MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (October 16, 2021) – The West Virginia University men’s swimming and diving team continued their 2021-22 season with a dual-meet against Penn State on Saturday. The Mountaineers fell to the Nittany Lions, 161-101, at the Aquatic Center at Mylan Park.
WVU captured five total victories on the afternoon, as fifth-year David Dixon led the way with two wins, both were individual. Fifth-year Max Gustafson collected one individual victory, while freshman Conner McBeth, junior Robert Zemturis, freshman Braden Osborn and junior David Snider all grabbed a relay win. Senior Nick Cover took the 3-meter and also secured an NCAA Zone-qualifying score of 300.68 on platform.
“I felt like we did a really good job of racing today,” coach Vic Riggs said. “Our finishes were much better than they were at the WV State Games. This meet provided quality competition, and overall, I thought the men swam well today. We had a few swims that we know we need to improve on before the WVU Invite.”
On springboard, the Mountaineers captured the top two spots on 3-meter as Cover took first place with a score of 299.03, followed by junior Owen Johns in second with a score of 287.33. On 1-meter, Cover took second with a 282.38, while Johns placed third and scored a 278.63. Men’s and women’s diving used towers as an exhibition this weekend, where Cover earned an NCAA Zones-qualifying score of 300.83.
“We took a slower, but more intensive approach to this competition,” diving coach Karla Helder said. “We were able to compete better quality dives, although they were a less degree of difficulty, and achieve virtually the same scoring position to, not only add depth to the final score, but to our own future diving lists.”
Friday’s meet opened with the 400-yard medley relay. The Mountaineer team comprised of sophomore Justin Heimes, fifth-years Fausto Huerta, Dixon and Gustafson took second place with a time of 3:19.69.
WVU’s first victory of the meet came after Gustafson finished first in the 200 free with a time of 1:41.34. Sophomore Roanoke Shirk followed Gustafson and touched with a time of 1:24.32 to take third.
The Mountaineer men had a 2-3-4 finish in the 100 backstroke, Heimes led the way for West Virginia touching in 50.83. Senior Josh Harlan followed Heimes to finish third (51.88), with freshman Zhenya Ingram in fourth (52.08).
Dixon claimed the 200 butterfly for the second time this season and notching a seasons best time of 1:46.96.
Then, Gustafson finished third in the 100 free (46.07), followed by Heimes’ second-place finish in the 200 back (1:52.32). WVU recorded a second and third-place finish in the 200 breaststoke with sophomore Joe Schaefer leading the way (2:08.01), and junior Jonathan Bennett took third (2:11.07).
WVU’s momentum continued into the 100 fly as Dixon took second (49.12), Gustafson followed behind in third (49.19) and Snider finished fourth (60.67).
Next came three two wins for the Mountaineers, the first from Dixon as he led the way in a WVU sweep of the 200 IM. Dixon finished with a season best time of 1:52.69, followed by Harlan (1:54.30), freshman Jake Young (1:56.21), junior Jack Saum (1:58.17) and Bennett (1:59.57).
The meet concluded with WVU’s fifth victory of the evening in the 200 free relay. McBeth, Zemturis, Osborn and Snider took first with a 1:24.28 showing. In second place was another West Virginia team comprised of sophomore Dylan Melin, Schaefer, sophomore Logan McFadden and Ingram, tallying a time of 1:27.46.
Saturday’s meet marked the second of the two-day competition between WVU and Penn State. On Friday night, the Mountaineer women dropped their dual contest against the Nittany Lions, 107-181. WVU captured five victories on the night, including freshman Sarah Krusinski’s NCAA Zones-qualifying score on 1-meter.
After a month-long hiatus, the Mountaineers host the WVU Invitational for the second time since 2019, from November 18-20. The Invite is set to begin at 10 a.m. ET each day at the Aquatic Center at Mylan Park.