|Junior Tim Squires at the podium following his win in the 50 free on Thursday at the Big 12 Championships.
|Conrad Stoll photo
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia University swimming and diving teams completed the second day of competition Thursday at the Big 12 Championships at the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center in Austin, Texas.
The men’s team currently sits in second place with 248 points, while the women’s team is in third place with 182 points, trailing Iowa State by only 3.5 points in the overall standings.
The highlight of Thursday’s action was junior Tim Squires
’ performance in the 50 free. In the morning prelims, Squires set a school record in the event with a time of 19.45. He then broke the record a second time in the evening finals session and earned a first-place finish with a time of 19.32. The time also qualified for the NCAA B cut.
“It was a great night. Congratulations to Tim (Squires) and (associate head coach Damion Dennis) for a spectacular 50 free and win,” says coach Vic Riggs. “Tim will certainly make NCAAs with that time. Our men are swimming very well and our energy is great.”
The swimming action started with the women’s 500 free, where freshman Emma Skelley
made the finals in the event and finished fifth overall with a season-best time of 4:51.39. Freshman Mackenzie Braden
with a time of 4:59.17.
“Our women are swimming well. Emma (Skelley) had a great 500 free for her first championship final,” says Riggs. “Courtney Parenti
and Jaimee (Gillmore) did great in the 50 free and our relay was solid.”
In the men’s 500 free, juniors Nathan Cobbe
and Daeton Davenport
both made finals in the event. Cobbe placed fifth overall with a season-best time of 4:24.51, and Davenport finished sixth overall with a time of 4:25.15, respectively. Also scoring points in the event was freshman Nathan Howells
who placed 12th
In the men’s 200 IM, senior Jake Querciagrossa
placed second with a season best and NCAA B cut time of 1:46.52. Freshman Nate Carr
placed fifth with a NCAA B cut time of 1:46.67. Junior Chris Brill
finished eighth with a time of 1:49.63. Also scoring points for the team were sophomores Chase Williams
(1:49.96) and Jake Iotte
In the women’s 50 free, junior Courtney Parenti
placed fifth with a season best and NCAA B cut time of 22.97, while sophomore Jaimee Gillmore
finished sixth with a time of 23.03. Other swimmers that scored points in the event included freshman Lindsay Morrow
(23.57) and senior Eva Burlingham
Junior Julien Vialette
also scored points in the 50 free for the men, making finals and finishing seventh overall with a NCAA B cut time of 20.10. Sophomore Ross Glegg
finished ninth overall, winning the consolation final with a NCAA B cut time of 20.03.
In the men’s 400 medley relay, the “A” team of senior Bryce Bohman
, Brill, sophomore Andrew Marsh
and Squires placed second with a school record and NCAA “B” cut time of 3:11.11. This marks the third school record broken this week by the men’s relays.
“Jake (Querciagrossa), Nate Carr
and Chris (Brill) had great 200 IM times, while Nathan Cobbe
and Daeton Davenport
did very well in the 500 free,” says Riggs. “To finish the night with a school record broken in the 400 medley relay was outstanding.”
For the divers, today’s competition was on the women’s 1-meter, where two Mountaineers made the finals. Junior Haily VandePoel
placed fourth overall with a score of 297.45, while sophomore Tori Taffner
placed sixth overall with a score of 262.65. Other finishes in the event include sophomore Lindsay Schmidt
(251.75) and junior Jennifer Rey
“Haily (VandePoel) had one of the most consistent events of this year. I’m really proud of her and all of her hard work,” says diving coach Michael Grapner. “Tori (Taffner) also stepped up and showed she can compete. She kept it consistent and applied her mechanics well to improve from eighth to sixth in the finals. This was a great day for the women’s 1-meter.”
“Our divers came through huge for us tonight. To be 3.5 points out of second with our best days ahead of us is great,” says Riggs. “We need to continue to fight and stay focused on each session.”
The competition continues tomorrow for the swimmers in the 400 IM, 100 fly, 200 free, 100 breast, 100 back and 200 free relay. The diving competition continues with the men’s and women’s 3-meter board.