ATLANTA (Oct. 8) — Georgia Tech men’s swimming & diving team kicked off the 1999-2000 campaign Friday with a 128-113 victory against Virginia Tech at the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center. Top returnee David Laitala (Richardson, Texas) registered two first place finishes and the Yellow Jacket Freshmen class set four facility and one school record to start the Institute’s Homecoming weekend.
“I was very pleased with our start today,” said third-year head coach Seth Baron. “We picked it up from where we left off last year at the ACC Championship meet. We broke three facility records and one school record and our freshmen group really picked up a lot of confidence today. It was a great team effort for us against a quality opponent.”
Laitala, a sophomore who set three individual school records and was a member of four relay team records a year ago, won the 200 Individual Medley in 1:55.60 and the 200 Butterfly in 1:54.00. He keyed the 400 Medley Relay “A” team to a victory in 3:31.03 by swimming the lead-off backstroke as the Yellow Jackets jumped out to an early lead they never surrendered.
Freshman Shilo Ayalon (Kfar Hanassi, Israel) had a big start for Tech as he won the 1,000 freestyle in both a facility and school record time of 9:28.96. He bested freshman teammate James Salazar (Huntsville, Ala.), who placed second in 9:44.07. Ayalon also won the 500 freestyle by over seven seconds in a pool-record time of 4:39.35.
Salazar captured the 200 backstroke in a facility best-time of 1:53.72 and freshman Scott Lenyk (Suwanee, Ga.) was second in 1:55.21. Freshman Jorge Oliver (Jacksonville, Fla.) won the 100 freestyle in 47.62 seconds and freshman Tomonori Tsuji (Osaka, Japan) won the 200 breaststroke in a facility-best mark of 2:08.92. Freshman Robbie Foster (Frankfort, Ky.) was second in 2:13.37, while freshman Travis McQuinn (Cypress, Texas) was third in 2:16.31 to help seal the win for the Jackets.
Overall, Tech’s freshmen class registered five first place and four second place finishes on the day. The Yellow Jackets avenged a 136-107 loss to the Hokies in Blacksburg, Va., a year ago.
Virginia Tech had four individuals take first place victories as junior Gregg Doule won the 200 Freestyle in 1:45.78, senior John Frost won the 50 Freestyle in 21.69 seconds, junior Shawn Lewis won the 1-Meter Diving with 220.60 points and freshman Matt Bolen won the 3-Meter Diving with 241.10 points. The Hokies 400 Freestyle Relay team ended the meet with a win in 3:15.41.
Georgia Tech returns to action October 16 when it hosts Florida State and NC State in tri-meet at the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center at Noon.