Virginia Hits the Road to Face Big Ten Foes
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams will compete against Big Ten opponents this weekend, as the No. 12 men take on Michigan State and Penn State while the 19th-ranked women battle Michigan State, Penn State, and Purdue. The meet will be held in McCoy Natatorium on the campus of Penn State, with the races starting at 6 p.m. on Friday, November 9, and 11 a.m. on the following day.
The Virginia men easily defeated Clemson two weeks ago, with a score of 176-116. The Virginia women followed suit with a 178.5-116.5 victory over the Tigers.
Penn State will present a challenge on the women’s side, as the Nittany Lions rank 17th in the country and are coming off a one-sided victory (227-73) over West Virginia. PSU is led by recent Big Ten Swimmer of the Week, Caitlin Meehan, who brought home two NCAA “B” times and victories in the 100 and 200 breast. On the men’s side, Pat Schirk, also a Big Ten Swimmer of the Week honoree, led the No. 25 Nittany Lions to a 196-106 score against West Virginia in their season opener, winning the 100 and 200 backstroke events.
Michigan State, after dropping two tight contests to Iowa last week, looks to regain its momentum behind Adam Schmitt, Danielle Williams and Alycia Mokedanz. Schmitt won the 50 Free and 200 IM while Williams and Mokedanz earned first place finishes in the one meter and three meter diving, respectively.
The Purdue women also look to improve upon recent results, as the Boilermakers lost to Northwestern (155-146) in the final relay last weekend. Rookie Allie Smith leads the young squad, as her victories in the 100 and 200 back events put some points on the board.
The Cavalier women will be led by recent ACC Performer of the Week Jess Lewis, after she posted a first-place finish and an NCAA “B” time in the 100 free against Clemson. She also swam as a member of the victorious 200 free relay team and placed first in the 200 free. Mei Christensen also won multiple events, leading the field in the 100 and 200 back.
The Virginia men will look to rookie and National Swimmer of the Week Taylor Smith in the 1000 and 500 free. He has been undefeated in the 1000 free thus far, and nearly perfect in the 500 free, finishing second only once. Lee Robertson and Matt McLean, coming off of multiple wins, will also be instrumental this weekend. Both Virginia teams enter the meet with a 2-1 record.