CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. – Junior Heather Savage of the Virginia Tech women’s swimming team broke three records as she took home the 100 butterfly gold medal on day three of the 2012 ACC Swimming and Diving Championships Friday evening at the Christiansburg Aquatic Center, as the Hokies rank fifth in competition. In addition, Logan Shinholser collected his second gold medal of the Championships as he won the 1-meter event.
The University of Virginia is in first place with a total of 558 points, while North Carolina follows in second with 401. Florida State sits third with 302 points, followed by Maryland in fourth with 273 points. Virginia Tech sits fifth with 269, while Miami (244), NC State (170.5), Georgia Tech (154.5), Duke (149), Clemson (90) and Boston College (48) round out the rankings.
“Tonight showed what Virginia Tech swimming and diving is all about,” commented head coach Ned Skinner. “The performance from Heather Savage is arguably on of the finest moments in the history of our program. I am so happy for her because of the way she conducts herself as an overall student-athlete. The energy and the environment have just been amazing. I have been in the ACC for seven years and I have never seen a swimming venue at the conference level like here at the Christiansburg Aquatic Center.”
In the finals, senior Erika Hajnal gave the H2Okies momentum as she swam a ‘B’ standard time of 4:08.43 in the 400 IM that placed her second for her first medal in the Championships. Her 400 IM time broke her previous school record which was set on March 19, 2010.
“Erika Hajnal, a senior, to get that silver medal and a ticket to the NCAA’s is great and for Sabrina Benson to post a time that should have won the event and to go to the NCAA’s I just couldn’t be happier,” noted Skinner.
Following Hajnal, Savage dominated the 100 butterfly as she swam a ‘B’ cut time of 52.14, which broke the ACC Championship record as well as the Conference record and Virginia Tech record. The Tech record was set by Megan Newell (52.61) on Feb. 20, 2009, while both ACC records were set by Maryland’s Megan Lafferty (Conference: 52.28, Championships: 52.39) a year ago.
Despite qualifying for the second heat in the preliminaries, freshman Sabrina Benson broke a school record in the 100 backstroke coming in with the fastest time in the finals as she touched the wall at the 52.65 mark.
In diving competition, Logan Shinholser picked up his second gold medal this week as he scored a 378.50, just over three points from Georgia Tech’s Brandon Makinson who placed second. This is his third career gold as he won the men’s platform a year ago.
For the women, junior Logan Kline placed second in the women’s 3-meter final with a score of 356.10 as she collected her first ACC medal. Kaylea Arnett, who won the 1-meter yesterday, followed Kline placing fifth with a score of 342.60.
“In the second day of competition I couldn’t be happier,” commented head diving coach Ron Piemonte. “With Logan Shinholser coming out with an incredible win in the 1-meter, it was just fantastic. John Trope scored today and even though Ryan Hawkins had a bump in the road but had a pretty solid finish, which was great. The girls today did fantastic. I couldn’t be happier for Kelli Stockton and Sara Mokhtari, who did a great job scoring points for us. And of course, Logan Kline’s beautiful silver medal finish as well Kaylea Arnett’s fifth place.”
In diving preliminary rounds, Shinholser placed second with a total score of 383.10 to advance to the finals. Ryan Hawkins missed the finals by just seven points as he placed 10th with a score of 331.30. Following Hawkins was John Trope who placed 16th with a career-best 310.70. Kyle Butts rounded out the pack for the Hokies as he came in 20th.
In the women’s 3-meter, Logan Kline led Hokies placing fourth with a score of 326.30. Kaylea Arnett followed in sixth place with a score of 323.95 as both divers advanced to the finals. Kelli Stockton placed 11th bringing in a total of 296.85 and Sara Mokhtari placed 12th with a career-best 294.95.
“It was a great performance today by the Virginia Tech divers, I couldn’t be more thrilled,” noted Piemonte.
Starting the morning off for the H2Okies, Hajnal touched the wall fifth in the 400 IM with a ‘B’ standard time of 4:15.23 to advance to the finals. Laura Simon swam a career-best 4:20.00 which placed her 11th, while Keri Sink touched the wall 16th at the 4:24.49 mark to advance them to the finals. Jace Howanitz will swim in the consolation round of the finals as she came in 20th with a time of 4:29.01.
Savage got her morning started as she advanced to the finals with a fourth-place finish in the 100 butterfly, coming in with a ‘B’ standard time of 53.67. Benson will join Savage as she placed 11th with a career-best 54.59 which qualifies as a ‘B’ standard time as well. Meaghan Holloway advanced to the consolation heat as she placed 21st with a time of 55.51.
Jayme Katis swam a career-best 1:50.31 in the 200 freestyle to advance her to the consolation round, along with Addie Carne, Rachel Sepanski and Katie Rogers who placed 21st, 22nd, and 23rd, respectively.
Alyssa Bodin led the H2Okies in the 100 breaststroke as she placed 17th with a time of 1:03.36 to advance her to the consolation round in the finals. Joining Bodin is Keri Sink who swam a time of 1:04.37 which placed her 20th. Holloway just missed the finals, coming in 25th with a time of 1:05.89.
Leading Tech in the 100 backstroke was Benson, who placed ninth with a ‘B’ standard time of 54.56. Savage joins Benson in the finals as she placed 16th touching the wall at the 55.36 mark. Brittany Boone advanced to the consolation round with a career-best 55.70.
Competition will start back up tomorrow, Feb. 18, with the preliminaries of the 200 backstroke, 100 freestyle, 200 breaststroke and 200 butterfly beginning at 11 a.m. The diving competition begins at 1 p.m., followed by finals beginning at 7 p.m.
All championship information can be found at the official championship website, http://www.theacc.com/championships/12-swimming-diving-championship.html.
For updates on Virginia Tech swimming & diving, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_SwimDive).