MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (Nov. 20, 2021) – Six Mountaineer victories lead the West Virginia University men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams to victory in the second annual WVU Invitational at the Aquatic Center at Mylan Park on Saturday night, in Morgantown.
“I’m really proud of how we competed this weekend and the integrity we showed as a team,” Mountaineer coach Vic Riggs said. “They have been really committed to focusing on the small details as a team this fall, and it was nice to see that work payoff this weekend. Our passion was contagious throughout the weekend, it’s always great to see that energy.”
The WVU men’s team took home first place with 2,551 team points, ahead of Villanova in second with 1,612.5. On the women’s side, the Mountaineers claimed the top spot with 1,871 points and the Wildcat women grabbed second with 1,797.5 points.
Saturday’s finals session began with the men’s and women’s platform finals. Freshman Sarah Krusinski finished second with a score of 209.35, while senior Camille Burt took third (193.45) and junior Marian Tiemeier took fifth (179.80).
On men’s platform, senior PJ Lenz (2nd – 332.95), junior Nick Cover (3rd – 306.75) and freshman Glenn Eloriaga (4th – 305.40) all recorded NCAA Zones-qualifying scores. Junior Owen Johns (6th – 235.80), freshmen Hayden Apel (7th – 232.65) and Jason Bunn (206.00) also competed on platform.
“It was a great final event to a good invitational,” diving coach Karla Helder said. “(Junior) Nick Cover, (freshman) Glenn Eloriaga and (senior) PJ Lenz all earned Zones-qualifying scores. The divers are ready for rest and rehabilitation, to come back strong for the beginning of Christmas training.”
Competition began in the pool with the 200-yard backstroke. The women swam first, as sophomore Abby Reardon took second (1:59.53), followed by junior Paige Dressel in third, with a time of (2:00.03). Junior Meredith Bolinger (3rd – 2:03.59) and senior Megan Zartman (6th – 2:06.30) represented the Mountaineers in the B final.
Sophomore Justin Heimes claimed the victory in the men’s 200 back A final, with a time of 1:47.97. Senior Josh Harlan followed behind, touching in fourth (1:48.47), and freshman Jake Young took seventh (1:48.78).
Next, in the women’s 100-yard freestyle, junior Jacqueline McCutchan finished second (50.67), while fifth-year Ana Zortea notched fourth (51.09). Three Mountaineers appeared in the B final, including junior Harna Minezawa (3rd – 51.90), sophomore Kate Beckish (4th – 52.08) and junior Ginger Hansen (5th – 52.23).
In the men’s event, fifth-year Max Gustafson was edged out of first, for a second-place finish, touching the wall in 44.93. WVU claimed the next three finishes, led by freshman Conner McBeth notching third (45.20), followed by freshman Braden Osborn (4th – 45.30) and sophomore Roanoke Shirk (5th – 45.45).
Freshman Emily Knorr took the women’s 1650-yard freestyle final, finishing with a time of 16:43.68. Behind Knorr, freshman Miranda Kirtley recorded a time of 17:01.36, good for a fourth-place finish. Additionally, sophomore Hannah Cech (7th – 17:21.84), junior Anne-Elaine Tiller (10th – 17:38.21) and sophomore Kaelyn McClain (13th – 18:02.66) represented the Mountaineers in the mile swim.
For the men, sophomore William Mullen posted an impressive time of 15:31.23 to finish second, while sophomores Brendan Williams (3rd – 15:55.15) and Logan McFadden (5th – 16:06.69) followed behind.
As the lone Mountaineer in the A final, junior Mathilde Kaelbel took sixth first place in the women’s 200 breaststroke with a time of 2:22.45. Junior Tatum Peyerl recorded a personal best time of 2:19.73 to take second in the B final, additionally sophomore Shelby Gerving notched a time of 2:21.71, good for a fourth-place finish.
On the men’s side, sophomore Joe Schaefer took the event with a 2:01.40 finish, while freshman Reilly Keaney touched third (2:03.06), junior Jonathan Bennett finished fourth (2:05.23) and Young claimed sixth (2:06.39).
The 200-yard butterfly finals highlighted the evening, as freshman Mia Walters and fifth-year David Dixon handed WVU victories in the men’s and women’s events. First up was Walters’ win, as she touched the wall in 2:02.59, ahead of freshman Morgan Burton (4th – 2:04.94) and sophomore Lauren Musbach (5th – 2:05.28).
Dixon finished in a time of 1:44.72 to earn the victory, five seconds ahead of second-place. Freshman Zhenya Ingram (5th – 1:51.27), junior Zach Boley (1:51.58) and freshman Wesley Schauer (7th – 1:51.60), also competed in the A final.
The three-day competition concluded with the 400 free relays. The women competed first, and the team of Reardon, Hansen, Zortea and McCutchan placed third with a time of 3:22.62. Next, the men’s team of Osborn, McBeth, Gustafson and Dixon cruised to victory, as they touched the pads in 2:58.45.
Joining the Mountaineers at this weekend’s mid-season invite were Bowling Green, Colgate, Old Dominion, St. Bonaventure, Toledo and William & Mary and Villanova.
Up next, WVU will ring in the New Year with the Backyard Brawl when Pitt visits Morgantown on Jan. 8. Competition at the Aquatic Center is set to begin at 11 a.m. ET.
Press Release: WVU Athletic Department