Women’s swimming and diving breaks records at ACC Championships


Senior swimmer Lina Rathsack earned silver in the 100-meter breaststroke at the ACC Women’s Swimming Championship this weekend. (Photo courtesy of Pitt Athletics)

By Trent Leonard | Staff Writer

Despite being outperformed by eight of the 12 other teams, the Pitt women’s swimming and diving team showed significant signs of improvement, breaking 11 school records last weekend at the ACC Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships.

Though they improved on last year’s score by 66 points, the Panthers placed ninth with 494 points in the competition, which began Feb. 14 at the Greensboro Aquatic Center in North Carolina and concluded Feb. 17. Standout performers included seniors Lina Rathsack and Amanda Richey, as well as sophomore Valerie Daigneault.

Richey broke Pitt’s 500-yard freestyle record twice in one day on Thursday — first in preliminaries with a time of 4:41.12, and later in finals with a time of 4:39.33. The finals performance earned her fourth place in the event.

Rathsack earned the Panthers’ sole spot on the podium Friday with her second-place finish in the 100-yard breaststroke. She completed the event with a time of 59.72 — just .01 seconds behind Florida State senior Natalie Pierce. Not only did Rathsack’s swim stand as Pitt’s best of the weekend, but it was the best individual finish by a Pitt swimmer in the Panthers’ five-year ACC Championships history.

Daigneault broke her own Pitt record Saturday in the 200-yard backstroke with a 19th-place time of 1:55.15. She also swam the first leg of the Panthers’ 400-yard freestyle relay in a school record-setting 49.36 seconds. The relay team placed ninth in that event with a time of 3:18.38 — also a Pitt record.

All five of the Panthers’ relay teams — the 200-yard medley, the 400-yard medley, the 200-yard freestyle, the 400-yard freestyle and the 800-yard freestyle — set school records throughout the course of the meet.

The team’s next competition — the Women’s Last Chance Meet — will take place Sunday, Feb. 25, in Columbus, Ohio.