Cavaliers Return to Pool, Travel to Virginia Tech Wednesday
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams are set to compete at Virginia Tech at 6 p.m. Wednesday in its first Atlantic Coast Conference dual meet of the season. The meet will be held at the Christiansburg Aquatic Center in Christiansburg, Va., and live results will be available and linked on VirginiaSports.com.
“We are excited to compete,” Virginia head coach Mark Bernardino said. “It’s been six weeks since we have competed so hopefully the opportunity to race will compensate for the workload we’ve been under since exams ended. I am excited to see where we are and how we compete as we get closer and closer to the conference championships.”
The swimming teams last competed at the Georgia Invitational in early December and were led by junior Meredith Cavalier and senior David Karasek, who each took home ACC performers of the week honors.
Karasek currently leads all ACC swimmers in the 200 individual medley and ranks second in the 200 freestyle. Sophomore Jan Daniec paces the conference in the 1000 freestyle, while ranking second in the 500 freestyle and third in the 1650 freestyle. Classmate Taylor Grey is first in the 200 breaststroke and comes in second in the 100 breaststroke and third in the 200 individual medley.
Junior Zach McGinnis leads the Hokie men in the water as he leads the league in the 200 backstroke and ranks second in the 100 backstroke. McGinnis was also a finalist in both events at the conference championships a year ago. Sophomore diver Ryan Hawkins recently qualified for the United States Olympic Trials and competed at the NCAA Championships as a freshman last March. He currently paces the ACC on the 1-meter board and is second on the platform.
Cavalier leads the conference in both the 100 and 200 backstroke events and checks in third in the 50 freestyle. Classmate Lauren Perdue paces the league in the 100 freestyle to date, while ranking second in the 50 freestyle and third in the 200 freestyle. Sophomore Rachel Naurath leads the way in the 1000 freestyle, is second in the 500 freestyle and third in the 1650 freestyle. Meanwhile, a pair of freshman also have first place times, including Alison Haulsee in the 200 butterfly and Ellen Williamson in the 200 individual medley.
The Virginia Tech women are led by two-time All-American Erika Hajnal. The Hungary native is a three-time NCAA qualifier and last year was a finalist in all three of her individual events – the 500 freestyle, 1650 freestyle and 400 individual medley – at the ACC meet. She won both the 500 and 1650 freestyle events as a sophomore in 2010.
The Hokies will host both ACC Championships in February at the Christiansburg Aquatic Center.
“At this point in time, winter training remains an ongoing process,” Bernardino continued. As much as the athletes like to be in school, the extended period of time that we have – that extra week in January – is one that we like to take full advantage. We are still putting in a tremendous amount of work at this juncture. We’ll take a tired team to Virginia Tech and ask them to perform at the highest level they possible can despite the fact that we’re in a good work phase right now.”