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Women Finish Top Ten, Mountaineers Conclude CSCAAs

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (March 12, 2022) – The West Virginia University men’s and women’s swimming teams wrapped up competition at the College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) National Invitational Championships, at the Beacon Health Aquatic Center, in Elkhart, Indiana on Saturday.

The Mountaineers had 12 top-ten finishes over the weekend, including six on the final day of competition. Sophomore Justin Heimes led the way for the men’s squad, having three top-ten finishes at the national meet, including the 50 back (5th – 22.29), 100 back (6th – 48.02) and the 200 back (1:46.87). For the women, junior Jacqueline McCutchan tallied two, including the 100 IM (7th – 56.16) and the 50 back (10th – 25.61). 

“The women had an excellent meet. We brought them here to focus on post season racing and to learn, and they did just that,” Mountaineer Associate Head Coach Liz Iliff said. “I couldn’t be prouder of how they showed up and raced in each session and grew as a team. We capped the evening with top-10 finishes from both Jacqueline and Mia Walters, culminating in a top-10 women’s team finish.”

The CSCAA had a total of 43 women’s programs and 30 men’s teams competing at the NIC. The Mountaineer women were able to finish in the top-10, tallying a score of 249, good for 10th-place, while the men’s squad took 13th with a score of 221.5.

“Our men performed very well in a national championship meet,” Mountaineer Associate Head Coach Rick West said. “We went into the final day starting out our races much better in prelim swims than the previous sessions. I believe these underclassmen have set themselves up for success as they develop through our program.”

Saturday’s finals opened with the 1650 freestyle, where WVU had two top-ten finishers, including freshman Miranda Kirtley and sophomore William Mullen. On the women’s side, Kirtley took seventh-place with a time of 16:44.10, while Mullen represented the men and finished eighth (15:35.50).

McCutchan tallied another top-ten finish for West Virginia, taking seventh in the women’s 100 IM, followed by, Heimes’ ninth-place finish in the men’s 200 backstroke. 

The Mountaineers had three swimmers compete in the 100 free finals. Junior Ginger Hansen was the lone Mountaineer on the women’s side, touching the wall in 51.10 (17th). Freshman Conner McBeth and sophomore Roanoke Shirk represented the men’s squad, finishing in 14th (44.17) and 20th (45.03), respectively.

The fourth and final top-ten finish for West Virginia came from freshman Mia Walters, in the women’s 200 fly finals. The Big 12 bronze-medalist swam a 2:00.74, good for seventh-place.

Competition in Indiana wrapped up with the 400 free relay, the women’s team of sophomore Abby Reardon, juniors Hansen, Harna Minezawa and McCutchan finished with a time of 3:22.80, taking 12th overall, respectively. The men’s team of freshmen McBeth and Braden Osborn, Shirk and junior Davide Snider finished in seventh, with a time of 2:57.31.

West Virginia now looks ahead to the 2022 NCAA Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships on March 23-26. Senior diver PJ Lenz will represent Mountaineers at the championships, for the second time in his career. Georgia Tech will host NCAAs, competition will take place at the McAuley Aquatic Center in Atlanta, Georgia.

Press Release Courtesy of West Virginia University Athletics Communications

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