CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. – The Virginia Tech women’s swimming team closed out the 2012 ACC Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships finishing fourth Saturday evening at the Christiansburg Aquatic Center. The Hokies record their best finish since 2009 as they broke three school records, while bringing in five medals this evening. In addition, Tech swept the Most Valuable Diver awards, as Kaylea Arnett won the award for the women, and Logan Shinholser won it from the men’s competition.
The University of Virginia took first place with a total of 848 points, while North Carolina finished second with 615. Florida State placed third with 460 points, followed by the Hokies in fourth with 401 points. Maryland placed fifth with 399, while Miami (313), NC State (247.5), Georgia Tech (195.5), Duke (193), Clemson (137) and Boston College (60) round out the rankings.
“We are very proud of our fourth-place finish,” commented head coach Ned Skinner. “Clearly the efforts of the divers gave us an opportunity to jump up in the rankings and beat a fifth-place finish from last year. The swimmers came together so well this weekend and performed. Every one contributed in one way or another in this team finish and I know that everyone of our coaches is very proud of the way our swimmers and divers conducted themselves and represented Virginia Tech.”
The 400 freestyle relay team consisting of Heather Savage, Sabrina Benson, Margaret Parcell and Emily Ferguson capped off the week, placing 10th with a season-best 3:23.83. The quartet brought in 12 points for the Hokies to put them two points ahead of Maryland to take fourth place.
Senior Erika Hajnal led Tech with the top swimming finish of the night as she won the silver in the 1650 freestyle, swimming a time of 16:12.42. Laura Simon placed ninth with a time of 16:36.15, while Rachel Sepanski placed 15th with a time of 16:49.38. Following Sepanski was Becky Flora coming in 16th, touching the wall at 16:53.27 marking a career best.
In the 200 backstroke, Benson led the Hokies with a school record time of 1:56.38 to finish in sixth place. Following Benson, Brittany Boone finished with a career-best 1:57.24 to come in 10th.
Senior Ferguson was the only Hokie in the 100 freestyle as she finished 19th with a time of 51.39. In the 200 breaststroke, Keri Sink finished 13th with a time of 2:16.68, while Alyssa Bodin finished 18th with a career-best 2:18.32.
Savage rounded out the individual races as she placed ninth in the 200 butterfly touching the wall at the 1:58.62 mark, which marks a career best. She just missed the school record by .18 seconds.
In diving competition, after placing eighth in the preliminaries of the men’s platform, Ryan Hawkins came out hitting all his dives and receiving his first ever gold medal at the ACC Championships. The sophomore gathered a score of 422.60. Just .70 points away from sweeping all men’s diving, Shinholser placed second with a score of 421.90 as he picked up his third medal in the 2012 ACCs to complete the Virginia Tech men’s diving sweep.
For the women, Logan Kline received the silver medal in the women’s platform as she recorded a school-record 302.25. Arnett followed winning the bronze medal tallying a career-best 297.50. Kelli Stockton placed fifth with a career-best 292.60.
“I couldn’t be more proud of the diving team as a whole,” commented head diving coach Ron Piemonte. “The way they stepped up and competed tremendously and get the results we had to me it’s stellar. I am looking at this as one of the best moments in my coaching career. My diving team as a whole all came together and preformed extremely well and I couldn’t be more proud of them.”
In diving preliminary rounds, Shinholser dominated as he broke a pool record and school record in the men’s platform. The 2010 platform gold medalist took first place with a overall score of 473.60. Hawkins placed eighth with a score of 334.75 to just qualify for the finals.
For the women, Stockton just missed first place by one point as she tallied a pool and school record score of 301.80 to advance to the finals. Arnett and Kline advanced to the finals as well as placing third and fourth, respectively. Arnett tallied a score of 300.40, while Kline gathered a score of 285.70.
Starting the morning off for the H2Okies was Benson as she placed eighth in the 200 backstroke which qualified her for the finals of the championship heat. She swam a career best and ‘B’ standard time of 1:57.52.
Boone followed right behind Benson, placing ninth which qualified her for the consolation heat of the finals. Boone also swam a career best and ‘B’ standard time of 1:57.60.
Leading Tech in the 100 freestyle was senior Emily Ferguson, who swam a 51.17 to place 18th that qualified her for the final’s bonus heat. Joining Ferguson is freshman Margaret Parcell as she touched the wall 19th, swimming a career-best 51.30.
In the 200 breaststroke, Keri Sink qualified for the final’s consolation round as she placed 12th with a time of 2:16.67, while Alyssa Bodin qualified for the final’s bonus round placing 17th with a time of 2:18.94.
Savage placed 12th in the 200 butterfly as she touched the wall at the 2:00.26 mark. Her career-best time qualified her for the final’s consolation round. Joining Savage was Meaghan Holloway that placed 15th as she swam a career-best 2:01.11. Addie Carne qualified for the final’s bonus heat as she place 21st with at time of 2:03.02.
The 2012 ACC Championships will start back up Wednesday, Feb. 22 as the men jump into the water at the Christiansburg Aquatic Center.
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).