VA Tech Men, Women Each Finish Atop Standings at H2Okie Fall Invitational

After two days of racing the host teams from Virginia Tech each had leads in the standings; the men were up 99 points over second-place Alabama, and the women had blown open a lead of more than 400 points over their opponents. Full results available here.

1650 Yard Freestyle

Virginia Tech’s Jessica Hespeler won the women’s 1650, coming in just under the NCAA “B” standard with 16:30.50. The second finisher was Villanova’s Caitlin Daday (16:33.67). Victoria Mitchell of South Carolina (16:36.81) was third. Bonnie MacDonald of Alabama (16:53.45) touched sixth and Ohio’s Bianca Hauzer (16:56.22) was eighth. William and Mary’s fastest miler was Selina Fuller (17:01.86); Liberty’s was Hannah Wakeley (17:03.76).

The top three finishers in the men’s race all made the “B” cut. Michal Szuba, the Virginia Tech school recordholder in the event, and teammate Jake Ores traded stroke for stroke, turning together at nearly every wall. Ores pulled ahead at the 1600 but Szuba outsplit him over the final 50, winning 15:11.30 to 15:11.33. South Carolina’s Tom Peribonio (15:18.03) was third. Brian Westlake of Alabama went 15:36.56 for fourth. Joseph Eiden of William and Mary touched in 16:22.68.

200 Yard Backstroke

In the women’s race, Alabama’s Emma Saunders won big, in 1:54.27. She missed the pool record by a mere 22/100 but came in under the 2014 NCAA Invited cutoff. Klaudia Nazieblo of Virginia Tech was second; she set the school record with 1:55.23. Teammate Holly Harper went 1:57.27 for third.

Virginia Tech’s Collin Higgins followed that up with a pool record of 1:42.69 to win the men’s race. Alabama’s Connor Oslin finished second, touching in 1:44.63, about two seconds under his seed time. Robert Owen of Virginia Tech put up a third-place time of 1:45.35.

100 Yard Freestyle

In back-to-back wins, Alabama’s Saunders took the 100 free title with the only sub-50 swim for the day, 49.94. Meredith Vay of South Carolina (50.21), Bailey Scott of Alabama (50.55), Megan Howard from William and Mary (50.64) and Katrin Heider of Villanova (50.78) finished in rapid succession.

Kristian Gkolomeev of Alabama won the men’s race with a school record and “B” cut of 43.28. His teammate Brett Walsh went 44.13 for second, while Virginia Tech’s Owen Burns was third in 44.23.

200 Yard Breaststroke

The H2Okies’ Weronika Paluszek won the women’s 200 breast with a 2014 Invited time of 2:10.24. Her teammate Mackenzie  Stewart was third with 2:12.90, which was more than 7.5 seconds below her seed time. Between them was Kaylin Burchell of Alabama; she took more than 2 seconds off her seed time and came away with a “B” cut of 2:12.38.

The men’s race featured an exciting matchup between Alabama’s Anton McKee and Nils Wich-Glasen from South Carolina. Wich-Glasen led at the 50, the 100 and by a full second at the 150. He couldn’t sustain the pace, though, and McKee finished 1.2 seconds faster to grab the win, 1:55.76 to 1:55.98. Third place went to Alabama’s Pavel Romanov, 1:58.02.

200 Yard Butterfly

Klaudia Nazieblo of Virginia Tech broke both the pool and school records with a 2014 Invited time of 1:55.90. Her teammate Maggie Gruber, who had already dropped three seconds in prelims, took off another .7 and slipped under the 2-minute barrier with 1:59.73. Alabama’s Mia Nonnenberg took third in 2:00.91.

Villanova, led by Fiona Hardie’s 2:01.55 win of the B-final, had some nice swims. Elena Patz finished the weekend about five seconds under her seed time with 2:04.32.

In the men’s race, Morgan Latimer, who owns the Virginia Tech school record in this event, broke the pool record with his winning time of 1:44.30. Alabama teammates Oslin (1:46.76) and Taylor Charles (1:47.56) finished second and third, respectively.

Platform Diving

Virginia Tech and Alabama were the only schools that fielded divers in the platform event. The H2Okies racked up a ton of points, sweeping the first six women’s and first three men’s places. Kelli Stockton posted 306.35 points to take the women’s contest, while Mauro Castro-Silva captured the men’s title with 365.50 points.

400 Yard Freestyle Relay

On the women’s side, the Crimson Tide sprinters finished the meet with a .01 victory over their hosts. Alabama’s Saunders (49.83), Temarie Tomley (49.82), Justine Panian (50.08), and Scott (50.45) went 3.4 seconds under their seed time and touched the wall at 3:20.18. Virginia Tech came in at 3:20.19 behind Gabrielle Bishop (50.71), Hespeler (49.28), Alice Boutant (50.05), and Caroline Buscaglia (50.15).

The Alabama men won their contest, too. Alex Gray (43.85), Gkolomeev (42.22), Crews Wellford (45.03), and Brett Walsh (43.38) combined for a winning 2:54.45 for a “B” cut. Virginia Tech beat South Carolina by just under a half a second, 2:57.20 to 2:57.67. The H2Okies’ effort came from Brandon Fiala (45.28), CJ Fiala (44.89), Lucas Bureau (43.54) and Owen Burns (43.49). The South Carolina quartet consisted of Marwan El Kamash (44.92), Kevin Leithold (44.11), Jonathan Boland (44.28), and Wich-Glasen (44.36).

Women Final Standings

  1. VA Tech, 1333
  2. University of Alabama, 821
  3. South Carolina, 611.5
  4. Villanova University, 407
  5. William and Mary, 348.5
  6. Ohio University, 270
  7. Liberty University, 133

Men Final Standings

  1. VA Tech, 1255
  2. University of Alabama, 1153
  3. South Carolina, 743
  4. William and Mary, 353
  5. Villanova University 187


In This Story

Leave a Reply

About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swim/swam in college. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD, she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently …

Read More »