GREENSBORO, N.C. -- The Virginia Tech swimming and diving team got school-record performances out of three freshmen on Friday, as the H2Okies took over the lead heading into the final day of the Atlantic Coast Conference Men’s Championships at Greensboro Aquatic Center.
Tech racked up 404.5 points on the third day of competition, bringing its total to 815.5 and giving the H2Okies an eight point lead over second-place NC State with one day of events remaining. The top two teams have pulled away, as Tech leads third-place North Carolina by 140.5 and fourth-place Notre Dame by 153.5.
“I thought it was a great day for swimming fans,” Head Coach Ned Skinner said. “NC State came out swinging and basically made it a dual meet between the Hokies and NC State. I credit them for coming out hard, but our guys fought hard today and had some great swims.”
The H2Okies started Friday evening with their only medal of the day, as juniors Morgan Latimer and Nick Tremols, freshman Brandon Fiala and sophomore Joe Bonk combined to take third place in the 400 medley relay with an NCAA “A” cut time of 3:08.26.
With the Friday evening performance, the H2Okies have now put all four of their relay teams on the podium with NCAA “A” cut times.
Freshman Robert Owen followed the relay up with a sixth-place finish in the 400 individual medley, brought about by a school record time of 3:45.24 in the morning preliminaries. Fellow freshman Zach Switzer tied for 12th in the event with an NCAA “B” cut time of 3:50.55 in the B-final.
Latimer and Tremols continued their standout day, as the pair took home fifth and sixth place, respectively, in the 100 butterfly. Latimer clocked a 46.65 in the evening final, while Tremols was inches behind in 46.67.
Freshman Jan Switkowski narrowly missed out on his second medal in as many days, as the rookie clocked a school-record 1:34.26 to earn a fourth-place finish in the 200 freestyle. Sophomore Lucas Bureau also picked up crucial A-final points for the H2Okies with an eighth-place finish in 1:35.85, while junior Owen Burns took home 11th in 1:36.67.
Fiala turned in the final school record of the day with a 53.25 in the 100 breaststroke, as the freshman rolled to his second championships final in as many days and an eighth place finish. Juniors Harrison Cefalo (53.31) and C.J. Fiala (53.41) earned crucial points for Tech in the B-final, finishing 10th and 12th, respectively.
The depth of performances in the 100 breast gave Tech its first lead over NC State since late Thursday evening.
The 100 backstroke wrapped up the evening for the H2Okies, as Latimer and fellow junior Collin Higgins finished sixth and eighth in 46.99 and 47.24, respectively.
“It’s going to be a showdown tomorrow,” Skinner said. “We have some really strong events that we look forward to and we get to add our platform points from last week, so we’re ready for the challenge.”
The final day of the championship starts on Saturday at 11 a.m. with the preliminaries of the 200 backstroke, 100 freestyle, 200 breaststroke, and 200 butterfly. The swimming finals, including the 1650 freestyle, start at 7 p.m.
One change of note in this year’s Championship was the addition of the scoring of all 24 competitors competing in a swimming final. In previous years, only the top 16 competitors received points that counted toward their team’s total.
A live video stream of event finals will be available on theACC.com on Thursday through Saturday from 7 to 9 p.m., with Dean Linke handling play-by-play and Warren Perry adding analysis.
There is no charge for admission to the 2014 ACC Swimming & Diving Championships. Parking is available for $8 or for $15 for a session pass.
All championship information, including a full event schedule and live results, can be found at the links above.
For updates on Virginia Tech swimming & diving, follow the Hokies on Twitter Follow @VT_SwimDive