H2Okies return from successful national meet

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The Virginia Tech swimming and diving program had nine swimmers advance to finals in 11 different events at the U.S Open Swimming Championships last week in East Meadow, N.Y. The H2Okies placed 20th out of 63 teams.


The women were led by rising senior Adriana Grabski, who reached the finals in the 50-free, 100-free, and 200-free. She also swam the second leg of the 400-free relay that finished 10th with a time of 3:50.27.

Sophomore Grace Kowal had a breakthrough meet as she placed eighth overall in the 1500 free with a time 15:43.54.

On the men’s side, rising senior Harrison Pierce, who was competing in his first US National meet, reached the finals in the 50-free, 100 free, and 100-butterfly. His time of 53.84 in the 100-butterfly broke a school record. Other notable swims for the men came from rising senior Justin Edwards, who made finals in both the men’s 100 and 200 breast stroke.

Edwards set a new school long course record in the 200-breast with a finals time of 2:15.70. Also reaching finals was Robert Owen, who used this meet as a tune-up competition before he leaves for the World University Games. He finished fifth in the prelims of the 200 back and turned in an A final time of 1:59.80.

Edwards, Owen, and Pierce, along with rising sophomore Hassler Carroll, improved their 400-medley relay time by almost three seconds after finishing sixth with a 3:43.85.

The H2Okies are set for international waters, as Robert Owen competes in the World University Games in Taipei, Taiwan Aug. 20-27.

–VT Athletics