Daigneault leads Pitt swimmers through first two days of ACC Championships


Thomas Yang | Assistant Visual Editor

Senior swimmer Valerie Daigneault finished 11th in the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 1:58.33 at the 2020 ACC Championships.

By Marshall Worth, Staff Writer

The 2020 ACC Swimming & Diving Championships in Greensboro, North Carolina, got underway Wednesday. The four-day meet, which features women’s swimmers and both men’s and women’s divers, saw Pitt score points across multiple events of the first two days.

Pitt’s 800-yard freestyle relay team of senior Valerie Daigneault, sophomore Madison Nalls, senior Madelyn Shaffer and sophomore Dakota Elliott headlined day one, finishing seventh with a 7:11.19, beating their initial seed time by more than five seconds.

The seventh-place finish tied the best Pitt women’s relay result in ACC Championships history, while the group’s time was the second-fastest in school history.

Daigneault led the Panthers with individual honors on Thursday, finishing 11th in the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 1:58.33 to score 16 points for her team. That marked the best individual finish from Pitt over the first two days, and was the fourth consecutive year Daigneault scored points at the meet.

Pitt’s first day of competition began with diving events, which included strong performances from first-year Dylan Reed and sophomore Amy Read. Both scored double-digit points, with Read’s 4th-place finish (score of 245.10) on the 1-meter springboard earning 13 points and Reed’s 16th-place finish (score of 285.35) on the 3-meter springboard earning 11 points.

Other competing Pitt divers were sophomores Wesley Ahart and Josh Parquet, who placed 25th and 34th in the men’s 3-meter springboard, respectively. Sophomore Serena Buchwald and senior Krista Jones took part in the women’s 1-meter springboard competition, earning 27th and 33rd place, respectively.

The second day of competition saw three Pitt swimmers and three divers score individual points. 

In addition to Daigneault’s top swim, Shaffer and Nalls picked up a combined six points in the 500-yard freestyle. Shaffer earned 10th place with a personal best time of 4:47.01, while Nalls placed 24th in 4:50.08.

Pitt’s 200-yard freestyle relay team of first-year Kate Fuhrmann, Daigneault, junior Kailyn Swantek and Shaffer also finished eighth with a time of 1:30.40.

Three Pitt divers earned points in day two’s springboard championships. Buchwald and Read scored 247.00 and 245,75, respectively, good for 16th and 17th in the women’s 3-meter springboard. Reed earned points for the second day in a row for the men, scoring 278.30 on the 1-meter springboard to earn 15th place and 12 points. 

Friday’s finals, which include the women’s 100-yard butterfly, 400-yard individual medley, 200-yard freestyle, 100-yard breaststroke, 100-yard backstroke and 400-yard medley relay, will begin at 6 p.m, with the meet wrapping up on Saturday. Men’s swimming and diving will begin its championships Wednesday, Feb. 26.