncur led the way for the H2Okies in the 500 free, earning a fourth-place finish in the first round, while Blake Trabuchi-Downey came in sixth. Philip LaRosa, Alex Lutterbein and Ben Munster will all take part in tonight’s final round.

Rich Ulatowski took sixth in the 50 freestyle, leading the way for six H2Okie qualifiers.

Ryan Hawkins had the best finish for an H2Okie diver, taking third in the 1-meter event. Daniel Martin and Logan Shinholser will join him in the finals after placing seventh and eighth, respectively.

Tonight’s second session will begin at 6 p.m. with the finals of each of this morning’s events, along with the 200 free relay and the 400 medley relay. Check back later tonight for coverage of tonight’s competition.

Tonight’s schedule:
#1 Men 200 Free Relay
#2 Women 200 Free Relay
#3 Men 500 Free Finals
#4 Women 500 Free Finals
#5 Men 200 IM Finals
#6 Women 200 IM Finals
#7 Men 50 Free Finals
#8 Women 50 Free Finals
#9 Men 1 mtr Diving Finals
#10 Women 3 mtr Diving Finals
#11 Men 400 Medley Relay
#12 Women 400 Medley Relay

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

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