Pitt men finish ninth, women 11th at 2022 ACC Swimming and Diving Championships


Photo by Kyle Hess/ Pitt Athletics

A Pitt diver competes in the ACC Swimming and Diving Championships in Atlanta last week.

By Alexander Ganias, Staff Writer

Pitt swimming and diving participated in the ACC Championships from last Tuesday to Saturday in Atlanta. As a team, the Panther women placed 11th with 328 points, more than 1,000 points behind first place Virginia. The men did slightly better, finishing ninth with 431 points, more than 1,000 behind first place NC State.

The first day of competition was also the Panthers’ worst day. They failed to qualify for either of the finals for the individual events. Sophomore Claire McDaniels finished 19th out of 41 divers in the women’s one-meter diving, accumulating a 229.20 preliminary score. Duke first year Margo O’Meara won the event with a final score of 354.75.

On the men’s side, junior Dylan Reed missed qualifying for the three-meter dive finals by 10 points. He finished 11th out of 37 divers with a 309.25 total preliminary score. Miami sophomore Max Flory won the event with a final score of 448.50.

Both Pitt teams participated in the 800-yard freestyle relays. The women finished 11th — just ahead of Boston College — with a 7:15.06 time. The men performed slightly better with a 6:25.76 time in their race, good for an eighth place finish out of nine eligible teams.

The second day did not fare much better. Relays continued to be a problem for Pitt, as the men and women finished 10th (1:19.63) and ninth (1:30.42) in the 200-yard freestyle relay, respectively. But Reed made up for his subpar day one performance by earning the bronze medal in the men’s one-meter dive. He finished with a 367.80 time, behind UNC senior Anton Down-Jenkins (419.40) and Georgia Tech junior Ruben Lechuga (371.20).

The competition ramped up by the third day, but Pitt swimmers still remained near the bottom of the list in finishing times. Three swimmers made the finals of the women’s 400-yard individual medley — junior Daisy Anderson, graduate student Sarah Helen Shepherd and senior Dakota Elliott finished 12th, 15th and 23rd, respectively. Anderson finished with a personal best time of 4:13.84.

Senior Serhii Ahadzhanian missed the finals of the men’s 100-yard butterfly by the slimmest of slim margins. He finished the preliminary race in 46.89 seconds, but Duke junior Bradley Sanford beat him out by one-hundredth of a second, taking the 24th and final spot in the finals. Ahadzhanian did set a personal record with that finish, however.

Despite the relatively poor performances, the Panthers still broke a school record during the third day of competition. Juniors Kayla Graham, Tatum Detwiler, Kate Fuhrmann and sophomore Sophie Yendell set a Pitt record in the women’s 200-yard medley relay with a 1:38.25 time.

The fourth day was Pitt’s best, headlined by senior Cooper Van der Laan’s bronze medal in the men’s 100-yard breaststroke, his third career ACC medal. He joined Blaise Vera and Dominic Giordano as the third Panther all time to collect three medals. Van der Laan (51.64) finished behind Louisville graduate student Evgenii Somov (51.13) and Notre Dame senior Josh Bottelberghe (51.61).

The Panthers also had six other finalists on Friday, including two more in the men’s 100 breast. Junior Flynn Crisci finished eighth with a 52.68 time, and junior Jerry Chen finished 13th with a 52.88 time. Ahadzhanian and junior Adam Mahler placed 23rd and 13th in the men’s 200-yard butterfly, and Anderson finished 24th in the women’s 200 fly. First year Cameron Cash finished sixth in the men’s platform dive with a score of 363.40.

The final day saw seven Panthers qualify for finals in their competitions. More than half of those finalists were from the men’s 200-yard breaststroke. Van der Laan (14th), Chen (18th), sophomore Javier Zorzano (22nd) and Crisci (24th) rounded out the Pitt finalists in that race. Senior Amy Read finished fourth on the women’s platform dive, with a score of 278.30. Anderson finished 19th in the women’s 200 back, and senior Madison Nalls finished 24th in the women’s 100-yard freestyle.

The Panthers will have a final opportunity to secure spots in the NCAA Championships with the Last Chance Meets in Columbus, Ohio. The women will compete on Feb. 27 and the men will compete on March 6.