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February 20, 2018 at 4:37 pm #52212
The West Virginia University swimming and diving teams travel to Austin, Texas, to compete at the 2018 Big 12 Swimming and Diving Championship, from Feb. 21-24, at the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center.
The four-day conference meet begins on Wednesday, Feb. 21, with men’s 1-meter diving preliminaries at 3:30 p.m. ET, with the finals of the 200 medley relay, men’s 1-meter and 800 freestyle relay set for 5 p.m.
The remaining three days of competition begin with preliminary sessions at 11 a.m. ET, before event finals in the evening. Thursday’s finals begin at 7 p.m., with Friday and Saturday’s finals sessions set to begin at 6 p.m. and 5:30 p.m., respectively.
FloSports will provide live video coverage of the meet on FloSwimming.com. Live results of the championship can be found at the Big 12 Championship headquarters.
“When you get to this point, you’re hoping everybody is ready to go,” WVU coach Vic Riggs said. “Right now, everybody is just trying to get the first race out of the way. We have a couple of big relays tomorrow to lead us off into the week, and Thursday is a big day for us. So, I think we’re excited to compete and see what we can do. We’ve rested really well. I think the last three weeks have gone by extremely well. We’ve had some really good practices, and the energy and excitement levels have been increasing, which is what you’re hoping to see. Our overall goal is to compete as best as we can as a team and do what we can.”
“I think our divers are prepared and ready,” WVU diving coach Michael Grapner said. “This season has presented its share of speed bumps along the way, but I’m happy to report that we are healthy and ready to compete. We have five strong women and four strong men, who each are prepared to achieve their personal goals this week. At this point, the hard work is done. Now, it’s time to be confident and aggressive to showcase their hard work and progress this season.”
The Mountaineers return to Austin after the men’s team posted its second consecutive second-place finish at the championship last season. The WVU women finished fourth at the conference meet in 2017. West Virginia earned 20 medals at the conference meet a year ago, including junior Jake Armstrong’s victory in the 100 breaststroke (53.09). Armstrong became WVU’s sixth men’s individual Big 12 champion and 10th overall.
Armstrong earned WVU’s first-ever breaststroke title, and he recorded the second-fastest time in program history in the event.
WVU also finished with 11 silver medals and eight bronzes at the 2017 Big 12 Championship, as 11 earned All-Big 12 First Team honors. Fifteen Mountaineers were placed on the All-Big 12 Second Team.
Additionally, senior diver Michael Proietto broke the men’s 1-meter school record in Austin last year, earning a score of 366.83. Junior Emma Harris also set a new school-record mark in the women’s 200 breaststroke (2:12.37) at the Big 12 meet last season. Both finished in second place in their respective events.
The Mountaineer men finished the regular season with a perfect 5-0 record in dual meets, including 1-0 in the Big 12, marking the team’s first undefeated dual-meet season since 2007. The women’s squad finished the year 4-2 overall and 2-0 in the Big 12 in dual-meet action.
The men’s and women’s teams combined to break nine WVU Natatorium records this season, including senior Logan McHenry’s school-record score of 380.80 on men’s 3-meter at the Big 12 vs. Big East Weekend on Oct. 27.
Host Texas is ranked in both CSCAA Coaches polls entering the conference meet. The Longhorn men rank No. 2 nationally, while the women’s team ranks No. 4. Texas has won the men’s conference championship every year since 1996, while the women have won it the past five seasons.
The Mountaineers also will compete against conference foes TCU, Iowa State (women only) and Kansas (women only)0February 20, 2018 at 9:32 pm #52381
Thanks for the write up Matt. I think that Mike and Vic have them ready for a good performance.0
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