WVU Finishes Strong at NC State

  • By Charlie Healy
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  • November 19, 2016 10:11 PM
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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia University swimming and diving team concluded the fall with another strong day to cap the eight-team NC State GAC Invite on Saturday in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Sophomore Emma Harris led the way with a fifth-place finish and an NCAA B-qualifying time in the 200 breaststroke as four more Mountaineers earned top-16 finishes.
“It was a great last day for the men’s and women’s teams,” WVU coach Vic Riggs said. “Our women’s backstrokers got us off to a great start this morning by placing five in scoring position, and we just kept rolling from there. The teams earned 24 final swims coming out of prelims, highlighted by Emma Harris earning our fourth A final of the weekend.
“Overall this was one of our best mid-season invites. We finished the week with seven NCAA B cuts and 16 top-10 times in the history of the program, and we had 98 percent season-best times for the women and 96 percent for the men. We're young and getting better each month, which is exciting. To have as many swims in the A and B finals against many swimmers who are NCAA qualifiers is great for us and will only build our confidence moving forward.”
In a field featuring some of the nation’s strongest teams, NC State won both the men’s and women’s titles, with a 2,133 for the men and a 1,938 for the women. The Notre Dame men finished second (1,593), followed by Duke (1,361), North Carolina (1,996), Air Force (1,042), Tennessee (897), West Virginia (530) and Virginia’s divers (47). For the women, North Carolina came in second (1,845.5), followed by Duke (1,561.5), Notre Dame (1,213.5), Tennessee (887.5), West Virginia (553), Marshall (508), Miami (467) and the Virginia divers (45).
The evening’s finals was preluded by the 1,650 freestyle. Freshman Alex Pampalone led the way for the WVU women, finishing in 12th with a personal-best time of 16:49.33. For the men, freshman Trayton Saladin led the way, finishing in 21st with a 15:46.65, just beating out junior teammate James Koval.
Finals began with the 200 backstroke, where junior Amelie Currat earned WVU’s first NCAA B-qualifying time of the night. Currat won the B final, finishing ninth overall with a time of 1:58.09. Freshman Julia Miranda earned a spot in the C final, where she placed second, 18th overall, with a 1:59.46.
For the Mountaineer men in the 100 freestyle, sophomore Merwane El Merini reached the C final, where he placed 23rd overall with a time of 45.31.
In the 200 breaststroke, Harris reached the A final, where she finished fifth overall with a 2:14.97 to earn WVU another NCAA B cut.
West Virginia placed two in the B final in the 200 butterfly. Sophomore Morgan Carr placed 13th overall with a 2:01.08, while freshman Morgan Bullock earned a 2:01.59.
For the men in the 200 butterfly, two Mountaineers reached the C final. Freshman Gabe Swardson led the way with a 1:50.72 to place 20th overall, while senior Nathan Howells placed 23rd with a 1:53.05.
Junior Alex Obendorf earned a spot in the finals on platform, finishing eighth overall with a 254.85.
In relay competition, WVU’s men’s 400 freestyle relay team finished 12th with a 3:02.89, while the women earned a 13th-place finish with a 3:27.71.
West Virginia will have six weeks off before traveling to compete at Pitt on Jan. 7 at 10 a.m. ET.
For more information on the Mountaineers, visit WVUsports.com and follow WVUSwimDive on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.