WVU Men Win at Villanova to Cap Regular Season

  • By Samantha Strejeck
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  • January 28, 2017 08:31 PM
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MORGANTOWN, W.Va.  – The West Virginia University swimming and diving team closed out the regular-season competition, as the men dominated at Villanova on Saturday.
The Mountaineer men grabbed 11 wins with four podium sweeps, on their way to a 172-71 victory against Villanova, while the WVU women won five events with two 1-2-3 finishes on springboard, to fall 147-96 to the Wildcats.
“Another very solid effort today,” said coach Vic Riggs. “The competing yesterday and the long travel day caught up with us a bit, but overall I feel we did a great job of racing. Our women's 200 medley and freestyle relays were the fastest in season along with our men's 200 free relay, which I feel is great considering everything. Amelie, Skelley, Merwane and James continue to compete at a high level. I'm looking forward to how our underclassmen will compete in a month. They have really progressed well this season.
“Today's competition will be much like day four at the Big 12 Championship and it's good for the freshmen to experience that. It's so important to manage yourself at Big 12s, and we discussed that after the meet.”
Competition started on springboard, where the Mountaineers came out strong. Junior Michael Proietto won both events for the men and WVU went 1-2-3 on 3-meter. Proietto’s scored a 309.45 on 1-meter to and 334.13 on 3-meter. Sophomore Austin Smith placed second on 3-meter with a score of 324.08 and freshman Gerald Hodges followed in third (273.38).
For the WVU women, the Mountaineers swept the top-three finishes on both boards. Sophomore Julia Calcutt won on 1-meter, scoring 263.62. Sophomore Madelyn Woods followed in second place with a 256.72 and sophomore Averly Hobbs came in third (250.87). On 3-meter Hobbs claimed the victory, scoring 279.68, followed but teammates Woods in second (257.70) and Calcut in third (267.68).
In swimming events, the Mountaineer men started off with a win in the 200 medley relay, thanks to a 1:32.91 from sophomore Merwane El Merini, sophomore Jake Armstrong, freshman Jack Frazier and sophomore Drew Damich.
The WVU men and women both recorded wins in the 1,000 freestyle with the men also earning 1-2-3 finishes. Junior James Koval secured the win for the men, touching the wall in 9:39.46. Senior Emma Skelley claimed the win for the women with a time of 10:11.85.
Freshman Ryan Kelly led the way for the WVU men in the 200 freestyle, winning the race with a time of 1:41.07.
In the men's 200 individual medley, freshman Jack Portmann was good for the win with a time of 1:56.08.
Freshman Julia Miranda added another win for the WVU women in the 100 butterfly, as she touched the wall in 57.12. Miranda won by just 0.29 seconds.
With another victory for the Mountaineer men, freshman Matthew Marsh touched in first in the 100 freestyle with a time of 47.74.
El Merini added to his relay win with an individual victory in the men’s 100 backstroke. He touched the wall in 50.24 to win the race by 0.88 seconds.
The WVU men swept the top-four finishes in the 500 freestyle, where freshman Trayton Saladin led the way with a time 4:39.84. Damich came in second place with a time of 4:40.67.
The next event was the 100 breaststroke where the WVU men and women claimed victories. The men grabbed 1-2-3 finishes and was led by Armstrong, who added an individual win to his relay victory. Armstrong touched the wall in 56.93, just 1.04 seconds ahead of teammate junior Drew Riebel. Sophomore Emma Harris led the way for the Mountaineer women, winning with a time of 1:06.41.
The day concluded with a WVU win in the men’s 200 freestyle relay. A Mountaineer team of El Merini, Damich and freshmen Sam Neaveil and Austin Hartke touched the wall in a season best, 1:24.22. El Merini added his second relay win on top of his one individual victory.
The WVU women are now 5-6 in dual meets and 1-1 in Big 12 while the men are 5-4, 1-0 Big 12.
Up next, the Mountaineers have three weeks off to prepare for the Big 12 Championship from Feb. 22-25 in Austin, Texas. The four day championship meet begins at 11 a.m. ET each day. 
For more information on the Mountaineers, visit WVUsports.com and follow the team on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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