ATLANTA – The 24th-ranked Georgia Tech men’s swimming and diving team continued its assault on the school record book with three new school-best marks in a strong outing at the preliminaries of day two at the ACC Championships. The three-day meet is being hosted by the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Va.
The Yellow Jackets will be looking to improve their team score significantly this evening, as 14 individuals qualified for the championship and consolation heats, both of which allow swimmers to score for their teams.
In the day’s first event, sophomore Shilo Ayalon set his second school record of the meet in the 400-yard individual medley with a time of 3:55.76. That mark bettered Ayalon’s own record of 3:56.44 from last year’s ACC meet. Tech will have three competitors in the consolation heat with freshman Chris Biedrzycki (3:58.29), sophomore James Salazar (4:00.45) and junior Carl Nylander (4:00.73) finishing 10th, 12th and 14th respectively in the prelims.
In the 100-yard butterfly, junior David Laitala will be in the hunt for a top finish as he was second in the prelims with a NCAA “B” qualifying time of 48.56 seconds. That time was only 0.20 seconds behind Devin Crock of Florida State. Fellow third-year performer Brady Skaggs was 13th with a time of 50.47 and will swim in the consolation heat.
Laitala also will be the fourth-seeded perforner in the 100-yard backstroke, after he clocked in with a school-record time of 49.57. Sophomore Jorge Oliver will swim in the consolation heat, as he was 16th in prelims with a time of 51.15 seconds.
The Jackets third school record of the day came in the 200-yard freestyle, as Josh Hersko turned in the fourth-fastest prelim time with a 1:38.39, which was an NCAA “B” cut and bested Hersko’s own school record of 1:39.22. Three other Tech swimmers will be in the consolation heat, as freshmen Itai Eden (1:40.37) and Ricky Rauch (1:40.59), along with junior Leo Salinas (1:40.79) placed 10th, 13th and 14th in prelims.
Another Tech individual will be in the hunt for an ACC title, as sophomore Tomonori Tsuji will be the second-seeded swimmer in the final heat of the 100-yard breaststroke, following his season-best time of 55.39, which was also an NCAA “B” time. Fellow second-year performer Robbie Foster will join Tsuji in the final heat as he was seventh in prelims with an NCAA “B” time of 56.06.
The finals will get under way at 7 p.m. this evening.