WVU Controls Day One of Big 12 vs Big East

  • By Samantha Strejeck
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  • October 14, 2016 09:55 PM
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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia University men’s and women’s swimming and diving team holds a commanding lead after Friday evening’s opening day of the Big 12 vs. Big East Weekend at the WVU Natatorium.
Hosting its first regular-season home meet of the year, the WVU men and women took control over Seton Hall, Xavier and Butler on the first day of competition. The Mountaineer women won all seven events and claimed the top-two spots in four events. The men’s squad claimed two individual victories and a relay win. Additionally, six Mountaineer divers earned NCAA Zone Championship-qualifying marks, in just the second regular-season meet of the year.
“It was a very strong start to our weekend,” coach Vic Riggs said. “Our women responded very well from last week. Our 200 backstrokers were very strong. We discussed strong second halves to our swims tonight, and we did a great job with that. We'll use that to build on for tomorrow.” 
Swimming competition commences tomorrow at 10 a.m. at the WVU Natatorium, while the diving events begin at noon. The Mountaineer men and women continue to face Seton Hall and Xavier, while the women will also face Butler.
On springboard, all six Mountaineer divers qualified for the NCAA Zone Championships, four from men’s team on 3-meter and two from the women on 1-meter.
On the men’s 1-meter, WVU dominated, sweeping the top four finishes. Junior Michael Proietto placed first with a score of 315.07, followed by sophomore Austin Smith in second (301.71), junior Logan McHenry in third (300.00) and freshman Gerald Hodges in fourth (299.1).
For the women, sophomore Julia Calcut won on 3-meter, scoring 316.58, and sophomore Madelyn Woods placed second with a score of 294.53.
Things got started quickly in the pool as the WVU women won the 200 medley relay in 1:46.85 thanks to junior Amelie Currat, sophomore Emma Harris and freshmen Julia Miranda and Morgan Bullock.
For the men, WVU took second and third in the 200 medley relay. Sophomore Merwane El Merini, freshmen Jack Portmann and Gabe Swardson and sophomore Drew Damich finished in second, touching the wall in 1:34.46.
In the 400 individual medley, both the Mountaineer men and women claimed victories. Freshman Morgan Bullock earned the win for the women, touching the wall in 4:29.63, and freshman Robert Wylie took first for the men with a time of 4:05.94.
WVU’s women’s squad went 1-2-3 in the 200 freestyle, with senior Emma Skelley in first place with a time of 1:52.45, followed by Currat in second (1:55.30) and sophomore Morgan Carr in third (1:55.60).
The men claimed first and third place in the 200 freestyle. Freshman Ryan Kelly won the race, finishing in 1:41.96, and Damich touched the wall in third place (1:43.02).
The Mountaineer women claimed another one-two finish in the women’s 100 breaststroke. Harris notched the victory with a time of 1:07.44 and junior Loren Williams followed in second with a 1:08.00.
The WVU women grabbed their second 1-2-3 finish of the evening in the 200 backstroke. Currat won the race with a time of 2:02.96, claiming her first individual win. In second place came sophomore Maggie Miller (2:03.03) and Miranda placed third (2:03.14).
Freshman Trayton Saladin finished first in the men’s 200 backstroke with a time of 1:52.10.
The Mountaineer men and women concluded the first day with victories in the 400 freestyle relay. A team of Miranda, Currat, freshman Alex Pampalone and Bullock was good for the win as the women’s team finished in 3:32.07. For the men, El Merini, Damich, freshman Sam Neaveill and Kelly finished first for the men in 3:05.43.
The final day of the Big 12 vs. Big East Weekend concludes tomorrow at 10 a.m., at the WVU Natatorium. Admission is free for all fans. Parking is available in the lots surrounding the WVU Coliseum.  Fans can follow @WVUSwimDive on Twitter for updated results and content.
With a quick turnaround ahead, the Mountaineers travel to Blacksburg, Virginia, to compete against Virginia Tech, Duke and William & Mary, from October 21-22. The Hokies will host the two-day event with Friday’s meet starting at 5 p.m. and Saturday’s races beginning at 11 a.m.
For more information on the Mountaineers, visit WVUsports.com and follow WVUSwimDive on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.