AUSTIN, TEXAS – On the final day of the 2011 NCAA Championships, Erika Hajnal had an admirable finish in the 1650 freestyle event, just missing scoring points with a 17th-place finish. The junior from Budapest, Hungary, competing in her third straight NCAAs, bested her 30th-place finish from last season, swimming a 16:08.38, her best time of the year. Additionally, senior Sarah Milton competed the final event of her career, the platform.
Sarah Milton began the day for the H2Okies by competing in the platform diving event. The platform had the smallest field of competitors of the three diving events, giving Milton the best chance at qualifying for the finals, but the talented senior struggled at the high altitude, finishing in 23rd place with a score of 202.95. Miami’s Brittany Viola brought home the second ACC diving title of the weekend, scoring a 354.25 in the finals.
Erika Hajnal then took to the pool for the 1650 freestyle. Determined to make up for yesterday’s tough 400 IM race, arguably her best event, the junior returning All-American just missed scoring points for the H2Okies, finishing in 17th place in the distance event. Hajnal, who came in eighth in the 400 IM last season, was unable to bring home another All-America honor, missing the top 16 by less than a second (16:08.38). Wendy Trott of No. 1 Georgia won the event with a time of 15:40.32.
After the final day of competition, No. 2 California hung onto its top spot, winning its second national championship in three years with a total of 424 points. No. 1 Georgia took home the silver medal with 394.5 points, followed by No. 5 Southern California in third. No. 11 Virginia once again had the highest finish of all ACC member institutions, finishing 13th with 105 points. Miami followed in 16th (67 pts), followed by Duke in 19th (54 pts), Maryland in 22nd (42 pts) and North Carolina tied for 23rd (40 pts).
The 2011 season is now complete for the women’s swimmers and divers, but next weekend Tech’s three top male divers, Logan Shinholser, Ryan Hawkins and Daniel Martin, will head to Minneapolis, Minn., for the 2011 Men’s NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships. The final event of the year will take place on March 24-26.
For updates on Virginia Tech swimming & diving, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_SwimDive).