WVUSports.com

WVU Opens Weekend with Win at Bucknell

  • By Charlie Healy
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  • January 27, 2017 11:14 PM
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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia University swimming and diving team opened the final weekend of the regular season with a strong victory at Bucknell on Friday evening.
 
The WVU women claimed victories in all 13 events, while the men posted wins in 10 of the night’s 13 contests. With two 1-2-3-4 finishes on springboard and four 1-2 finishes in the pool, the women earned a 126-75 win. The Mountaineer men recorded three 1-2-3 finishes, two on springboard, and three 1-2 finishes en route to a 124-79 victory.
 
“Very solid efforts by both teams tonight,” WVU coach Vic Riggs said. “I'm very pleased with how well we raced on a travel day. I thought our 200's were very good, and we had several people make very good adjustments from there last meets. Our relays continue to improve as well. I can see both teams’ confidence is really starting to come together, their focus and preparation for their swims are getting better and better each meet, which is great as we move closer to Big 12s.”
 
Senior Emma Skelley led the Mountaineers with three individual wins, while junior diver Michael Proietto, sophomore diver Julia Calcut and freshman Julia Nilton recorded two individual victories each.
 
The day began on springboard, where the Mountaineers got things started in a big way. The women earned 1-2-3-4 finishes in both events while the men went 1-2-3 on both boards. Calcut won both events for the women, with a 283.58 on 1-meter and a 302.33 on 3-meter. Proietto claimed both boards for the men, thanks to a 339.75 on 1-meter and a 352.95 on 3-meter.
 
WVU opened swimming events with the 400 medley relay, where both the men and women claimed victories. The men claimed a 1-2- finish, led by sophomore Merwane El Merini, junior Drew Riebel, freshman Gabe Swardson and sophomore Drew Damich, who won with a 3:24.06. The women won with a time of 3:49.38 thanks to junior Amelie Currat, sophomore Emma Harris and freshmen Julia Miranda and Morgan Bullock.
 
Individual events began with the 1,000 freestyle, where Skelley’s 10:12.14 led a 1-2 finish for the women and freshman Trayton Saladin’s win in 9:35.39 led a sweep of the top-three finishes for the men’s squad.
 
Skelley turned around and notched another win in the very next event, thanks to a 1:53.67 in the 200 freestyle. She led a 1-2 finish for the WVU women. Freshman Ryan Kelly won the men’s race with a 1:42.18.
 
The Mountaineers’ winning ways continued with a pair of victories in the 50 freestyle. Nilton notched her first win with a 24.07 to win by 0.67 seconds. Freshman Matthew Marsh paced the men with a 21.44 to win by just 0.09 seconds.
 
Freshman Alex Pampalone kept the WVU women’s team’s winning streak going with a 4:32.79 in the 400 individual medley. Pampalone’s win was by nearly four seconds.
 
The next event was the 200 butterfly, where both the men and women earned 1-2 finishes. Sophomore Morgan Carr earned the win for the women with a 2:03.81, while Swardson touched the wall in 1:51.51 to win the race for the men.
 
The men posted another 1-2 finish in the 100 freestyle. El Merini’s 45.34 earned the win by a margin of nearly 1.60 seconds. For the women, Nilton notched her second win with a 53.18.
 
Currat added to her relay win with an individual victory in the 200 backstroke. Her 2:01.05 gave her a win by more than three seconds over freshman teammate Julia Miranda, who placed second.
 
Skelley completed her perfect day with a win in the 500 freestyle. Her 5:01.49 led the way and saw Skelley win by nearly 10 seconds for her third win of the day in three events.
 
The final individual event was the 200 breaststroke, where again both the men and women recorded wins. Harris’ 2:18.56 won it for the women, while Riebel’s 2:05.73 was the fastest time amongst the men.
 
The day concluded with the 400 freestyle relay, where the Mountaineers came out on top. Currat, Miranda, Nilton and Bullock touched the wall in 3:34.97 to win for the women. The men won with a time of 3:06.51 thanks to El Merini, Damich, freshman Sam Neaveill and junior Chris McMahon.
 
WVU’s regular season concludes Saturday at Villanova. Diving events will begin at 12:30 p.m. ET, followed by swimming events at 1:40 p.m. ET. Fans can follow the Villanova meet live by downloading Meet Mobile ($). For additional updates, fans can also follow @WVUSwimDive.
 
For more information on the Mountaineers, visit WVUsports.com and follow WVUSwimDive on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.