January 11, 2012
Nationally-ranked Virginia edges H2Okies in ACC dual meet
Senior Erika Hajnal goes undefeated in all four of her races
(11) Virginia (Women) 166
Virginia Tech132
(12) Virginia (Men) 161
Virginia Tech139

CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. – The Virginia Tech swimming and diving teams fell to conference and in-state rival Virginia Wednesday evening at the Christiansburg Aquatic Center. Both squads battled from start to finish but Tech came up short as the men lost 161-139, while the Cavaliers defeated the women, 166-132.

The Virginia women’s squad is ranked No. 11, while the men sit at the No. 12 spot in the CSCAA Poll.

The H2Okie men fell to 6-3 overall and 3-2 in the ACC, while the women dropped to 5-4 on the season and 2-3 in the conference.

“The men’s swim and dive meet today was like a heavyweight fight in so many ways,” said head coach Ned Skinner. “They would knock us down and sweep an event and then we would turn around and knock them back down and sweep and event. It was just a great college meet. It is a shame we came up short but it was something that we feel we can build on going into the ACCs.”

The men started the day out strong, setting a new pool record in the 200 medley relay. The quartet of Charlie Higgins, Nathan Hoisington, Gregory Mahon and Greg Morgan posted a time of 1:29.34, over two seconds faster than the top Virginia team.

After the Cavaliers went 1-and-2 in the 1000 and 200 freestyles, the H2Okies dominated the 100 backstroke. Zach McGinnis tabbed first place with a time of 49.30, while Higgins finished second (49.32) and Collin Higgins followed taking fourth place (50.44).

In the 100 breaststroke, Hoisington touched the wall at the 56.93 mark to place second as Nevin Cook and Emmett Dignan followed and placed third and fourth with times of 57.66 and 58.11, respectively.

The men swept the 200 butterfly placing four H2Okies in the top five. Mahon touched the wall first with a time of 1:49.56, while Matt Baumler (1:49.77), James Crabb (1:50.66) and Blake Trabuchi-Downey (1:51.13) all followed.

Morgan took home the title in the 50 freestyle, coming in at the 20.87 mark, while finishing second in the 100 freestyle (45.73). McGinnis took his second title of the night in the 200 backstroke and set a new pool record with a time of 1:47.98.

In addition to the 200 butterfly, the men swept the 100 taking the top three spots. Baumler took his second title of the night with a time of 49.07, while Mahon (49.30) and Nick Tremols (49.64) both followed taking second and third, respectively.

Virginia went ahead and placed three Cavaliers in the top three spots of the 400 IM and won the 800 freestyle to cap off the night.

Battling a tough Virginia women’s squad, the H2Okie women recorded seven event titles. Senior Erika Hajnal started off the evening winning the second women’s event. She touched the wall first in the 1000 freestyle with a time of 9:48.34.

“The women’s team winning seven events is something we are really proud of,” commented head coach Ned Skinner. “Erika Hajnal is in such a good place right now as a student-athlete and what she is doing in the classroom and in the water is so exciting. It is hard not to sit back and appreciate what these young people become.”

After the Cavaliers placed four Virginians in the top four of the 200 freestyle, Sabrina Benson stepped up in the 100 backstroke as she placed second with a time of 55.76.

In the next event, the women placed four H2Okies in the top five of the 100 breaststroke. Alyssa Bodin finished second with a time of 1:05.05, followed by Keri Sink (1:05.10), Natalie Leake (1:07.88) and Jayme Katis (1:08.41).

Hajnal stepped up and claimed two more titles as she took home the gold in the 500 freestyle with a time of 4:51.02 and then later would take the 400 IM (4:19.19).

In addition to Hajnal, Heather Savage took home the gold in the 100 butterfly with a time of 55.15.

“Heather Savage winning the 100 fly was really exciting; she has put so much into it and it was very exciting. And what the women did on the boards is starting to set us up well for ACCs and against some of the top teams in the country.”

Capping off the night for the women, was the 800 freestyle relay team consisting of Savage, Hajnal, Addie Carne and Sepanski as they touched the wall first with a time of 7:35.91 to end the night.

In diving competition, Logan Kline dominated on the women’s side, as she swept both events and set a new school and pool records in both events. In the 1-meter she recorded a score of 323.55 and earned a 351.45 in the 3-meter. Following Kline in the 1-meter was Kaylea Arnett placing second and Sara Mokhtari placing third with her first NCAA Zone score of 281.93. In the 3-meter, Kelli Stockton placed second with a score of 312.68.

“I was really proud of the diving squads today,” commented head diving coach Ron Piemonte. “The women’s team was fantastic. We dominated both boards and had a lot of great diving going on for the women. Sara Mokhtari did a very nice job on the 1-meter to complete the sweep and hit her NCAA Zone score which was fantastic.”

For the men, sophomore Ryan Hawkins took home the gold in the men’s 3-meter event as he tallied a season-best 374.55 score. Logan Shinholser followed as he placed fourth with a score of 347.70. In the men’s 1-meter, Shinholser and Hawkins took third and fourth place, respectively.

“The men did a nice job. We had a couple speed bumps,” commented Piemonte. “Even though we did a lot of good diving, we had a couple disappointments which happens and all we can do is learn from it and correct it for when the ACCs come around.”

The H2Okies will jump back into the water as they travel to William and Mary Saturday, Jan. 14. Start time is set for 12 p.m.

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

HokieSports Shop