January 24, 2015
H2Okies dominate on Senior Day
Tech downs Georgia Tech, UNC Wilmington and Miami
Georgia Tech (Men)110
(15) Virginia Tech 190
UNC-Wilmington (Men)53
(15) Virginia Tech 246
Miami (Women)99
Virginia Tech 200
UNC Wilmington (Women)47
Virginia Tech 250
Georgia Tech (Women)75
Virginia Tech 224

BLACKSBURG - The Virginia Tech swimming & diving teams picked up five dual-meet wins against Georgia Tech, UNC Wilmington and Miami (women) on Senior Day at the Christiansburg Aquatic Center Saturday. Jessica Hespeler, Michal Szuba, Collin Higgins, Owen Burns and Brandon Fiala all won two races for the H2Okies in the meet.

With the two wins, Tech’s 15th-ranked men’s team improves to 11-1 while the women earned three wins and improve to 10-3.

“The swimming and diving was rock solid, knowing where we are in our training and preparation to get ready for ACCs,” head coach Ned Skinner said. “We’ve got a lot of work to still do but I feel like we’re tracking the right way.”

Women’s Meet

The women’s competition began with the 200 medley relay where the H2Okies took the top-three spots. Tech’s A relay won with a time of 1:43.07 with swimmers Klaudia Nazieblo, Alyssa Bodin, Maggie Gruber and Holly Harper.

Tech followed up their relay sweep with a sweep in the 200 free. Hespeler took first with a time of 1:50.92 ahead of Nazieblo and Margaret Parcell. Immediately following that race, Fiona Donnelly earned the win in the 100 back (56.26), and Harper took third.

Blaire Kinsey gave the H2Okies their third-straight win in the 100 breast (1:04.17), where the Hokies took the top three spots.

After picking up a second-place finish in the 200 free earlier in the day, Nazieblo won the 200 back with a time of 2:01.14. Behind her, Donnelly took second. Weronika Paluszek then won the 200 breast (2:15.48) with Kinsey in second.

Hespeler became the first H2Okie with two wins on the day when she defeated the field in the 500 free with a time of 5:00.99. Shortly after, Gruber won the 100 fly (55.72) and Caroline Buscaglia finished third.

In the final women's race of the day, Tech took first and second with the A relay finishing with a time of 3:28.60.

In the diving competition, The H2Okies faced some of nation’s best divers from Miami, Georgia Tech and UNC Wilmington. Arnett led the Tech competitors by winning the 1-meter with a score of 328.85 and taking fifth in the 3-meter. Kelli Stockton was also impressive, finishing third in the 3-meter and fifth in the 1-meter.

Men’s Meet

The men also started off the competition with a win, taking first and third in the 200 medley relay. Behind Morgan Latimer, Drake Becksted, Brandon Fiala and C.J. Fiala, Tech’s A relay won with a time of 1:29.07.

Szuba wasted no time in picking up the first individual win for Tech, taking the 1000 free in 9:18.95.

Tech then picked up two-straight wins. First, Higgins won the 100 back with a time of 48.94 with Zach Switzer behind him in second. Then, in the 100 breast, Brandon Fiala picked up his first win of the day, hitting the wall after 56.05.

Latimer got his win in his marquee event, the 200 fly, with a time of 1:47.54. A group of Tech swimmers then picked up their second wins of the day. Burns won the 100 free (44.82), Higgins won the 200 back (1:47.08) and Brandon Fiala won the 200 breast (2:04.07).

Szuba also won his second race of the day when he paced the 500 free with a time of 4:30.73. Jake Ores followed him with a second-place finish.

In the last individual race of the day, Robert Owen won the 200 IM with a time of 1:52.45 before the H2Okie A relay won the 400 free relay in 2:59.53. The final race came down to a photo finish against Georgia Tech, but a strong final leg from C.J. Fiala propelled the H2Okies to the win by only .09 seconds.

Tech’s divers were led by Thomas Shinholser, who won the 3-meter competition with a score of 354.25 and finished second in the 1-meter with a score of 363.00. Kyle Butts finished second in the 3-meter and third in the 1-meter, and Mauro Castro-Silva fourth in the 3-meter and third in the 1-meter. Logan Stevens also picked up a top-three finish, taking third in the 3-meter.

At the meet, Tech recognized 16 seniors and their parents for their great careers at H2Okies. This senior class is filled with many of Tech’s very best swimmers and divers.

“With 16 seniors recognized today, it was a very rewarding day,” Skinner commented after the meet. “This team is completely different from the team we were when they came in as freshmen. They have completely rewritten the way we do business, not just in the water, but in the way they are academically, in their team spirit and in the way they conduct themselves out of the pool.”

Here is a list of the 16 H2Okies who will graduate in May:

Kaylea Arnett
Katie Bean
Jayme Katis
Blaire Kinsey
Margaret Parcell
Katie Rogers
Emily Ryczek
Kelli Stockton
Owen Burns
Kyle Butts
Harrison Cefalo
C.J. Fiala
Kevin Hunt
Collin Higgins
Morgan Latimer
Jake Ores

Tech will return to action in two weeks when they host the Virginia Tech Invitational on February 7 and 8 at the Christiansburg Aquatic Center.

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