THE FLATS – Georgia Tech swimming & diving held its 2021 Senior Day on Saturday afternoon at McAuley Aquatic Center, hosting Gardner-Webb for swim and ACC-rivals Florida State & Miami in diving. The Yellow Jacket men topped the Runnin’ Bulldogs 183-94, while the women also picked up a big win with a final score of 190-78.
Senior women’s diver Camryn Hidalgo broke the platform school record at Senior Day, tallying up a score of 309.20. Hidalgo now owns every Tech women’s diving record. Her first-place score was just under a point above the former record of 308.25 set by Stephanie England in 2007.
“I’ve worked at getting this record for a long time,” Hidalgo said. “I have such great teammates and my head coach John has really helped me get to this point. It feels great to have the record knowing how hard I had to work for it.”
“This was a great meet for the post season,” added head diving coach John Ames. “Miami and FSU are two awesome diving programs, and it was great to host them. It was especially exciting to watch Cami finally get that elusive platform record on senior day.”
The Yellow Jacket women captured gold in all 14 swimming events against the Runnin’ Bulldogs, while Tech’s men won a total of 12 events. This is the second meet in a row that the Yellow Jacket women’s swim crew has swept their opponent, having swept Vanderbilt at home on Jan. 23.
On the men’s swimming end of things Tech was led by Caio Pumputis, Christian Ferraro and Batur Unlu, with each having multiple first-place performances throughout the dual meet versus Gardner-Webb.
Tech’s women’s swimming squad was guided by McKenzie Campbell, Lindsey Merk and Allie Paschal each placing first in multiple events as well.
“I am super proud of the way we competed the last two days,” said Toni M. and Richard L. Bergmark Swimming and Diving Head Coach Courtney Shealy Hart. “We are looking forward to getting into the postseason. I think this meet sets us up well for that. I want to say a special thank you to all of our seniors for everything they have done for this program.”
Pumputis placed first in the 100 breast and 100 free. In the 100 breast he earned an NCAA ‘B’ Cut coming in at 54.12, he followed that up with a 44.28 showing in the 100 free.
Ferarro finished in 1:49.74 in the 200 fly to pick up his first win of the day. In the 200 breast he clocked in at 2:01.84, winning by nearly six full seconds ahead of the second-place finisher.
True freshman Batur Unlu had another dominant performance taking first in the 500 free (4:27.76) and 400 IM (3:59.26).
To start the day off Tech also took gold in the 400 Medley Relay with a time of 3:18.38 backed by the performances of junior Kyle Barone, sophomore Daniel Kertesz, Ferraro and Unlu.
True freshman Caleb Blischke continued the early momentum for the Jackets, finishing first in the 1000 free with a time of 9:32.34. Kertesz followed that up with a big win in the 200 free, clocking in at 1:39.93 to take first.
Senior Austin Daniel had a time of 20.98 in the 50 free, just a few milliseconds in front of second-place finisher junior Tyler Branscombe (21.02).
Fellow true freshman Nathan Hayes placed first in the 200 back at 1:50.28.
To cap the afternoon off the Yellow Jacket men won the 200 free relay, as Jonathan Vater, Leon Warnakulasuriya, Ferraro and Pumputis raced to a time of 1:23.00 to earn Tech’s final gold of the day.
The men’s diving squad faced off against Miami and FSU in the platform event, with senior Jacob Kreider being Tech’s top finisher placing fifth with score of 288.70.
Campbell had a busy day as she took first in the 100 breast, 500 free and 400 IM. She turned out a 1:04.20 performance in the 100 breast, a 4:58.83 showing in the 500 free and a 4:24.38 effort in the 400 IM to secure a gold finish in all three events.
Merk was Tech’s top performer and a first-place finisher in the 100 & 200 fly events, clocking in at 56.89 in the 100 and a 2:06.41 effort in the 200.
Paschal had a 56.30 showing in the 100 back to earn her first individual win of the day. Next, she came in at 2:01.29 in the 200 back to earn her second gold.
True freshman Anna Bradescu (299.50 points) and senior Paige Gohr (230.00) joined Hidalgo on the podium for platform, placing second and third, respectively.
The women’s swim squad started their dual meet with a win in the 400 medley relay, finishing in 3:48.36 behind the efforts of Paschal, Merk, fellow senior Catriona MacGregor and sophomore Brooke Switzer.
Junior Morgan Johnson placed first in the 1000 free, touching the wall at 10:12.62, just under three seconds ahead of teammate Duda Seifer (10:15.58). In the very next event Seifer placed first in the 200 free at 1:52.78.
MacGregor picked up an individual gold in the 50 free with a time of 24.06. Switzer and true freshman Claudia Butterfield rounded out the first-place finishers for Tech, with Switzer (52.29) winning the 100 free and Butterfield (2:17.30) earning gold in the 200 breast.
The Yellow Jackets will be back at McAuley on Feb. 12-13 for the Georgia Tech Invitational, the Jackets last chance meet prior ACC Championships.
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