OW Champion Chase Travis Wins 3/3 Races at Hokies Belt Challenge (Race Videos)


  • October 10th, 2020
  • Christiansburg Aquatic Center, Christiansburg, Virginia
  • Long Course Meters (LCM)
  • Results (PDF)

On Saturday, Virginia Tech continued the Hokies Belt Challenge with the 2nd out of 3 dual intrasquad meets, this time in long course. The Orange women’s team won by a slightly larger margin this time and they overtook the Maroon men’s team for the first time.



  • Orange – 140
  • Maroon – 137


  • Orange – 148
  • Maroon – 125


  • Orange – 288
  • Maroon – 262

Each victory (for women’s, men’s, and combined scores) earns the team 10 points overall. Following Dual #1 the teams were tied.

Last season, Team Maroon won the Belt Challenge. So far, Orange has claimed 2 out of 3 Dual Meet victories and now leads in overall point scores, but Maroon still has the final dual meet of the Challenge on October 24th to catch up. 


Open water U.S. National Team member Chase Travis won back-to-back events for Orange starting with the 800 free where she touched the wall at 8:50.65. Travis is ranked #16 on SwimSwam’s list of top recruits in her class.

Right after the 800 free, Travis outtouched Marroon’s Reka Gyorgy for 1st place in the 200 free with a time less than 3 seconds off of her lifetime best (2:05.22). Travis ended the meet by winning her 3rd individual event, the 400 free, with a time of 4:23.74.

For Travis, Dual #2 of the Belt Challenge was a repeat of her sweeping the distance events at Dual #1 where she won the 500 and 1000 free. In both the 500 free at Dual #1 and Saturday’s 800 free, Travis went 1-2 with her older sister Brooke Travis (Maroon) who touched the wall in 2nd at 9:07.90.

Freshman Emma Atkinson led off Maroon’s winning 400 medley relay with a lifetime best 100 back split of 1:00.97. Atkinson is listed as an honorable mention on SwimSwam’s list of top 16 recruits in the class of 2022 for her versatility as a backstroker, mid-distance, and sprint freestyler.

At Dual #1 of the Challenge, Atkinson scored major points by winning all of her individual events (200 free, 100 back, and 200 back). Dual #2 was no different for Atkinson in the backstroke events where she won the 100 back with what would have been a best time if it were not for her relay split earlier (1:01.13). Her victory in the 200 back (2:13.10) was just over a 2 second add to her best time.

Atkinson’s 56.55 split on the 400 free relay helped Maroon to another large point-scoring win. She did not race in the 200 free on Saturday.

Sarah Shackleford, a sophomore for Maroon, won the 50 free with a new lifetime best (26.35) and the 100 free (57.55). Atkinson, Morgan Miller, Gyorgy, and Shackleford led Maroon to victory in the 400 medley relay, touching 6 seconds before Orange at 4.17.10.

Freshman Caroline Bentz earned more points for Orange by leading off the 2nd place 400 medley relay with a lifetime best 100 back of 1:01.66. She followed this swim by placing 2nd in the individual 100 back with a time of 1:01.92 behind Atkinson. Bentz is listed as an honorable mention on SwimSwam’s list of the top recruits in the high school class of 2019. 

On Saturday she stayed relatively close to her best time in her 200IM where she touched the wall at 2:21.26, behind 1st place finisher Gyorgy (2:19.23). Bentz ended the meet by splitting a 59.55 on Orange’s 400 free relay.


Maroon’s Blake Manoff split a blistering 52.35 100 fly on the 400 medley relay. Later, he continued his winning streak from Dual #1 by taking 1st in the 200 free (1:53.29) and 100 fly with another solid time (53.05). At Dual #1 Manoff won the 100 back and 100 fly, touching the wall .03 faster in the butterfly event than the backstroke. On Saturday he did not race the 100 back.

AJ Pouch, a sophomore for Orange, helped even the score by splitting a 1:01.67 on the 100 breast leg of the winning 400 medley relay. He then won the 100 breast (1:02.44) and 200 breast (2:16.20).

As head coach Sergio Lopez put it, freshman Youssef Ramadan “had an interesting day.” First, Ramadan helped Orange to victory in the 400 medley by splitting a 51.40 on the freestyle leg (in a practice suit.) He put on a tech suit for the 100 free, won with a time of 50.80, and all was well until his suit ripped.

Despite unexpectedly having to race in a practice suit for the rest of the meet, Ramadan swam a 100 fly in 56.90 and helped the Orange 400 free relay to another win by splitting a 51.01 (the fastest 100 split on the relay.)

Junior Antani Ivanov was also on Orange’s winning 400 medley relay, splitting a 53.86 on the butterfly leg. He won the 200 fly (2:01.75) and snagged 2nd place behind Manoff in the 100 fly (54.62). He ended the meet with a 51.10 split on the winning 400 free relay.

Forrest Webb, a sophomore for Orange, widened the team’s lead with two best times in the same event: his 100 back split on the 400 medley relay (56.31) and his winning individual 100 back time of 56.13. 

Fellow Orange teammate Samuel Tornqvist got his revenge on Webb for outtouching him in the 200 back at Dual #1. In the 200 back on Saturday, Tornqvist touched the wall .10 seconds ahead of Webb with a time of 2:06.71, about 4 seconds off of his best time.


4 divers competed in the intrasquad on Saturday: Teagan Moravek, Izzi Mroz, and Joe Perreault for Orange, and Noah Zawadzki for Maroon. 

In the women’s 1 meter and 3 meter events Moravek took 1st place and Mroz placed 2nd.

Zawadzki won both the men’s 1 meter and 3 meter events, while Perreault placed 2nd.

“In my opinion we had a very good meet posting some impressive times for this time of the season and not training a day of long course so far, this 2020-2021 season,” head coach Lopez said in an email.

 Two very important things for me to see are the fact that the swimmers have embraced the ‘Hokie Belt Challenge’ in and out of the pool and so far the two Intrasquad Duals we have had have been a lot of fun and a great team building activity.”

It is important to acknowledge that athletes are still coming off of an unprecedented training hiatus and added training difficulties due to the coronavirus pandemic. Lopez is focusing on the positives. 

He explained, “I am very happy watching the team being so excited to keep taking steps forward and keep getting better one day at a time.  Both men and women are doing a great job training and keeping their mind in having their best season ever.”


Women’s 400 Medley Relay

Men’s 400 Medley Relay

Women’s 100 Back

Men’s 100 Back

Men’s 100 Breast

Women’s 50 Free

Men’s 100 Free

Women’s 200 Back

Men’s 100 Fly

Men’s 400 Free Relay

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2 years ago

That thing is fugly

Konner Scott
2 years ago

Some of my favorite highlights:

-Emma Atkinson in the 100 back! Whoa!
-Blake Manoff sneaky 52.3 fly split on the medley relay (53.0 flat start ain’t shabby either)
-Manoff again 49.9 split on relay

Those two in particular seem primed for breakouts.

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 …

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