David Dixon Posts 1:45 200 Fly As WVU Men Beat Pitt

West Virginia vs Pittsburg

  • Thursday, January 18th
  • WVU Natatorium, Morgantown, WV
  • Short course yards
  • Results

Team Scores


  • Pitt – 193
  • WVU – 107


  • WVU – 187
  • Pitt – 113

The West Virginia men beat Pitt handily in the “Backyard Brawl” on Thursday, January 18th, while the WVU women fell to Pitt by a large margin. The Mountaineer men won 11 of 16 events, and the Panthers women won 14 of 16.

Rachel Brown and Valerie Daigneault were dominant for the Pitt, each taking 3 of the women’s individual events. Brown won the 50, 100, and 200 free, posting times of 23.70, 51.93, and 1:51.50. She won the 50 by .22 seconds over WVU’s Julia Nilton, and went just .47 seconds off her season best time. Brown blew away the field in the 100, winning by well over a second to beat Nilton again. She did so with very tight splits (25.50/26.43). Brown also won the 200 free in a tight race with teammate Amanda Richey, who won the 500 free and 1000. Brown outsplit Richey 55.87 to 56.48 for the win.

Daigneault won the 100 back, 200 back, and 200 IM, putting up times of 55.71, 1:58.28, and 2:03.04. She took the backstroke events pretty convincingly, winning the 100 by about a second over teammate Shannon Hochkeppel, and the 200 bhy nearly 2 seconds over WVU’s Amalie Currat. Daigneault has a close race in the 200 IM, however, where she overtook WVU’s Morgan Bullock on the final 50 to finish just .49 seconds ahead of her. Daigneault and Bullock traded the lead on every 50 of the race, but the determinative factor was Daigneault’s 27.77 to Bullock’s 28.76 on the final 50.

Amanda Richey put up definitive wins in the 500 and 1000, taking the 500 by 10 seconds and the 1000 by nearly 12, but both times were also some of her slowest of the season. Her 500 time of 4:56.48 was her 2nd slowest dual meet time, only faster than her time of 4:57.52 at the Georgia Tech vs Pitt dual in October. Her season best time of 4:42.24 ranks 4th in the ACC this year. Richey’s 1000 time of 10:06.00 was 5 seconds faster than her slowest dual meet time of the season, and 12 seconds slower than her fastest.

WVU freshman David Dixon won the 100 and 200 fly with near-lifetime best times of 48.66 and 1:45.80. His 100 fly time was a season best by 1.44 seconds, and only .14 seconds off his personal best time of 48.52. Dixon’s 1:45.80 in the 200 fly was just .35 seconds off his season best from the Ohio State Invite, and his lifetime best is less than a second faster at 1:44.89. He also split 21.57 on the medley relay, the fastest fly split in the field by over a second.

The Mountaineer men won the 200 medley relay in a near season best time of 1:29.94. The WVU season best sits just .44 seconds faster at 1:29.50. WVU also got second in the medley relay, with the ‘B’ relay providing some very close swims to back up the ‘A’ relay. A quick breakdown of the 2 relays can be found below:

Stroke ‘A’ ‘B’
Back Angelo Russo (23.21) Austin Hartke (23.89)
Breast Tristen Disibio (25.11) Joe Armstrong (25.43)
Fly David Dixon (21.57) Jack Frazier (22.74)
Free Merwane Elmerini (20.05) Sam Neaveill (20.12)

Event Winners



  • 200 medley relay: WVU (Russo, Disibio, Dixon, Elmerini) – 1:29.94
  • 1000 free: Aaron Sett (Pitt) – 9:27.09
  • 200 free: Samy Helmbacher (Pitt) – 1:39.38
  • 100 back: Luke Hene (WVU) – 50.53
  • 100 breast: Tristen Disibio (WVU) – 55.68
  • 200 fly: David Dixon (WVU) – 1:45.80
  • 50 free: Merwane Elmerini (WVU) – 20.39
  • 100 free: Merwane Elmerini (WVU) – 45.75
  • 200 back: Luke Hene (WVU) – 1:49.82
  • 200 breast: Samy Helmbacher (Pitt) – 2:03.02
  • 500 free: Aaron Sett (Pitt) – 4:32.67
  • 100 fly: David Dixon (WVU) – 48.66
  • 200 IM: Samy Helmbacher (Pitt) – 1:48.40
  • 400 free relay: WVU (Damich, Gustafson, Neaveill, Elmerini) – 3:03.08
  • 1 meter diving: Logan McHenry (WVU) – 317.77
  • 3 meter diving: Logan McHenry (WVU) – 356.40

Press Release – West Virginia:

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia University men’s swimming and diving team defeated rival Pitt for the second consecutive time at the WVU Natatorium on Thursday afternoon.

The Mountaineer men won 11 events and set three pool records to earn a 187-113 victory in the Backyard Brawl. The WVU women won two events in a 193-107 defeat.

“I am really proud of both teams today, we discussed focusing on creating our own environment and I think both teams did a great job of that today,” WVU coach Vic Riggs said. “Morgan Bullock and Amelie (Currat) continue to compete at a high level with our underclassmen improving meet to meet. For both teams we discussed improving upon our times from last weekend, and as a team we did that by setting three pool records, two for the men and one by the women.

“For the men to come out with a victory today was fantastic. Coming out with a 1-2 finish in the 200 medley relay really set the tone for the rest of the meet. David (Dixon), Merwane (El Merini), Tristen (DiSibio), Luke (Hene), Logan (McHenry) and Michael (Proietto) had key victories today.  (Diving coach Michael Grapner) and our divers did a great job on the boards today and were a key factor in securing the victory for the men. Overall it was a very solid performance for both teams.”

The men’s win over Pitt was their second in three years and eighth all-time. Four of those wins have come in Riggs’ 11 seasons.

Junior Merwane El Merini led the Mountaineers with two individual wins and a pair of relay victories, while freshman David Dixon notched two individual wins and contributed to one relay win. Sophomore Luke Hene also won two individual events, while redshirt junior Tristen DiSibio posted an individual win and a relay victory. WVU won both men’s diving events, thanks to seniors Logan McHenry and Michael Proietto winning 1-meter and 3-meter, respectively.

For the West Virginia women, sophomore Morgan Bullock posted two individual wins and finished second in one individual event and in a relay to pace the squad.

Competition in the pool began with the 200 medley relay. After the women posted a second-place finish, the men followed with their pool-record time to win the event. Freshman Angelo Russo, DiSibio, Dixon and El Merini touched the wall in 1:29.94, winning by more than two seconds and breaking the WVU Natatorium record by nearly a second.

WVU’s second pool record of the day came in the women’s 200 butterfly, thanks to Bullock. Her 2:00.47 paced a 1-2 finish for the Mountaineers. Junior Morgan Carr placed second with a 2:02.83.

West Virginia wasted no time recording its third pool record with a win in the next event, the men’s 200 butterfly. Dixon’s 1:45.80 led the way for a victory by nearly five seconds.

Hene earned the win in the men’s 100 backstroke, touching the wall in 50.53. In a tight race, he brought home his first win of the day by just 0.19 seconds.

The Mountaineer men notched another win in their next event, thanks to DiSibio. He finished the 100 breaststroke in 55.68 to claim his second victory of the meet and first individually.

Following a pair of pool records in the women’s and men’s 200 butterfly, West Virginia posted a 1-2-3 finish in the men’s 50 freestyle. El Merini’s second win of the day came in 20.39, followed by junior Drew Damich with a 20.83 and sophomore Sam Neaveill‘s 20.95.

El Merini followed with another win in the 100 freestyle, his second individual victory and third overall. His time of 45.75 came ahead of Damich, who finished second with a 46.01 to fuel a 1-2 WVU finish.

In the next men’s event, Hene earned his second win of the day in the 200 backstroke. He touched the wall in 1:49.82.

Later on, Bullock notched her second win of the day in the 100 butterfly. Her 55.67 helped WVU to a 1-2 finish, as senior Amelie Currat followed in second place with a 56.83.

The men also recorded a win in the 100 butterfly, courtesy of Dixon’s second individual victory. He touched the wall in 48.66 to win by nearly two seconds.

The meet concluded with a final victory for the men in the 400 freestyle relay. Damich, freshman Max Gustafson, Neaveill and El Merini won with a 3:03.08, winning a tightly-contested race by 0.62 seconds. For the women, the Mountaineers scored a second-place finish in the event with a time of 3:32.06.

McHenry and Proietto led the way for the Mountaineers on springboard. McHenry won 1-meter with a 317.77, while Proietto was second with a 302.70. On 3-meter, Proietto’s 356.40 earned first place, while McHenry’s 308.55 was second. Freshman Caleb Keck finished third with a 298.88 to help WVU to a 1-2-3 showing.

“Tonight’s meet was a big one for the divers,” WVU diving coach Michael Grapner said. “I’m thrilled with the outcome for both the men and women. Logan McHenry is just returning for both 1- and 3-meter and stepped up and capitalized on his 1-meter performance. Mike Proietto was very consistent on his lists, and I was really happy to see him apply the corrections we have been working on this week. For Mike and Logan to both walk away with victories tonight is a great sweep for the WVU men.

“The women had their work cut out for them tonight. Pitt brought four competitive girls. We started out a little tense, but as the meet progressed, all the ladies started to settle in and rise to the competition. I’m really happy with their hard work and focus, especially as we head into next weekend with Iowa State and Villanova coming to town.”

For the women on springboard, junior Madelyn Woods‘ 252.37 led WVU with a second-place finish on 1-meter, while junior Julia Calcut placed second on 3-meter with a 281.55.

Junior Emma Harris earned a pair of second-place finishes for the WVU women, in the 100 breaststroke (1:06.35) and the 200 breaststroke (2:22.30). Sophomore Julia Nilton finished second in the 100 freestyle with a 53.19, while Currat posted a 1:59.93 for a runner-up finish in the 200 backstroke. Bullock added a runner-up finish in the 200 individual medley (2:03.53).

Up next, the Mountaineers host Iowa State and Villanova on Saturday, Jan. 27. The Senior Day meet commences at 11 a.m. ET at the WVU Natatorium.

Press Release – Pitt:

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The Pitt women’s swimming & diving team produced a dominant display to triumph in the Backyard Brawl, 193-107, against West Virginia on Thursday evening at the WVU Natatorium.

Competing in a dual meet for the first time in more than two months, the Panthers (9-2) knocked off the previously unbeaten Mountaineers (3-1) in convincing fashion thanks to several standout swimmers and a historic diving performance by senior Meme Sharp.

Sharp won both women’s diving events, scoring 319.87 points on 1-meter and 306.60 points on 3-meter. Her 1-meter points total set a WVU Natatorium all-time record, besting the previous pool record at West Virginia, which had been held by Virginia Tech’s Ashlynn Peters since 2015.

That was just the start of Pitt’s history-making success at the WVU Natatorium on Thursday evening in Morgantown. Sophomore Valerie Daigneault led the Panthers in women’s swimming by taking home three individual event wins, claiming top spot in the 100 back (55.71), 200 back (1:58.28) and 200 IM (2:03.04) — and her 200 back and 200 IM times were also the best in the history of the home of West Virginia swimming & diving.

Joining Sharp and Daigneault in winning multiple events for the Panthers on the women’s side were junior Rachel Brown triumphed in the 50 free (23.70), 100 free (51.93) and 200 free (1:51.50); senior Lina Rathsack took the 100 breast (1:03.56) and 200 breast (2:18.25); and senior Amanda Richey cruised in the 500 free (4:56.48) and the 1,000 free (10:06.00)

Also on Thursday night, the Pitt men (5-3) fell to undefeated West Virginia (4-0) by a score of 187-113.

Leading the Panthers on the men’s side was sophomore Samy Helmbacher. Helmbacher won three 200-yard events himself — the 200 free (1:39.38), 200 breast (2:03.02) and 200 IM (1:48.40) — and his mark in the 200 IM was the Panthers’ fourth WVU Natatorium pool record of the meet.

Junior Aaron Sett also gave Pitt a clean sweep in all of the freestyle distance events by claiming the titles in the 500 free (4:32.67) and 1,000 free (9:27.09).

The Panthers won’t have to wait long to compete in a dual meet again. Pitt host Division III power Denison on Friday at Trees Pool. The meet begins with diving at 4 p.m. before swimming starts at approximately 5 p.m. Admission is FREE to all fans.

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