GREENSBORO, N.C. – Three members of the Virginia Tech swimming and diving program were honored as recipients of the 2012 ACC Swimming and Diving annual awards, announced by the conference office Thursday afternoon. Ned Skinner, who is in his 14th year at Virginia Tech, was named the Men’s Coach of the Year, while Logan Shinholser and Kaylea Arnett swept the diving honors. The recipients are determined by a vote of the league’s head coaches.
“I am honored to accept the Men’s Coach of the Year award on behalf of our staff,” commented Skinner. “Virginia Tech swimming and diving is truly a team effort, in particular, I want to congratulate Ron Piemonte and his diving program. They had an incredible year and our program’s success certainly had a lot to do with their strong diving. That coupled with fast swimming made for our best year in program history.”
Skinner is the first Virginia Tech coach to win Coach of the Year honors. He led the H2Okie men to their highest finish in program history at both the ACC and NCAA Championships. At the conference meet, Virginia Tech battled four-time defending champion Virginia to the end and finished second. On the national stage, the H2Okies scored 55 points for 18th place. The Virginia Tech men swimmers and divers posted 13 All-ACC and six All-American performances.
Shinholser was named the Most Valuable Men’s Diver at the ACC Championships after winning both the 1- and 3-meter titles and finishing in second on the platform by less than a point. At the NCAA Championships, the Burtonsville, Md., native tallied 39 points for the H2Okies with top-eight performances to be named an All-American in all three diving events. He is the first Virginia Tech men’s diver to be named an All-American in all three diving events.
“Logan Shinholser has emerged this year as the top diver in the ACC, and one of the top divers in the NCAA,” commented head diving coach Ron Piemonte. “Being one of only three divers at the NCAA Championships to be top eight (All-American) in all three events, is truly an unbelievable accomplishment that will stand as one of the greatest accomplishments in not only Virginia Tech’s history, but ACC and NCAA history as well.”
Arnett, a freshman from Spring, Texas, was victorious in the 1-meter to claim the title, finished fifth in the 3-meter, and earned the bronze on the platform at her first ACC Championships to be named the Most Valuable Women's Diver. At the NCAA Championships, she earned Honorable Mention All-American honors with an 11th-place finish in the 1-meter and was named an All-American in the platform with a sixth-place finish.
“For Kaylea Arnett to come in as a freshman and make such an immediate impact is also an achievement that is quite amazing,” added Piemonte. “You are never really sure how a freshman is going to compete during their first season. For her to win the 1-meter, get fifth in the 3-meter and third on platform at the ACC Championships was incredible. To later go on and get sixth on the platform to be named an All-American and 11th on the 1-meter good for Honorable Mention All-America honors at her first NCAA Championships, truly makes her a worthy recipient of this honor.”
Shinholser and Arnett both hold school and pool records. Shinholser owns both school and pool records in the 3-meter and platform events, all set this season. The junior also holds the pool record in the 1-meter event, which was set in 2010. Arnett is the school and pool record holder in the 1-meter event, which was set at the ACC Championships.
“Logan and Kaylea each had fantastic seasons and we are so proud of their accomplishments,” added Skinner. “They both have incredible talent matched with pure competitor fire. Each student-athlete represents the ideal of a student-athlete and the H2Okies are fortunate to have so many fine young people like Logan and Kaylea.”
Shinholser and Arnett are the first Virginia Tech divers to earn the annual honors. The only past H2Okie to receive an award was Jessica Botzum, who was named Freshman of the Year in 2005 and later notched the Swimmer of the Year award in 2007 and 2008.
Virginia Tech led the conference with three accolades, while Florida State’s Mateo De Angulo and Juan Sequera were named the Men’s Swimmer the Year and the Men’s Freshman of the Year, respectively. North Carolina’s Stephanie Peacock is the Women’s Swimmer of the Year and her coach, Rich DeSelm, was named the Women’s Coach of the Year. Virginia’s Ellen Williamson was honored with the Women’s Freshman of the Year title.
For updates on Virginia Tech swimming & diving, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_SwimDive).