AUSTIN, TEXAS – Junior Erika Hajnal and senior Sarah Milton traveled to Austin, Texas today for the first day of competition at the 2011 Women’s NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships. Hajnal, a returning All-American in the 400IM and 800 free relay (HM), competed in her first race of the competition, the 500 freestyle. Sarah Milton, Tech’s first ever female diver to qualify for NCAAs, began the meet with the 1-meter springboard competition. Neither H2Okie finished in the top 16 in the preliminary round, so the H2Okies were not represented in the finals.
Erika Hajnal began the weekend with a 58th-place finish in the 500 freestyle. Hajnal swam a 4:49.19 in the race, six seconds slower than her best time. Georgia’s Allison Schmitt led 10 swimmers with A-cut times, swimming a 4:32.71 in the prelims. She then took home the gold, swimming an A-cut time on 4:34.20 in the finals.
Sarah Milton struggled in her first event of the weekend as well, finishing 32nd out of 37 divers. Milton scored a 241.30 on the 1-meter springboard. Kelci Bryant of the University of Minnesota had the top mark in the first round, scoring a 335.50. Bryant also held on for the win the finals, besting her first-round score with a 349.65 mark.
At the end of day one, No.1 Georgia is in the lead with 129 points, followed by No. 5 Southern California with 122 and No. 3 Stanford with 116. ACC members No. 11 Virginia (27 pts), Maryland (22 pts) and Miami (18 pts) rank 14th, 15th and 16th, respectively, and No. 12 North Carolina and Duke are tied for 21st (14 pts).
The H2Okies will return to action tomorrow, as Hajnal takes the pool for her strongest event, the 400 IM, and Milton climbs up to the 3-meter springboard.
For updates on Virginia Tech swimming & diving, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_SwimDive).