CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. – The Virginia Tech men’s swimming team moved up to third place heading into the final day of the 2012 ACC Men’s Swimming Championships Friday evening at the Christiansburg Aquatic Center. The H2Okies are just 18.5 points away from first place as Gregory Mahon and Zach McGinnis win gold medals in the 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke, respectively.
“It was a fantastic day for our program,” commented head coach Ned Skinner. “Not only because of the champions, but because of every swimmer on this team stepped up and found a way to move up in their heats to scored valuable points which gives us a chance in this team race. And that is all we wanted was a chance going into the last day. The energy has been incredible and we are very appreciative of the environment, the facility and the fans!”
Heading into day four, Virginia is in first place with a total of 406 points, while North Carolina follows in second with 394. The Hokies sit third with 387.5 points, followed by Florida State with 353 points. NC State ranks fifth with a total of 254.5 points, while Duke is sixth with 190.5. Rounding out the pack is Georgia Tech (183), Clemson (181.5), Maryland (148), Boston College (64) and Miami (27).
The night started off with the 400 medley relay, as the H2Okie team of Charlie Higgins, Nevin Cook, Mahon and Greg Morgan brought in 34 points for Tech. The H2Okies placed second with a ‘B’ standard time of 3:11.08.
Mahon kept the points going for Tech as he won the gold in the 100 butterfly with a ‘B’ standard time of 46.55 to add 20 more points to the H2Okie total. Following Mahon in third place was Karl Botha. He came in at the 46.93 mark good for a 16 points and ‘B’ standard time as well. Matt Baumler added seven points for Tech as he came in 10th with a ‘B’ standard time of 47.71.
Winning the silver medal in the 100 breaststroke was Nathan Hoisington, as he touched the wall at the 54.58 mark to add 17 points to the H2Okie total. Following Hoisington in third place was Cook as he came in with a ‘B’ standard time of 54.73, which was good for 16 more points.
Emmett Dignan added points for Tech, placing sixth in the 100 breaststroke as well. Dignan recorded a ‘B’ standard time of 54.79 which added 13 points for the H2Okies.
In the final event of the night, McGinnis went out in style as he picked up the gold in the 100 backstroke coming in with a ‘B’ standard time of 46.79 to add another 20 points for Tech. Following McGinnis in third was Charlie Higgins as he touched the wall at the 47.08 mark to win the bronze.
Collin Higgins took seventh place in the 100 backstroke to add 12 more points to the H2Okie total. The freshman came in at the 48.48 mark which was good for a ‘B’ standard time as well.
Nick Tremols brought in the highest points for the H2Okies in the 200 freestyle, as he came in 10th with a ‘B’ standard time of 1:37.41. Owen Burns swam in the bonus heat for Tech as he placed 17th overall coming in at the 1:38.83 mark, good for a career best.
Alex Lutterbein kicked off the morning preliminaries for the H2Okies as he qualified for the championship heat of the 400 IM with a ‘B’ standard time of 5:52.88, while Jake Ores swam a 4:01.39 to place 24th and qualify for the bonus round.
Mahon had another successful preliminary, as he was the top qualifier for the 100 butterfly. He touched the wall at the 46.31 mark good for another school record and ‘B’ standard time. Joining him in the championship heat was Botha as he came in third with a ‘B’ standard time of 46.94.
Morgan qualified for the consolation heat of the 100 butterfly as he placed 14th with a time of 48.35, while Baumler and Charlie Higgins advanced to the bonus round, as they came in 17th and 22nd, respectively.
Tremols was the highest qualifier for Tech in the 200 freestyle, as he came in 13th with a time of 1:38.34, while Burns advanced to the bonus round with a time of 1:39.45.
All three H2Okies who competed in the 100 breaststroke qualified for the championship heat as Cook placed the highest for Tech. Cook came in at the 54.67 mark to place second, while Hoisington placed third with a time of 54.78 and Dignan followed in sixth with a time of 55.04.
In the final preliminary event, three H2Okies advanced to the 100 backstroke championship heat. Higgins placed second as he came in with a ‘B’ standard time of 47.74. McGinnis followed behind Charlie Higgins coming in third at the 47.98 mark, which is good for a ‘B’ standard time. Collin Higgins placed eighth with a ‘B’ standard time of 48.66, while Michael Hallock qualified for the consolation round coming in 12th.
Competition will start back up tomorrow, Feb. 25, with the preliminaries of the 200 backstroke, 100 freestyle, 200 breaststroke and 200 butterfly beginning at 11 a.m, followed by finals beginning at 7 p.m., which include the 1650 freestyle.
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).