MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - The West Virginia University swimming and diving squads completed the final day of competition on Saturday evening at the Big 12 Championships, winning two individual championships and breaking two school records, at the Lee & Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center in Austin, Texas.
The women finished second, solidifying their final result in the 400 free relay with a third-place finish in 3:21.36, narrowly defeating TCU. The foursome was made up of senior Rachael Burnett
, freshman Jaimee Gillmore
, senior Mandie Nugent
and junior Eva Burlingham
. The women had a final score of 576 points, two points ahead of TCU.
The WVU men took third with 788 points, with sophomore Julien Vialette
, freshman Andrew Marsh
, sophomore Nathan Cobbe
and freshman Ross Glegg
finishing second in the 400 free relay with a time of 2:56.94. TCU took second place with 798 points.
"What an exciting end to our week," coach Vic Riggs says. "The women's meet came down to the last relay to get second and we did. It was just a great way to finish our week. The men's meet was just as exciting and we were just short. Overall, 13 school records, five Big 12 Champions, one Big 12 meet record and one women's swimmer of the meet is excellent."
Texas won both the men’s and women’s championships, finishing with 985 points on the men’s side and 1,051 points on the women’s.
Burnett earned her third overall win in the Big 12 Championships in the 1650 free, finishing with a school-record time of 16:04.26. Burnett won all three of her individual events (200 free, 500 free, and 1650 free) for the second-straight year at the conference championships. Senior Kata Fodor
placed fifth in the event with a time of 16:33.34.
Also winning a championship was Nugent in the 200 fly, finishing in 1:55.82. The win was the fifth individual conference win of Nugent’s career and her fourth-consecutive win in the 200 fly. The Mountaineers were well represented in the event with sophomore Julie Ogden
taking second (1:58.71), followed by freshmen Natalie Johnsen
and Kelsey Frantz
in sixth (2:03.13) and eighth (2:03.41), respectively.
Senior Breanna McCann
broke another school record, this time with a fourth-place finish in the 200 breast in a time of 2:13.45. Sophomore Jenelle Zee
and freshman Morgan Emter
swam in the “B” finals, finishing in 10th (2:17.73) and 16th (2:20.04), respectively.
Junior Danielle Smith
placed fourth with a time of 1:57.49 in the women’s 200 back, while freshman Courtney Miller
placed 13th overall and senior Austen Carrington
placed 16th overall with times of 2:02.88 and 2:05.33, respectively.
Three women’s swimmers represented WVU in the 100 free “B” final with Gillmore placing tenth (50.82), Burlingham finishing 13th (51.55) and freshman Abby Hendershot
touching the line in 16th (52.87).
Six swimmers scored points for the men’s squad in the 100 free, with four swimmers in the Top 8 of the event. Freshman Ross Glegg
took third (43.93), followed closely by sophomore Julien Vialette
in fourth (44.21). In the “B” final, sophomore Nathan Cobbe
placed ninth (45.30), freshman Andrew Marsh
placed 10th (45.37), senior Hugh Simmonds
placed 11th (45.63) and sophomore Miles Molinaro
placed 13th (47.03).
Another highlight of the evening was the men’s 200 breast in which sophomore Christopher Brill
placed second in a time of 2:00.14. Also in the finals for WVU was freshmen Jake Iotte
and Aidan Fumagalli
and junior Peter Murto
. Iotte took fourth in 2:04.28, while Fumagalli and Murto finished seventh (2:05.77) and eighth (2:07.82), respectively.
In the men’s 200 back freshman Jay Hickey
finished sixth with a time of 1:46.38, followed by sophomore David Palley
in ninth with a time of 1:50.80.
Sophomore Daeton Davenport
was WVU’s lone representative in the men’s 1650 free, taking fifth in a time of 15:36.94.
Senior Kyle Bandy
closed his career at WVU with a sixth-place finish in the 200 fly, finishing in a time of 1:54.82, while freshman Chase Williams
placed fourth (1:50.19).
The WVU diving squads finished their competition with the platform. Freshman Christian Parker
took fourth with a score of 201.30. Freshman Ibrahim Ismail
placed seventh with a score of 184.45.
For the women’s divers, sophomore Haily VandePoel
finished tenth with a score of 166.25. Freshman Tori Taffner
placed 12th overall with a score of 162.75 and sophomore Jennifer Rey
placed 14th overall with a score of 147.80.
The swimming teams are off until the NCAA Championships, which are held from March 21-23 for the women, and March 28-30 for the men. The divers travel to the NCAA Zone Diving Championships which are from March 15-17.