Swimming: WVU Men Fall, Women Split
By Grant Dovey for MSNsportsNET.com
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia University men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams were defeated by Penn State, while the women picked up a win against Colgate on Saturday, Oct. 24, at University Park, Pa.
The men’s team was defeated by Penn State, 145-96, while the women’s team fell to Penn State, 75-38 and defeated Colgate, 74-39 in double-dual action.
“After a slow start we had great second and third sessions,” coach Vic Riggs says. “Though we knew Penn State would be tough up front in the medley relay and the mile, I was pleased with our 200 freestyle events and that helped get us back into the meet.”
The men started off with the 400 medley relay where senior Tim Field, junior George Farquhar and sophomores Martin Vanis and Brad Eichenseer finished in second place (3:27.68) behind Penn State.
Freshman Hugh Simmonds, sophomore Taylor Camp and freshman Jared Goldthorpe then finished the 200 free, second (1:41.33), third (1:41.76) and fourth (1:42.14), respectively, to get the Mountaineers right back into the meet.
Camp followed in the 200 fly with a second-place (1:52.07) finish, while Vanis placed third (1:55.69).
In the 200 back, Goldthorpe took second place (1:50.66), while fellow Australian Simmonds placed first (4:37.21) in the 500 free, with freshman Jake Querciagrossa placing third (4:45.88).
Farquhar followed with another first-place (2:07.02) finish for the Mountaineers in the 200 breast, while a 400 free relay team of Simmonds, Camp, Querciagrossa and Eichenseer ended the meet with a second-place (3:10.41) finish.
Senior Brandon Robinson and sophomore Matt O’Neill continued their early success on both the 1-meter and 3-meter boards. Robinson finished first in both the 1-meter (294.60) and 3-meter (288.90), while O’Neill placed second in the 1-meter (263.75) and 3-meter (231.60).
“Our divers both had a great day with Brandon and Matt going one-two on both boards,” Riggs says. “Being the first dual meet for the men, it was good to get everyone racing. Taylor (Camp) and Hugh (Simmonds) had big days for the men.”
Freshman Rachael Burnett grabbed the first win of the day for the West Virginia women as she took first (1:52.19) in a very tight 200 free race in which five swimmers had times of 1:52.
Senior Kayla Andrews followed up with a first-place (23.40) finish in the 50 free, while freshman Robyn Matthews placed third (4:25.88) in the 400 IM.
Andrews continued her dominance with another finish in first (50.74), this time in the 100 free. Fellow senior Shaunna Purtell placed third (51.90) in the event.
Burnett grabbed her second first-place (4:56.88) of the day in the 500 free, where four of the top five finishers were from WVU. Matthews and freshman Kata Fodor and Sloan Storie finished second (4:58.12), fourth (5:04.51) and fifth (5:05.06), respectively.
Matthews then turned it around in her next event and finished first (2:20.84) in the 200 breast, nearly two seconds faster than the second-place finisher.
Andrews, Purtell, senior Stephanie Shupe and freshman Sara Conner wrapped up the day with a second-place finish (3:28.51) in the 400 free relay.
Senior Ashley Malik also got the Mountaineers points with her second-place (250.70) finish on the 1-meter board.
“Rachael (Burnett) and Robyn (Matthews) had very impressive swims with each swimming three events,” Riggs says. “All in all it’s a good start and we’ll be better in two weeks.”
The Mountaineers will be in action next on Nov. 6, when they host Cincinnati at the WVU Natatorium. Action is set to begin at 5 p.m.