HARRISONBURG, Va., February 4, 2012 – After a two-week layoff the James Madison women’s swimming and diving team returns to the pool this weekend, traveling to Blacksburg, Va., to take on Virginia Tech, UNCW, and Georgia Tech in the Virginia Tech Invitational. The two-day meet starts on Saturday and will be run in the same preliminary/finals format as the upcoming Colonial Athletic Association Championships.
“Coming off a great win in our dual meet against Rutgers, I am looking forward to having the women compete in a prelim/final format this weekend,” head swimming and diving coach Samantha Smith said. “This meet provides us with a great opportunity to race and I am confident we will have some fast swims. I am excited to see what the team can do this weekend.”
The last time the Dukes were in action was on January 20, were they grabbed the win at home against Rutgers. This will be JMU’s last meet before it enters the CAA Championships on February 22-25 for a chance to bring home the conference crown.
Madison was able to take home first in eight of the sixteen events against the Scarlet Knights. Senior Nicole Jotso (Suffern, N.Y./Suffern) grabbed first in both the 1-meter and 3-meter diving events during the meet. Freshmen Alex Savage (Carrolton, Texas/Lewisville Hebron), finished third and fourth in the diving events, and junior Kimberly Helfrich (Fort Belvoir, Va./West Springfield) finished third and fifth in the two diving events, respectively.
In the swimming events, seniors Melissa Helock (Scotch Plains, N.J./Scotch Plains Fanwood), and Eva Hannesdottir (Seltjarnarnes, Iceland/Kvennaskolinn) set the pace for the meet after they grabbed a first place finish in the 1000-yard freestyle and the 100-yard freestyle, respectively. The freshmen Dukes put on a show as well when Aimee Hooper (Clifton Park, N.Y./Shenendehowa) took first in the 500 free while Sin Hye Won (Springfield, Va./West Springfield) took second in 100 breaststroke.
The JMU relay teams made a very impressive run in the relays when Hannesdottir teamed with senior Catalina Mendieta (Parkland, Fla./Marjory Stoneman Douglas) junior Anna Susko (Roxbury, N.J./Roxbury) and sophomore Shannon Dubay (South Windsor, Conn./South Windsor) to take first in the 400-yard freestyle relay. Mendieta also teamed up with Won, junior Caroline Burns (Severna Park, Md./Severn School) and sophomore Kelsey Holmgaard (Roanoke, Va./George Mason) to win the 200 medley relay.
JMU enters the Virginia Tech Invitational ready for any competition there riding a streak of 4 consecutive wins. They come in with a record of 13-2 overall and an unbeaten 4-0 mark in the CAA.
Article compiled by JMU Athletics Communications practicum student Malcolm Mountcastle