COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Georgia Tech’s men’s swimming & diving team posted five more school records during the final day of competition at the ACC Championships being held at the Campus Recreation Center Natatorium at the University of Maryland. The Yellow Jackets finished with 14 new school records for the meet.
Tech scored 192.5 points to finish seventh overall, but posted the most points ever by a Jacket squad in a league championship meet. The improvement has come under second-year head coach Seth Baron, whose squad scored just 156.5 points a year ago.
“A goal of ours was to score the most points ever and try to break as many school records as possible,” said Baron. “We wanted to move up one place from seventh to sixth but failed to do so this year. We had some great swims, as David Laitala and Theral Mackey provisionally qualified for the NCAA Championship meet, and we had some surprising swims and swam flat on a few occasions. However, we gained a world of experience for the future and now the team knows what work has to be done, the coaches know what kind of recruiting has to be done and our program gained valuable experience for the future. Overall, I was very pleased with our improvement over last year’s finish.”
The Yellow Jackets swam new times in the 100 freestyle, 1,000 freestyle, 1,650 freestyle, 200 backstroke and 400 freestyle relay, which ran Tech’s cumulative total of new school records to 14 during the three-day meet.
In the last event of the day, freshman David Laitala (Richardson, Texas) swam a 46.48 to set a new record in the 100 freestyle during the opening leg of the 400 freestyle relay. The feat marked the third individual school record during the event by Laitala. The team of Laitala, Jay Cerceo, Jason Williams and Ed Brinkman also posted a new school record of 3:04.84 in the 400 freestyle relay.
Tech freshman Leo Salinas (Monterrey, Mexico) posted two records in the same swim – the 1,650 freestyle – where he set a new record of 15:57.82 to finish 16th overall to score one point for the Yellow Jackets. He broke the old mark of 16:14.12 set by Todd Testrake in 1990. His time at the 1,000 yard mark, which qualifies during the 1,650 swim, was 9:41.41, breaking the old 1,000 freestyle mark of 9:43.78 set by Tim Halligan in 1989.
“I wanted to swim as best as I could and find out how fast I could go,” said Salinas, who was second in the 1,650 freestyle at the 1998 Junior National championships. “I thought I could be close in the 1,000 and it turned out to be a pretty good effort overall. I wanted to accomplish this all season and it finally came together today.”
Freshman Ryan Shanteau (Lilburn, Ga.) posted a new record in the 200 backstroke as he swam a 1:52.92 to erase the old mark of 1:54.30 set by Todd Testrake in 1993.
“I didn’t have a very good 200 freestyle yesterday and this was vendication for that effort,” said Shanteau. “I had a goal to shoot for the record today and really pushed myself. I didn’t swim the 200 backstroke very well during the year and after re-focusing on stroke training and conditioning I was able to put together a solid effort today.”
Tech’s School records set during the 1999 ACC Championships:
Thursday: David Laitala, 200 individual medley, 1:50.18*; David Laitala, 100 backstroke, 50.40; Hank Longmire, 500 freestyle, 4:32.49; 200 freestyle relay, (Brinkman, Williams, Reed, Cerceo) 1:23.96; 400 medley relay, (Laitala, Mackey, Nozar, Cerceo) 3:22.89.
Friday: Theral Mackey, 100 breastroke, 56.20*; Hank Longmire, 400 individual medley, 4:03.73; 200 medley relay, (Laitala, Mackey, Nozar, Cerceo) 1:32.82; 800 freestyle relay, (Laitala, Salinas, Shanteau, Silver), 6:49.13.
Saturday: David Laitala, 100 backstroke, 46.48; Leo Salinas, 1,000 freestyle, 9:41.41; Leo Salinas, 1,650 freestyle, 15:57.82; Ryan Shanteau, 200 backstroke, 1:52.92; 400 freestyle relay (Laitala, Cerceo, Williams, Brinkman), 3:04.84.
*NCAA Championship provisional B-mark
Men’s Final Results:
1. Virginia, 704
2. Florida State, 697.5
3. North Carolina, 585.5
4. N.C. State, 545.5
5. Clemson, 352
6. Maryland, 315
7. Georgia Tech, 192.5
8. Duke, 113