COLUMBUS, OHIO – Despite falling to a strong Ohio State squad, the Virginia Tech swimming and diving program picked up two wins over Cleveland State and Denison on Friday night at Ohio State’s McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion. The women fell to the Buckeyes, 100-198, but topped Cleveland State (232-68) and Denison (216-84). The men also recorded convincing wins over Cleveland State (239-61) and Denison (241-58), but fell to Ohio State, 124-177.
The men improve to 6-2 overall, while the women advance to 6-3 on the season.
“Our women came out and raced real hard today,” commented head coach Ned Skinner. “They raced with a lot of energy and they were really impressive.”
Sabrina Benson is off to a phenomenal start to the 2011-12 season for the H2Okie women, as she was the lone woman swimmer to pick up individual titles on the night. The freshman has won every 100 backstroke event this season, including tonight with a time of 55.66. In addition to the 100 title, Benson touched the wall first in the 200 backstroke at the 2:01.20 mark.
“Benson was outstanding as she brought in those two wins,” commented Skinner. “The depth of our women’s squad continues to improve and emerge which will be very important as we move forward.”
Benson also picked up a second-place finish in the 100 butterfly, which was good for a season-best 56.00.
Senior Erika Hajnal was consistent tonight as she placed second in all three events that she participated in. Hajnal recorded a season-best 4:52.38 in the 500 freestyle. She just missed first place in the 1000 freestyle touching the wall just a second behind a Ohio State swimmer at the 9:56.59 mark.
Heather Savage recorded a career-best 1:53.47 in the 200 freestyle with a third-place finish. She helped her ‘A’ team, which also consisted of Benson, Emily Ferguson and Alyssa Bodin, to a second-place finish in the 200 medley relay with a time of 1:44.18.
Late in the meet, Savage came in second in the 200 IM with a time of 2:06.36.
The 100 breaststroke was a strong event for the women, as two H2Okies placed in the top-5. Keri Sink placed second with a time of 1:05.00, while Bodin rounded out at the fifth spot with a time of 1:05.76.
On the men’s side, Tech had top-five finishes in every event, including two first-place finishes late in the meet.
“The men raced one of the top programs in the Big Ten,” noted Skinner. “Greg Mahon was outstanding getting the win later on. All of the guys showed up and competed very well.”
In the first men’s event, Tech continues to be strong in the 200 medley relay as the ‘A’ team of Charlie Higgins, Gregory Mahon, Nathan Hoisington and Greg Morgan came in second with a time of 1:31.40. Collin Higgins, Nevin Cook, Karl Botha and Michael Hallock rounded out the ‘B’ team coming in a second behind their teammates at the 1:32.63 mark.
In the final two individual races, Mahon stepped up for the men and claimed the first individual title of the night with a time of 49.39 in the 100 butterfly. Following the butterfly, in the 200 IM Nick Tremols touched the wall first with a time of 1:54.21.
The 100 butterfly was a strong race for the H2Okies. In addition to Mahon, Baumler followed in at second with a time of 49.88, while Botha came in third at the 49.94 mark.
Freshman Jake Ores recorded a season-best 9:22.37 in the 1000 freestyle that put him in fourth place. In the next race, Bryan Uncur also recorded a season-best 1:40.94 in the 200 freestyle, which was good for a fourth-place showing.
Hoisington recorded a second-place and third-place finishes in the 100 and 200 breaststrokes, respectively. His 100 breaststroke time of 56.88 was the fast he has raced this season.
In addition to Hoisington, the 100 breaststroke was a huge race for the men. With Hoisington coming in second, Cook followed third with a time of 57.02 and Emmett Dignan placed fourth touching the wall at 57.73.
“Both teams have preformed in very tough schedules and I hope that it will make a difference as the season unfolds,” Skinner added.
In diving competition, Ryan Hawkins recorded a career-best 377.05 in the 1-meter event for the men, while freshman Kaylea Arnett continues to impress as she recorded two second-place finishes. She charted a 285.10 in the 1-meter and a 325.30 in the 3-meter.
Logan Shinholser brought in another individual title in the 3-meter with a season-best 392.20.
“I very pleased with both diving teams,” commented head diving coach Ron Piemonte. “We experimented and increased our degree of difficulty tonight and it went very well. The strong Ohio State team is very deep and our divers did a great job against them. I am very happy with the results and every one of our divers did well.”
The H2Okies will enjoy a two week break before traveling to Atlanta, Ga. for the Yellow Jacket Invitational on Friday, Nov. 18.
For updates on Virginia Tech swimming & diving, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_SwimDive).