ATLANTA — The Georgia Tech men’s swimming and diving team opened the second half of its season in grand style by sweeping four wins in the Florida Atlantic Dual Meet Extravaganza to win the team title at the event. The five-team event was contested at the FAU Pool in Boca Raton, Fla.
In the team competition, the Yellow Jackets (7-2) defeated host Florida Atlantic by a score of 181-100, and also topped Nebraska (154-129), Pennsylvania (206-75) and Virginia Tech by a 194-86 count. The meet featured a format with each team’s swimmers competing against one another and head-to-head results being scored out individually.
Tech was led in the meet by junior David Laitala (Richardson, Texas), who won three events on Wednesday, January 3. Laitala opened his afternoon by winning the 50-yard butterfly in a time of 23.48 seconds as he led three Yellow Jackets in the top ten. Joining him in the top ten were James Nozar (Charlotte, N.C.) in third with a time of 23.91, and freshman Brendan Forbes (Lilburn, Ga.) in eighth with a time of 24.32. He followed that performance in the 50-yard backstroke, winning with a time of 24.47, which was the second-best time by a Tech swimmer this year. Laitala wrapped up his solid outing by winning the 150-yard butterfly in a time of 1:22.13.
Sophomore Shilo Ayalon (Kfar Hanassi, Israel) continued his dominance of the distance events, winning 800-yard freestyle event by two seconds with a time of 7:31.10. Ayalon also had a pair of second-place finishes in the 300-yard freestyle (2:40.28), as he lost to Florida Atlantic’s Dariusz Szymanski by just .07 seconds. In the 300-yard individual medley, Ayalon finished second to Tech teammate Carl Nylander (Tucker, Ga.) with a time of 3:03.19.
Fellow second-year performer Tomonori Tsuji (Osaka, Japan) won the 150-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:29.29. Tsuji later finished second in the 50 breast, recording a time of 26.61, placing just behind FAU’s Antony Hine (26.28).
Nylander turned in one of his top performances of the year in the 300 IM, as he won the race with a time of 3:01.82. Earlier in the meet, he finished ninth in the 150-yard backstroke with a time of 1:26.41.
In the diving competition, Tech was led by freshman Paul McCarty (Ypsilanti, Mich.) who finished fourth in the one-meter competition and third in the three-meter spring board during his first action as a Yellow Jacket.
Tech will remain in Florida this week on a training trip and will return to action on Saturday, January 6 when it faces UNC Wilmington in a dual meet in Jacksonville, Fla.