Swimming: West Virginia Defeats Pitt
By Grant Dovey for MSNsportsNET.com
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia University swimming and diving teams scored three wins from freshman Rachael Burnett and junior George Farquhar and two wins apiece from seniors Morgan Callaway and Kayla Andrews and freshmen Jared Goldthorpe and Robyn Matthews, in a dual meet victories over BIG EAST rival Pitt on Saturday afternoon at the WVU Natatorium.
“What a day to be a Mountaineer. The teams swam with pride and heart,” coach Vic Riggs said. “It was a hard-fought meet against a very strong Pitt team and we knew right after the Ohio State Invitational that Pitt would come prepared. It’s a great rivalry and it felt good to win and I am especially happy for our seniors and senior women who have never beaten Pitt.”
Burnett swam to her first first-place finish in the 200 free with a time of 1:50.63. Senior Shaunna Purtell also placed second in the event. Burnett then took the 200 fly by storm and won the race with a time of 2:03.82, followed by freshman Mandie Nugent who took second. Burnett continued her dominance in the 500 free, finishing first for the third time in 4:58.47. Purtell and freshman Kata Fodor finished third and fourth, respectively.
The 100 back and 200 back featured wins by Callaway, who finished in times of 57.35 and 2:03.95, respectively.
Andrews received wins in the sprint events by taking both the 50 free and 100 free. Andrews finished the 50 free in a time of 23.86 and took the 100 free in 51.92. Purtell also finished the 100 free in second.
Matthews took first in both the 100 breast and 200 IM. She finished the 100 breast in 1:06.95, while scoring a time of 2:08.18 in the 200 IM. Matthews also placed second in the 200 breast.
Senior Stephanie Shupe rounded out the first-place finishes in the 100 fly with a time of 56.96.
The relay events proved to be crucial for West Virginia with the women finishing first in the 200 medley relay and 400 free relay. The 200 medley relay team of Callaway, Matthews, Shupe and Andrews finished in 1:46.39, while the 400 free relay team of Callaway, Burnett, Purtell and Andrews finished in 3:27.14, a new pool record.
Farquhar led the men’s side with his first-place finish in the 100 breast in 57.33 and 200 breast in 2:05.79. Sophomore Jack Greenhalgh placed third and second, respectively, in each event. Farquhar also added a win in the 200 IM with a time of 1:55.43. Sophomore Martin Vanis placed second in the 200 IM as well.
Goldthorpe continued his dominance in the 200 back and 500 free. Goldthorpe finished the 200 back in a time of 1:51.28 with senior Tim Field placing a close second in 1:53.19. West Virginia then swept the 500 free with Goldthorpe placing first in 4:41.05 and freshmen Hugh Simmonds and Tim O’Malley taking second and third, respectively. Goldthorpe also swam in the 100 back where he finished second.
Simmonds and O’Malley went on to win their own individual races with O’Malley taking the 1,000 free in 9:48.57. Sophomore Ian Stavros finished the distance swim in second place with junior Jeff Byrd finishing fourth. Simmonds took his first-place finish in the 200 free with a time of 1:42.34.
Sophomores Taylor Camp and Brad Eichenseer also had successful days, with Camp placing first in the 200 fly and Eichenseer finishing first in the 50 free. Camp finished the race in a time of 1:50.83, and also finished second in the 100 fly. Eichenseer had a great swim finish in 21.39, while also placing second in the 100 free.
Both the men’s 200 medley relay and 400 free relay finished in second place.
In the diving well, senior Brandon Robinson finished second in the 3-meter and third in the 1-meter for the men, while senior Ashley Malik finished second in the 1-meter and third in the 3-meter for the women.
West Virginia will be back in action on Jan. 23 when the team travels to Maryland for a 1 p.m. meet.