November 21, 2013
Tech grabs lead after Day One of H2Okie Invitational
Hawkins shatters 3-meter school record
H2Okie Fall Invitational Day One
Virginia Tech

CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. -- The Virginia Tech swimming and diving got their weekend started in fine fashion on Thursday evening, as the H2Okies took a commanding lead on both the men’s and women’s side on the first day of the H2Okie Fall Invitational at Christiansburg Aquatic Center.

Competing against William & Mary, South Carolina, Ohio, Liberty and UConn, the H2Okies teams both opened up three-digit leads on their nearest competitors.

On the men’s side, the H2Okies dominated en route to five wins and 11 top-three finishes in just six events on Thursday evening.

Freshman Jan Switkowski (200 IM) and sophomore Joe Bonk (50 Free) both earned individual wins, while Tech also grabbed victories in the 200 Freestyle and 400 Medley relays.

Senior Ryan Hawkins was the story in diving, taking the top spot in the 3-meter event with a score of 450.60, setting a new school and pool record along the way. The previous H2Okie record was 439.40, set by Logan Shinholser last spring.

By night’s end, the Tech men had scored 424 points, compared to South Carolina’s 290 in second place and UConn’s 178 in third. William & Mary sits in fourth with 157 points.

On the women’s side, the H2Okies took home four wins and 10 top-three finishes in their six events.

Freshmen Jessica Hespeler (500 Free) and Fiona Donnelly (200 IM) both took home individual victories in swimming events, while junior Kaylea Arnett continued her dominant season with a victory in the 1-meter diving event.

Tech also grabbed a win in the 400 Medley Relay, with freshman Maggie Gruber, sophomore Weronika Paluszek, Donnelly and senior Katarina Filova taking the top spot.

Currently the women sit in first place with 419.50, holding a commanding lead over South Carolina (214.50) in second and William & Mary (165.50) in third.

“This was a very good start for the H2Okies,” Head Coach Ned Skinner said. “We are proud of the way they came together as a team. The energy on the pool deck was very high all day and the team has embraced the importance of each swim to keep the momentum going. Ryan Hawkins was world class tonight and the divers continue to show why they are one of the top programs in the country.”

The H2Okies will be back in action on Friday and Saturday for the H2Okie Fall Invite, with prelims starting at 10 a.m. and finals commencing at 6 p.m. on both days.

For updates on Virginia Tech swimming & diving, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_SwimDive).

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