ATLANTA (Feb. 23) – The Georgia Tech men’s swimming and diving team turned in an outstanding night of competition Feb. 23 and is in third place after two days of competition at the ACC Championships in Charlottesville, Va.
The Yellow Jackets finished the day with a team score of 274.5, and trail defending ACC Champion Virginia’s two-day total of 551.5.
Tech set four new school records on the night and had a pair of swimmers earn All-ACC honors. Junior David Laitala was the first to garner All-ACC recognition, the second such honor of his career, as he placed third in the 100-yard butterfly. Laitala’s time of 48.85 was the fastest by a Tech swimmer this year. He was joined in the final heat by Brady Skaggs, who finished eighth with a time of 50.64 seconds.
Laitala also finished fifth in the 100-yard backstroke with his school-record time of 49.79 seconds. Jorge Oliver was seventh in the consolation finals with a time of 51.37.
Sophomore Tomonori Tsuji just missed capturing the Jackets’ first ACC individual swimming title, as he finished second in the 100 breaststroke with his school-record time of 55.04. He was just out-touched by Virginia’s Marshall Gray (55.01) in the race. Tsuji earned All-ACC honors for the first time in his career. Robbie Foster finished eighth in the final heat with his time of 56.60 seconds.
Sophomore Shilo Ayalon once again put his name in the school record book, as he placed fourth in the 400 individual medley with a school-record time of 3:53.35, which bettered his own school record of 3:56.44 by over three seconds. The time was also a NCAA “B” qualifying mark. The Jackets had strong performances in the consolation final as Chris Biedrzycki was second in the race with a time of 3:57.66, Carl Nylander was third with his time of 3:57.97, and James Salazar was sixth in a time of 4:00.62.
Tech’s third school record of the night came in the 200 freestyle, as Josh Hersko placed fourth in the event with a school-best time of 1:38.05. That time was a NCAA “B” cut and bettered Hersko’s school record by over a second. In the consolation final, Leo Salinas was second (1:40.04), Itai Eden (1:40.74) was fifth and Ricky Rauch (1:42.11) placed eighth.
In relay competition, the Jackets’ team of Salinas, Hersko, Eden and Ayalon set the day’s final school record with a time of 6:38.98 in the 800 freestyle relay. The time was nearly three seconds faster than the previous best. Earlier in the evening, Laitala, Foster, Brendan Forbes and Jorge Oliver finished fifth in the 200 medley relay with a season-best time of 1:32.47.
The ACC Championships will conclude tomorrow with the final day of competition beginning at 11 a.m.