MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia University swimming and diving teams host Pitt in the annual Backyard Brawl dual meet this Saturday, Jan. 11, at the WVU Natatorium.
The diving portion of the meet is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m., while the swimming action kicks off at noon
“This is always a great meet to start our second half of the season,” says coach Vic Riggs. ”We are coming off the Mizzou Invite and our training trip, so this will be our real first competition in over a month.”
At the Mizzou Invite in November, the Mountaineer men finished in third place and the women took sixth place. Most recently, Pitt sent competitors to the AT&T Winter National Championships.
“Pitt has a very fine team this year and it will be a good challenge for us. For our men we finish our dual meet season against Pitt, TCU and Ohio State, who are all very strong programs,” says Riggs. “We will have to be at the top of our form to get some dual meet wins over the next few weeks.
“Though TCU and Ohio State are top programs, it is Pitt who we always gear for to start our championship run. Besides everyone having to put in season-best efforts this Saturday, our relays will most likely determine the outcome of the meet.”
The teams are coming off their winter training trip in Key Largo, Fla., and competition in the Orange Bowl Swim Classic, where the men’s team placed second and the women’s team placed fourth.
“For our women we are looking at the same run, but with Ohio instead of Ohio State. We are young and not much is expected of us this year and I think we have a few surprises for teams,” Riggs says. “The most important aspect for our women's team is to take one event and meet at a time and remember what we can accomplish together.”
This will also be the final home meet for the teams, who travel to TCU next week on Jan. 18.
“This Saturday will be a lot of fun. (Pitt coach) Chuck (Knoles) and his staff do a great job and these meets are always exciting,” says Riggs. “It is our best home meet environment and there have been a lot of great swims by both teams at this meet and I am sure there will be some this Saturday.”
“Having our senior day against Pitt makes the meet all the more special this year. Each of our seniors will remember this weekend as their last time representing the WVU swimming and diving program at home and in the Backyard Brawl,” says Riggs. “Hopefully, we as a team can make it a meet they’ll never forget. This class of seniors has brought so much to the program it’s only fitting to end against Pitt.”