February 27, 2016
Fiala named 2016 ACC Championship Most Valuable Men's Swimmer
No. 24 Hokies finish fourth
ACC Championship (Men's)
Virginia Tech

GREENSBORO, N.C. - Brandon Fiala was named the 2016 Atlantic Coast Conference Championship Most Valuable Men’s Swimmer as the No. 24 Hokies finished in fourth place.

Fiala is the first male swimmer from Virginia Tech to earn the prestigious award from the conference. Fiala had three individual medals overall during the meet, two gold and one silver. He also set two new meet records. As a team, Tech won three gold medals, one silver and one bronze.

The Hokies had a gold medalist for the third straight day as Fiala secured his second gold medal of the meet. Robert Owen also won gold in the 400 IM on Friday night. Tech scored 892 team points for the meet, finishing just 5.5 points behind third place North Carolina.

In the 200 breast Saturday night, Fiala swam a 1:52.87 to set a new ACC meet record as well as a new Virginia Tech school record. His time was good for a NCAA A cut. During the meet, he also won gold in the 200 IM and a silver in the 100 breast.

“Brandon Fiala has rewritten the way a student-athlete represents a school. Knowing what he’s doing at an administrative level with the NCAA Autonomy Committee and now being named ACC swimmer of the meet to go with his ACC titles, it’s all astounding. I’m so proud of him,” head coach Ned Skinner said.

The Hokies started the day with the finals of the 1,650 free. Michael Craddock swam a 15:15.66 to finish in ninth place and was followed by Michal Szuba who swam a 15:15.98 to finish 12th. Nathan Pawlowicz came in 23rd and also scored points with a time of 15:35.31. The trio combined for 37 team points in the event.

Owen finished fifth in the A final of the 200 back with a time of 1:41.28 and earned 25 team points. Sean Workman swam a time of 1:43.17 in the 200 back to finish second in the B final after being in seventh place with 100 yards to go. He earned 17 points in the event. Zach Switzer earned six points in the C final with a swim of 1:45.56.

Lucas Bureau and Brent Benedict finished third and fourth in the C final of the 100 free to earn 11 team points for Tech. Justin Edwards also scored six points as he finished third the C final of the 200 breast with a time of 1:59.42.

“I’m very proud of our freshmen. Sean Workman, Michael Craddock and Brent Benedict in particular to emerge this weekend gave us great energy. 40 percent of our ACC Championship roster was freshmen and every one of them scored individually and that bodes well for the future,” Skinner said.

Norbert Szabo also finished the B final of the 200 fly in first place in the 200 fly to earn 20 team points. The Hokies capped off the the 2016 ACC Championships with the 400 free relay as they swam a time of 2:54.62 to finished in fifth place and earned 50 team points.

“The seniors have given us so much. Lucas Bureau, Logan Stevens, Drake Becksted and Michal Szuba all merit so much because they leave here as ACC Champions in 2014 and lead us by the culture of the program,” Skinner said.

The ACC Championships served as the point in the Commonwealth Clash, presented by Virginia529, the official college savings plan of Virginia Tech Athletics. With a higher finish today from Virginia Tech Men’s Swimming & Diving they have added a point for their school to the Virginia529 Commonwealth Clash. The score for the Clash is now, University of Virginia 7 and Virginia Tech 4.5. Learn more about Virginia529 and this new competition at www.thecommonwealthclash.com

Tech divers will compete in the NCAA Zone A Diving Championships March 7-9 and the qualified men’s swimmers will compete at the NCAA Championships in Atlanta, Ga. March 24-26.

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