GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Junior Kaylea Arnett’s fourth career gold medal highlighted the third day of competition for the Virginia Tech women’s swimming and diving team, as the H2Okies maintained their hold on fifth place at the Atlantic Coast Conference Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships on Saturday.
Tech sits in sole possession of fifth place after 22 events, just 40 points behind fourth-place NC State and holding a 75.5-point lead over Notre Dame in sixth.
“I think today was one of the best environments I’ve ever been a part of,” Head Coach Ned Skinner said. “Their desire to do it for the cause and the leadership from the seniors is outstanding.”
Arnett’s performance on the board made history for the H2Okies, as the victory--less than a day removed from her 1-meter win--marked the first for a Virginia Tech woman in the 3-meter event.
After taking the top seed in the preliminary rounds, the junior dominated the finals, posting a score of 395.95 that topped the second-place finisher by more than 23 points and broke her own school record by more than seven.
Junior Kelli Stockton joined Arnett in the finals for the first time in her career, taking home fifth place with a score of 346.25.
The H2Okies started the day on the right foot, capturing the bronze medal in the 400 medley relay to open the evening’s finals. Sophomores Holly Harper and Weronika Paluszek, freshman Maggie Gruber and senior Katarina Filova teamed up to finish in 3:35.45, an NCAA “B” cut, en route to their third place finish.
After Arnett’s diving victory, freshman Fiona Donnelly kept momentum going with a seventh-place finish in the 400 IM, clocking an NCAA “B” time of 4:14.99. Gruber followed that up with a 53.32 in the 100 butterfly that earned her sixth place.
Paluszek would make her second trip to the podium to end the H2Okies’ night, as the sophomore broke her own school record in the 100 breaststroke with a 59.95 that earned her the bronze medal and missed an NCAA “A” cut by less than a second.
“We had a bunch of girls with a lot of enthusiasm and success today and we’re hoping to carry it over to Saturday,” Skinner said. “We just want to finish on a great note and see how that stacks up in the team race, but I couldn’t be any more proud of this team.”
The men had another strong day on the boards, as senior Ryan Hawkins earned his second trip to the finals in as many days as he took fifth place in the 1-meter competition with a score of 385.05. Sophomore Logan Stevens (338.25) and junior Kyle Butts (325.25) earned 12th and 16th, respectively.
With back-to-back strong showings on the boards, the men have staked claim to second place in the team standings, racking up 51 points between the two events. Miami, with 74 points, is the only school with more at this early stage.
Tomorrow’s action will begin at 11 a.m. at Greensboro Aquatic Center, beginning with the preliminaries of the 200 backstroke. Finals for tomorrow’s events will begin at 7 p.m.
Both the men’s and women’s platform prelims and finals will take place during the afternoon.
Complete results, as well as live stats and the championship home page can be found at the attached links.
For updates on Virginia Tech swimming & diving, follow the Hokies on Twitter Follow @VT_SwimDive