MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia women’s swimming and diving team was able to come from behind in the final relay to defeat BIG EAST foe Rutgers, 148-146, on Saturday afternoon at the WVU Natatorium.
“I asked a lot of the ladies and we put our best lineup in to win,” coach Vic Riggs said. “Our goal was to win the meet in the swimming portion and the disqualification in the 400 medley relay set us back, but the ladies responded well and put themselves in position to win going into the final events.”
Due to a Rutgers disqualification, the “A” relay team in the 200 free relay of senior Lyn Ann Nelson, redshirt sophomore Sara Conner, sophomore Breanna McCann and sophomore Nikki Vetterlein placed first in a time of 1:39.94. The “B” team of sophomore Kata Fodor, freshman Danielle Smith, freshman Hayley Kidd and junior Heidi Shultz placed second in 1:41.96 to seal the team victory.
“Today was a tough day for our women’s team because swimming women’s only cuts the meet in half and with the injury to Kelsey (Palis), the Rutgers divers were able to sweep the 1-meter and 3-meter,” Riggs said.
Fodor had another outstanding day individually with a first-place (10:15.01) finish in the 1,000 free. Sophomore Sloan Storie (10:32.50) and senior Caroline Larsson (10:36.52) completed the sweep with second- and third-place finishes, respectively. Larsson also placed third in the 500 free (5:16.26).
Rachael Burnett followed suit with first-place finishes in the 200 free (1:51.77), 100 free (53.19) and a brilliant swim in the 400 IM (4:25.76).
Sophomore Mandie Nugent was able to place third (1:55.55) in the 200 free, while Fodor swam to a fourth-place (1:56.37) finish. Vetterlein provided much needed points in the 100 back with a second-place (58.61) finish. Conner also took fourth (59.96) in the event.
Nugent then took first (2:07.02) in the 200 fly, followed by Storie (2:09.31) placing second. Nugent also placed second (57.37) in the 100 fly.
Conner and sophomore Austen Carrington scored points in the 200 back with second- (2:08.55) and fourth-place (2:10.28) finishes, respectively.
Nelson was able to finish first in the 50 free (24.95) and 500 free (5:02.88), while also placing second in the 100 free (53.31).
“Our lesson today was to keep fighting until the end and expect the unexpected and good things can happen,” Riggs said.
The Mountaineers will be back in action from Nov. 18-20 at the UNC Nike Cup in Chapel Hill, N.C. The events will begin at 10 a.m. each day.