ATLANTA (Nov. 5) – Georgia Tech freshman diver Ben Dannemann (Tucker, Ga.) qualified for the NCAA Zone Diving Championships and scored 18 points Friday to help the Yellow Jackets defeat the College of Charleston, 136-87, in Emory University’s Woodruff Center Natatorium. Tech improved to 4-2 on the year with the victory.
Freshman Shilo Ayalon (Kfar Hanassi, Israel) swept victories in the 200 and 500 yard freestyles to also total 18 points toward the Jacket win. He won the 200 freestyle in 1:45.28 and the 500 freestyle in 4:39.77. Ayalon has now posted six first place finishes in four meets this year. Two other freshmen scored wins as Jorge Oliver (Jacksonville, Fla.) won the 100 freestyle in 48.26 seconds, while Tomonori Tsuji (Osaka, Japan) captured the 100 breaststroke in 58.53 seconds.
Sophomore David Laitala (Richardson, Texas) won the 50 freestyle in 21.93 seconds and sophomore Carl Nylander (Tucker, Ga.) took first place in the 1,000 freestyle in 9:54.14. Nylander placed second in the 100 backstroke in 54.45 seconds and Oliver was second in the 200 individual medley in 1:59.84. Freshman Ross Dye (Marietta, Ga.) took second place in the 200 freestyle and 100 breaststroke as the Jackets garned nine second place finishes in addition to eight first places.
Although diving unopposed, Danneman scored 292.28 points in the 1-meter competition to surpass the 290 point total need to qualify for the Zone Championship, which is the qualifier to the NCAA Championship. Since 1990, Tech has had at least one diver qualify for the Zone Championships under Diving Coach Bill Humber.
“It was a good competition for us and the College of Charleston hung in there,” said Tech head coach Seth Baron. “We showed improvement in our overall technique and did somethings well tonight. It was a spirited contests and one that we needed to do well in to cap off a solid first half of our dual-meet season at 4-2. Ben [Dannemann] did a great job of reaching the qualifying mark for the NCAA Zone Championships even though he had no competition to push him. However, he has progressed with increased scores every meet this year and continues to make strides toward being a factor for us.”
Tech is next in action December 3-5 at the Bulldog Invitational in Athens, Ga.