Antani Ivanov Races Joseph Schooling at “Belt Challenge” Dual (Race Videos)

Virginia Tech Hokies “Belt Challenge” Intrasquad #4

  • January 9th, 2020
  • Christiansburg Aquatic Center, Christiansburg, Virginia
  • Short Course Yards (SCY) format
  • Meet Results (PDF)
Originally published on January 10, 2020

Virginia Tech finished their 2020-2021 Hokies “Belt Challenge” on Sunday with a 4th dual intrasquad meet. The Hokies utilized the fact that this meet was USA Swimming sanctioned and raced in tech suits to gage their performance levels after winter training as they head into the final stretch of this competition season.

In Match 4, Team Orange claimed victory with scores of:


  • Maroon – 135, Maroon gains 10 points overall
  • Orange – 82


  • Orange – 131, Orange gains 10 points overall
  • Maroon – 91


  • Maroon – 226, Maroon gains 20 points overall
  • Orange – 213, Orange gains 10 points overall

With each victory in each category, a team adds 10 to 20 points to their overall Challenge score. This process continued across 4 dual meets to result in the final 2020-2021 Hokie Belt  Challenge scores of:

  • Orange – 103
  • Maroon – 90

Team Orange claimed victory over last year’s Belt Challenge champion Team Maroon.

“I think we swam pretty well for the time of the season we are at,” head coach Sergio Lopez said in an email. Before the ACC Championships in February, VTech will face the University of Virginia and then NC State. Note that the Hokie divers did not compete on Saturday in order to prepare for the Virginia Diving Invite which starts on Tuesday.

2020 – 2021 Belt Challenge Series

  • September 24th – Intrasquad #1, Short Course Yards, Tie
  • October 4th – Intrasquad #2, Long Course Meters, Orange won
  • October 24th – Intrasquad #3, Short Course Yards, Orange won
  • January 9th – Intrasquad #4, Short Course Yards, Orange Won

Men’s Meet

Olympic medalist Joseph Schooling made an appearance at the dual meet, competing with the Virginia Tech post grad group. He swam the 200 fly (1:44.64), placing 2nd behind freshman Antani Ivanov Jr. who touched the wall at 1:43.71. This was not a personal best for either swimmer, as Schooling was nearly 6 seconds off his best and Ivanov came within 2 seconds of his best from the 2020 ACC Championships.

This swim was after Ivanov split a 46.23 on the fly leg of the 400 medley relay and won the 1000 free with a lifetime best of 9:04.87.

Schooling and Ivanov then had a rematch in the 100 fly where Schooling took 1st place with a time of 46.01, out touching Ivanov handily by .68. Schooling ended his meet by posting a 20.22 on the leadoff of the 200 free relay.

Coach Lopez told SwimSwam in an email that freshman Carles Coll was battling a wrist injury early on in the season, an injury that occurred in Spain in November of 2019. This resulted in Coll not being cleared to train until less than 10 days before the UNC Invite in December.

At the 4th Hokie Belt Challenge dual meet Coll split 52.84 on the winning 400 medley relay, before winning the 100 breast with a time of 54.26, and winning the 200 breast with a 1:57.88. This shattered his previous best 20 breast time, which he set twice in December at the Janice Hope Dowd Invitational, by nearly one-third of a second.

Coll rounded off the day by posting a 19.72 on the 200 free relay alongside Ivanov who posted a 19.80.

Race Video: Men’s 200 fly

Race Video: Men’s 100 fly

Race Video: Men’s 1000 free

Race Video: Men’s 100 breast

Race Video: Men’s 200 breast


Race Video: Men’s 200 free relay

Women’s Meet

Freshman Emma Atkinson has dominated the backstroke events in every Hokie intrasquad this season. On Saturday, she stunned the competition again in the 100 back, breaking her own pool record with a time of 52.51. Atkinson finished 1.5 seconds ahead of the field, sneaking under the record she set in October at dual #3 by .01. 

Atkinson followed up this swim by posting a time of 1:54.13 in the 200 back, just off the Virginia Tech pool record she set at the same intrasquad in October (1:52.71).

Egyptian Olympian Farida Osman also competed with the post grad group, swimming a 200fly in a time of 1:59.83. She then posted a 52.71 in the 100 fly, a 2.5 second add to her lifetime best.

Reka Gyorgy, a Hokie senior, improved on her best time during the Challenge in the 200 free by 2 seconds, winning the race with a 1:48.19. She went on to win the 400IM in a time of 4:16.16.

Gyorgy snagged 2nd place in the 100 free at 50.37, behind freshman Sarah Shackleford who posted a 100 free time of 50.00, lowering the 51.80 she swam at  dual 1 significantly.

Shackleford ended the meet on the winning 200 free relay of freshmen Shackleford, Anna Landon, Julia Bruneau, and Caroline Bentz who posted a time of 1:31.38. Shackleford led off in a time of 22.97, but it was Landon who split the fastest 50 free of the relay, 22.42, on the 2nd leg.

Race Video: Women’s 100 back

Race Video: Women’s 200 back

Race Video: Women’s 200 fly

Race Video: Women’s 100 fly

Race Video: Women’s 200 free

Race Video: Women’s 100 free

Race Video: Women’s 200 free relay

In This Story

Leave a Reply

Notify of

oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
2 years ago

No way

Last edited 2 years ago by Chad
2 years ago

It’s not bad but look what Shields can do in season right now. Probably a 44/1:39 double in his sleep

Bro bro bro
2 years ago

Get hype bro

Listen Listen Listen
Reply to  Bro bro bro
2 years ago

Bro bro, listen, there is this crypto currency it’s called Stellar

tea rex
2 years ago

Those last 50 yards were hard to watch. Gave me flashbacks to some bad races.

2 years ago

I understand he’s probably broken down from a tough training block, but his stroke doesn’t look like it has the same pop and is super choppy. It’s disappointing how he has regressed since 2016. He’ll be lucky to make semi’s at the Olympics.

Reply to  HuntleyJones
2 years ago

Okay Huntley

Henry Blaul
Reply to  HuntleyJonesIssaFool
2 years ago

Okay HuntleyJonesIssaFool

Last edited 2 years ago by Henry Blaul
The unoriginal Tim
Reply to  HuntleyJones
2 years ago

Too soon to say. Underwaters look decent. Could be he is really battered from training. I would say it is recognisable as the same stroke he won the Olympics with but still needs tuning which is expected this time of the season.

2 years ago

Doubt Schooling will even final in Tokyo

Reply to  BOB
2 years ago

He seems to be in improving form right now, definitely no rest right now so 46 flat ain’t the worst

Mr Piano
Reply to  Dylan
2 years ago

I think schooling will be around 51 flat or 50 high, similar to what he was in 2018 or 2017

Last edited 2 years ago by Mr Piano
Reply to  Mr Piano
2 years ago

No chance

Peter Hero
Reply to  Dylan
2 years ago

doubt that Antani will swim much faster either under Sergio

About Annika Johnson

Annika Johnson

Annika came into the sport competitively at age eight, following in the footsteps of her twin sister and older brother. The sibling rivalry was further fueled when all three began focusing on distance freestyle, forcing the family to buy two lap counters. Annika is a three-time Futures finalist in the 200 …

Read More »