Nov. 21, 2013
BLACKSBURG, Va. – Like he did last year, redshirt senior Michael Flach stole the show on night one of the Virginia Tech Invitational by setting the nation’s top time in the 500 freestyle at 4:21.38. The time was more than three seconds lower than his time earlier in the day during the prelims, with both were NCAA B cut times.
“We had an outstanding night tonight, some of the fastest swims in the country. We’re looking forward to racing tomorrow and continuing on with the weekend, and I’m looking forward to seeing what our group is capable of,” head swimming and diving coach McGee Moody said.
Senior Gerard Rodriguez wasn’t too far off of his teammate’s pace at 4:23.92, a time that would put him at sixth in the country as well as being a B cut. Heading into the weekend, only eight NCAA B cut times had been produced in the event.
On the women’s side in the 500 freestyle, junior Victoria Mitchell twice bettered her previous season best on the day. After a time of 4:55.33 in the prelims to finish second, she took second in the finals at 4:50.08, with the nation’s 25th best time. She was less than two tenths behind Virginia Tech’s Jessi Hespeler.
In the men’s 200 IM, redshirt freshman Kevin Leithold continued a great fall as he turned in the fifth fastest time in the nation as he clocked in at 1:46.75 for a B cut time. Junior Jared Kauffman took fifth in the event.
Senior Abby Galbreath lowered her prelim time in the women’s 200 IM by just under a second to finish at 2:02.40. Senior Rachel Schaffer took fifth at 2:03.91
Sophomore Eric Lethander finished fourth in the 50 freestyle with a time of 20.68, behind three Virginia Tech swimmers who each hit NCAA B cut times.
In the relays, the team of Lethander, Jay Warner, Michael Covert and Joshua Clothier took third in the 200 freestyle relay at 1:22.36, while Jonathan Boland, Jory Pettit, Kauffman and Robert Gilchrist were fifth at 1:23.17. In the 400 medley relay, the Gamecock men’s team of Warner, Kauffman, Sam Lynch and Kevin Leithold were second after turning in the nation’s 11th fastest time at 3:15.84, while the team of Covert, Vance, Flach and Rodriguez were fifth with a time of 3:18.56.
On the three-meter springboard Cole Miller grabbed a second-place finish with a score of 381.15 in the finals. Earlier in the day, he scored a 358.95 and was third in the prelims.
After day one, the Gamecock men sit in second place with 290 points while the women are in second with 214.50.
Day two at the invitational will begin tomorrow at 10 a.m., with the prelims of the women’s 400 IM.