CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. – The Virginia Tech swimming and diving program easily swept its season opener against CCSA foes Gardner-Webb, VMI and the Liberty women Saturday afternoon at the Christiansburg Aquatic Center. The men remained perfect throughout the afternoon taking all 17 events, and downed Gardner-Webb, 269.50-45.50, and VMI, 281-33. The women cruised past the Bulldogs, 270-42, the Keydets, 285-17, and the Lady Flames, 207-107.
The H2Okies swam hard from start to finish today, taking control early as they swept the first two events. The Tech women’s ‘A’ team claimed the first event of the day. The quartet of Sabrina Benson, Keri Sink, Heather Savage and Katarina Filova swam a time of 3:47.38, three seconds faster than the runner-up Liberty, in the 400 medley relay.
Zach McGinnis, Nathan Hoisington, Nick Tremols and Joe Bonk started the winning streak for the men in the 400 medley relay. The squad came in at the 3:22.99 mark, good for first place, while the ‘B’ team of Tom Sheranek, Harrison Cefalo, James Crabb and Kevin Hunt followed six seconds later for a second-place finish (3:28.58).
Following the first event, the women went on to claim 11 golds, including two individually from freshman Holly Harper. The frosh took first place in the 50 backstroke (26.98) and 200 backstroke (2:04.58). She also swam the first leg of the 200 medley relay to help secure a first-place finish.
The H2Okie men continued strong taking the next 16 events, including 1-2-3 finishes in seven races.
The Lady Flames took five events this afternoon, including the 50 freestyle, 50 breaststroke, 200 freestyle relay, 100 IM and 50 butterfly.
Filova jumped back into the water for the first time since the 2012 Olympic Games in London. She took last season off as a H2Okie to train for her home country, Slovakia. The junior won the 200 freestyle event with a time of 1:53.00 and helped the 400 medley and 400 freestyle relay teams to a gold.
17 freshman jumped into the pool for the first time at Tech and five of them charted first-place finishes. In addition to Harper, Alaina Brown won the 400 IM (4:33.44) and Emily Ryczek took the 100 freestyle (52.16) for the women.
Bonk led the way on the men’s side. The freshman swept the 50 and 100 freestyles with times of 20.82 and 46.31, respectively, and helped collect the 400 medley relay and 200 freestyle relay events.
Freshman Drake Becksted recorded a first-place finish for the men. He came in at the 22.78 mark in the 50 butterfly to win his first collegiate race of his career.
The Tech diving squad held an exhibition competition to prepare for next weekend’s tough ACC road trip. All divers competed today.
The H2Okies are back in action next weekend. Tech travels to North Carolina Friday for a 5 p.m. dual meet, before heading to Duke on Saturday for a quad meet against the Blue Devils, Florida State and UNC Wilmington at 2 p.m.
For updates on Virginia Tech swimming & diving, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_SwimDive).