MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Senior Emma Skelley
set a WVU Natatorium record in the women’s 1,650 freestyle as the West Virginia University swimming and diving team won the Big 12 vs. Big East Weekend on Saturday.
The WVU men and women dominated over Seton Hall, Xavier and Butler, claiming the Big 12 vs. Big East title for the second consecutive year. At the two-day event, the Mountaineers won 31 out of 40 events, including a diving sweep. The women won 17 of 20 events and the men won 14 of 20.
“Both teams had a lot of very well-raced swims today,” said coach Vic Riggs. “I did feel that we lost our focus and energy that we had from last night’s session going into this morning’s session, but we refocused and had a very strong last session today. Having Emma Skelley
break the pool record in the 1,650 freestyle was great, and we had a lot of significant time improvements from last weekend in every event, which was a goal for both the men’s and women’s teams this weekend. I thought our relays were good, but we still have areas we can improve on for next week. We have a big challenge next weekend on the road and this weekend certainly was a good step forward for us.”
West Virginia University 221.00 Xavier University 133.00
Seton Hall University 231.00 Xavier University 118.00
West Virginia University 204.00 Seton Hall University 157.00
West Virginia University 206.00 Xavier University 144.00
Xavier University 191.50 Seton Hall University 157.50
West Virginia University 228.00 Seton Hall University 128.00
Xavier University 260.00 Butler University 71.00
West Virginia University 226.00 Butler University 117.00
Seton Hall University 232.00 Butler University 117.00
The highlight of day two was the women’s 1,650 freestyle, as Skelley marked her name in the WVU record books, setting a pool record. Skelley swam a 16:56.11, besting Rachael Burnett's previous record of 16:59.32. The Manassas, Virginia, native posted two individual victories on Saturday’s second day of competition.
Sophomore Merwane El Merini
led the Mountaineers in wins, picking up five first-place finishes, three individually and two in relays. Freshman Julia Miranda
posted four wins today, two individual races and two from relays.
The second day started in relay competition as the WVU men claimed their first victory in the men’s 200 freestyle relay. A winning team of El Merini, freshman Sam Neaveill
, junior Daniel Rodriguez
and sophomore Drew Damich
touched the wall in 1:24.55.
The Mountaineer women claimed their first win in the 100 butterfly thanks to Miranda, as she touched the wall in 56.15. Bullock followed in third place with a time of 57.38. For the men, freshman Gabe Swardson
touched in second place with a time of 51.03.
WVU’s women’s team took a one-two finish in the in the 500 freestyle. Skelley’s first individual win came as she touched the wall in 4:57.54. Freshman Alex Pampalone
placed second with a time of 5:07.91.
The men also notched one-two finishes in the 500 freestyle, as freshman Trayton Saladin
claimed the victory with a time of 4:42.01 and in second place was Damich in 4:43.24.
El Merini won his first individual race of the day in the men’s 50 freestyle, with a time of 20.83. Neaveill came in third place, touching in 21.76. For the women, Bullock finished in third in the event with a time of 24.76.
The Mountaineer women then took a one-two finish in the 200 breaststroke. Sophomore Emma Harris
claimed the victory with a time of 2:21.77 and Loren Williams
was second in 2:26.11.
The WVU women went one-two-three in the 100 backstroke with Miranda in first place for her second individual win with a time of 56.69. Sophomore Maggie Miller
placed second in 57.30 and Currat finished third in 57.53.
El Merini grabbed his second individual win today in the men’s 100 backstroke. He touched the wall with a time of 50.90.
The men won their second relay event in the 800 freestyle relay with a winning team of freshman Ryan Kelly
, junior Chris McMahon
, freshman Jack Frazier
and Damich, earning a time of 6:54.52.
WVU’s women’s team, featuring sophomore Morgan Carr
, Pampalone, Currat and Miranda, also won the 800 freestyle relay, posting a time of 7:49.72.
In the men’s 100 freestyle, El Merini claimed his third individual win and touched the wall in first with a time of 46.38. For the women, Miranda finished second with a time of 53.62.
The 1,650 freestyle was a record-setting event for the women’s squad, thanks to Skelley’s win while setting a WVU Natatorium record of 16:56.11.
The Mountaineer men went one-two in the 1,650 freestyle, as junior James Koval
won with a time of 16:13.32 and freshman Trayton Saladin
placed second in 16:32.56.
Mountaineers claimed a pair of victories in both the men’s and women’s 200 butterfly. Carr posted a first-place finish for the women with a time of 2:03.99 and Swardson won it for the men in 1:51.11.
On springboard, six Mountaineer divers qualified for the NCAA Zone Championships, four from men’s team and two from the women. The men swept the top four finishes on both 1-meter and 3-meter and the women claimed one-two finishes on both 1- and 3-meter as well.
Today on the men’s 3-meter, junior Michael Proietto
took first, scoring a 361.35 to earn him an NCAA Zone qualifying score. Proietto was just three points away from breaking the WVU record of 364.45.In second place came junior Logan McHenry
with a score of 298.05, followed by sophomore Austin Smith
in third (290.10) and freshman Gerald Hodges
in fourth (278.33).
On 1-meter for the women, sophomore Julia Calcut
won, scoring 282.97 to qualify for NCAA Zones. Sophomore Madelyn Woods
placed second with a score of 257.02.
With a quick turnaround ahead, the Mountaineers travel to Blacksburg, Virginia, to compete against Virginia Tech, Duke and William & Mary, from October 21-22. The Hokies will host the two-day event with Friday’s meet starting at 5 p.m. and Saturday’s races beginning at 11 a.m.