Dec. 6, 2013
In the opening day of the AT&T Winter Nationals, the University of Pittsburgh had a very solid outing at the Allan Jones Aquatic Center on the campus of the University of Tennessee.
The Pitt women's team highlighted day one of the competition in the 400-medley relay setting a new school record with a time of 3:39.68. Blair Wegescheide, Kinga Cichowska, Veronica Lee and Dani des Tombe accomplished the feat and finished ninth overall.
"Our women's medley relay stepped it up in the finals taking nearly three seconds off the school record," head coach Chuck Knoles said. "It was a great group effort between Wegescheide, Cichowska, Lee and des Tombe. Finishing ninth in the Winter National Championship is huge for us, especially with large number of Olympians competing at the meet."
Kaleigh Ritter turned in a strong performance in the 500-free with a career best time of 4:46.7. Ritter knocked two seconds off her time from prelims, finishing 19th overall.
"We are watching a champion come into her own with Kaleigh," Knoles said. "She showed her verve yesterday knocking four seconds off of her best time in one day. Kaleigh was able to get an evening swim in her first national championship. That is quite an accomplishment."
On the men's side, the 200-yard freestyle relay team claimed 11th place. Sean Heiden, David Sweeney, Avery Warrington and Alex Rodenkirk recorded a season best time of 1:20.63.
and Zach Lierley
also made a splash on day one with their first career showings in a National Championship final, as both advanced to the bonus finals of the 200 IM.
Action continues Friday morning at 9 a.m. with prelims, while finals are set for 5 p.m. Fans can watch a live web stream of the meet by clicking here