It was a great start to the weekend for the West Virginia men’s swim and dive team Friday, as it picked up an 11-victory win against the SMU Mustangs in Dallas.
The Mountaineers tallied 11 gold, eight silver, and 11 bronze medals for a score of 182. That effort was plenty enough as SMU only managed to tally five gold, eight silver, and five bronze medals, totaling a score of 117.
West Virginia got off to a fast start as Angelo Russo, David Dixon, Hunter Armstrong and Fausto Huerta earned a team win in the opening 200 medley relay. The Mountaineers would go on to earn victories in the 200 freestyle, the 100 backstroke, the 100 breaststroke, the 200 fly, The 50 freestyle, the 100 freestyle, the 500 freestyle, the 100 fly, the 400 individual medley, and the 400 freestyle relay.
“We took control of the meet in the first session with a win in every event. It was a team win today, and everyone did a great job,” head coach Vic Ruggs said.
Armstrong earned a pair of individual victories in the 100 and 200 freestyle. The team of Russo, Austin Hartke, Taylor Saladin, and Joshua Harlan earned a victory in the 100 backstroke as Russo led with a time of 49.68.
Huerta earned a victory in the 100 backstroke with a time of 56.33 seconds, with Dixon following it up with a convincing win in the 200 butterfly as he secured a time of 1:42.65. Next was the 50 freestyle, as Ryen Van Wyk came out on top for the Mountaineers with a time of 20.80 seconds.
Max Gustafson took the top spot in the 500 freestyle as he put up a time of 4:36.31. Russo, Jack Frazier, and Denys Kostromin all finished in the top three of the 100 butterfly with times of 49.95, 50.06, and 50.65 seconds.
P.J. Lenz paced the Mountaineers in the dive pool as he earned a second-place finish in the 3-meter event with a score of 323.03. He also earned a third-place finish in the 1-meter event with a score of 282.90.
Dixon earned another victory in the 400-yard individual medley with a time of 3:56.18. In the final event, the team of Armstrong, Van Wyk, Christopher O’Shea, and Sam Neaveill won the 400-yard freestyle with a time of 3:03.66.
“It was a very strong day for the men,” Riggs said. “We discussed racing well, having fun, making every point count and being proud to be Mountaineers before the meet. The team did all of that and more.”
The Mountaineers improved to 2-1 ahead of their matchup on Saturday against TCU in a dual meet. That event will get underway at 12 p.m. from the TCU Student Recreation Center.