MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (Jan. 29, 2021) – The West Virginia University men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams opened the first of two days of competition against No. 18/18 Notre Dame on Friday, Jan. 29, at the Aquatic Center at Mylan Park in Morgantown.
Highlighting the first day was freshman Sara Haggerty, who reached a program best on platform for the second time in as many weeks. She placed third in the event with a 269.33 mark, which bested her previous record of 254.03 from Jan. 13.
In the competition pool, the Mountaineers collected a trio of victories on the day, all of which came from the women’s team, including a relay win in the 200 freestyle relay and individual wins from senior Ally VanNetta and sophomore Emily Haimes.
“I was really proud of both teams today,” West Virginia coach Vic Riggs said. “We focused on improving from our last meet by putting the emphasis on controlling what we can control. The teams did a great job of achieving that today.
“We had several lifetime bests, our women’s 200 freestyle relay team just missed a school record and we competed very well against a top-25 program. As good as we were today, we need to maintain our focus tomorrow to complete our goal for the weekend.”
The Mountaineer women showed their energy right from the start, securing a come-from-behind win in the 200 free relay to open the meet. Haimes, sophomores Harna Minezawa and Jacqueline McCutchan and freshman Jordan Buechler combined to go 1:31.52, just shy of the school record. The men’s team of seniors Ryen Van Wyk, Max Gustafson and David Dixon and sophomore Roberts Zemturis placed second (1:20.96).
In the diving well, Haggerty opened the meet with her program record on platform, followed by a pair of second- and third-place finishes from junior PJ Lenz and redshirt junior Jacob Cardinal Tremblay. Lenz grabbed second place in both events with a 353.35 on 1-meter and a 392.33 on 3-meter, while Tremblay was third on each, with scores of 323.48 on 1-meter and 384.75 on 3-meter.
Additionally, each competitor for WVU in the men’s 3-meter event scored above 300 for the first time in school history.
“The divers are showing great enthusiasm for the skills we’ve developed over the past months,” diving coach Karla Helder said. “It shows up consistently in their executions of their lists. We’ve seen amazing outcomes in return for great efforts.”
Back in the competition pool, senior Luisa Winkler was second (4:52.88) in the women’s 500 free, while Gustafson grabbed third (4:30.37) for the men. A pair of second-place finishes came in the 100 butterfly, as Haimes led the way for the women in 54.30 and Dixon led the men (48.06).
Up next was VanNetta’s victory in the 100 backstroke and Haimes’ win in the 100 free. VanNetta touched the wall in 1:56.43, four seconds ahead of the second-place finisher, while Haimes earned her 100 free win in 49.97.
The evening concluded with the 400 medley relay, with the women’s team of VanNetta, sophomore Mathilde Kaelbel, Minezawa and Haimes grabbing second (3:45.42) to pace the women. Gustafson, freshman Joe Schaefer, Dixon and Van Wyk placed fourth in the men’s event, combining for a time of 3:19.20.
A full list of results from Friday’s meet against Notre Dame can be found at WVUsports.com.
The Mountaineers conclude the weekend against Notre Dame in their regular-season finale on Saturday, Jan. 30, beginning at 10 a.m., at the Aquatic Center at Mylan Park. Saturday’s meet also is Senior Day, as WVU honors its 12 senior members prior to the start of the meet. A livestream of the event is available at Facebook.com/WVUSwimDive.
Press Release: WVU Athletics Communications
Photo Credit: WVU Sports