GREENSBORO, N.C. -- The Virginia Tech women’s swimming and diving teams racked up a total of 914.5 points on the week, as the H2Okies took home fifth place at the 2014 Atlantic Coast Conference Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships on Saturday evening.
Junior Kaylea Arnett continued her dominance on the boards to highlight the day for Virginia Tech, capturing the bronze medal in the platform event en route to her third consecutive ACC Women’s Championship Most Valuable Diver award. Arnett is just the third athlete to ever capture the award three times.
After sitting in seventh place after her first dive in the finals, the junior climbed her way into third place with a score of 311.75 and captured her third medal of the week. Junior Kelli Stockton, after breaking her own school record with a 313.40 in the preliminaries, took fifth in the event, while freshman Ashley Buchter finished seventh in her first-ever ACC Championships.
Sophomore Weronika Paluszek continued her stellar weekend with a bronze medal in the 200 breast, breaking her own school record and recording an NCAA “A” cut with a 2:07.81. The sophomore tallied 54 individual points between her two bronze medals this week and swam the second leg of the third place 400 medley relay on Thursday.
“Weronika continues to emerge as a national threat,” Head Coach Ned Skinner said. “She raced hard against some of the top competition in the country, which will serve her well heading into NCAAs.”
Sophomore Holly Harper also set a school record for the H2Okies, clocking a 1:55.66 in the 200 backstroke prelims that qualified her into the championship final, where she finished sixth with a time of 1:57.06.
“It’s always inspiring to see new superstars emerge, and this weekend certainly brought Holly Harper to the forefront,” Skinner said. “She is in an incredible teammate and a tenacious racer, and we’re so happy that her hard work is starting to pay off.”
Tech finished just 35.5 shy of North Carolina State, the fourth place finisher, and 57.5 points behind third-place Florida State. The H2Okies were also 112.5 points ahead of Notre Dame in sixth.
“Our team environment was outstanding this whole week,” Skinner said. “I continue to be so impressed by these ladies and their commitment to each other.”
The men’s diving team staked a powerful lead heading into next week’s championships, led by Ryan Hawkins’ second medal of the week. The senior notched a 451.65 in the platform event to take third place in the event.
Freshman TJ Shinholser finished fifth in the platform at his first ACC Championships, racking up 402.15 points in the final after qualifying eighth in the preliminaries.
The men lead the way heading into next week’s swimming championships with 205 points, a full 36 points ahead of second place Florida State and 49 ahead of Miami in third place.
After next week’s Men’s ACC Championships, the H2Okies will be back in action on Mar. 10-12, when Christiansburg Aquatic Center will play host to the NCAA Zone A Diving Championships. The Women’s NCAA Championships will take place a week later, Mar. 20-22 in Minneapolis, Minn.
Complete results for the entire week can be found at the attached link.
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