Dec. 7, 2013
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The University of Pittsburgh swimmers continued to turn in record breaking performances on day two of the AT&T Winter Nationals at the University of Tennessee.
"In what was the longest day of this three day meet, I think our team performed very well,” Head Coach Chuck Knoles said. “We had a lot of personal best times today, and we are excited about going in to day three when some of our strongest events will be contested.”
The men and women participated in the 200-yard medley relay as they both finished 11th overall. For the women, Blair Wegescheide, Kinga Cichowska, Veronica Lee and Dani des Tombe completed the relay with a time of 1:42.32, while the men, Mack Rice, Luke Nosbisch, Kourosh Ahani and David Sweeney turned in a time of 1:29.75.
In the 400-yard IM event, Tatyanna Sarjeant competed in her first national championship. Sarjeant turned in a 16th place finish in the finals, while Martin Vogel posted a career best time of 3:51.35 in the 400-yard IM, nearly knocking three seconds off his previous personal best time.
“Vogel dedicated his 400 IM race to Nelson Mandela, the inspirational leader of his native South Africa,” Knoles said. “Martin was only .05 off the old Pitt record in that event."
Also, in the 400-yard IM, Zach Lierley broke a Panthers record in the very next heat after Vogel’s swim, finishing in seventh place (3:50.37).
"His time of 3:50.37 eclipsed the 1995 record held by Matt Brady who has his name on the Varsity Walk," Knoles said. "It was fun to see Zach make some changes in his race and improve on his time in the evening. That is something we have been working on for a while."
Cichowska also set a new school record in her morning prelim swim in the 100-yard breaststroke (1:01.80), while the previous record holder, teammate Cam Dixon followed closely behind with a final time of 1:02.81.
In the final event of the night, the 800-yard freestyle relay, the women posted an 11th place finish while the men took eighth overall.
"Jon Lierley led off the men's 800-yard free relay with a personal best 200-yard freestyle time of 1:38.69,” Knoles said. “It was great to be able to see Jon break the 1:39 barrier for the first time.”
The Pitt men are currently in 7th place in the meet. Winter Nationals will conclude Saturday. Click here for results and a live web stream.