Led by a pair of school records from junior PJ Lenz and freshman Sara Haggerty, the West Virginia University men’s and women’s diving team completed the first of two days of competition against Pitt, at the Aquatic Center at Mylan Park in Morgantown on Wednesday.
In the opening session, Lenz earned a score of 396.98 to break the previous record of 390.80, set by Logan McHenry in 2018. Haggerty’s record came during the women’s platform event with a 254.03, besting sophomore Holly Darling’s 2020 record of 231.65.
In all, the Mountaineers topped the leaderboard in three events, with Lenz taking the victory in the men’s 1-meter and platform and Darling earning a win in the women’s 3-meter competition.
“These kids have worked their tails off since returning from the winter break, and that showed today,” first-year diving coach Karla Helder said. “They exhibited everything they were asked to do. Looking at what they were able to do today and the consistency in their dives, I could see tremendous progress from where we were previously. The work we have done in practice this year produced a terrific performance today.”
On platform, Lenz secured his first victory of the day with a 334.95, while Haggerty broke the school record in her Mountaineer debut. Sophomore Owen Johns joined Lenz on the leaderboard, taking fifth with a score of 282.68. Haggerty’s total was good for third place to pace the Mountaineer women, with Darling following in fifth after notching a 243.45 total.
Adding a second win, Lenz led the way for a 1-2-3 Mountaineer finish for the men on 1-meter. Lenz took first with 363.23, followed by Johns in second (311.48) and redshirt junior Jacob Cardinal Tremblay in third (310.43). Sophomore Marian Tiemeier led the way for the women, notching a fourth-place score of 282.98. Junior Camille Burt followed Tiemeier in fifth place (278.10).
Lenz again paced the men’s team on 3-meter, securing the school record and a second-place finish (396.98). Redshirt junior Jake Lowe and Johns also placed inside the top five, as Lowe took fourth with a 320.10 and Johns followed in fifth (304.43). In the women’s event, Darling earned her victory with a score of 306.08, while Burt finished fourth (273.68) and senior Callie Smith placed fifth (267.75).
In total, seven Mountaineers earned NCAA Zone-qualifying scores on 1-meter (Lenz, Johns, Tremblay, Lowe, Tiemeier, Darling and Burt), while three earned the required marks on 3-meter (Lenz, Lowe and Darling) and platform (Lenz, Darling and Haggerty).
The Backyard Brawl concludes on Thursday, Jan. 14, as the men’s and women’s swimming teams travel to Pittsburgh to square off against the Panthers. The women’s competition will begin at 11 a.m. ET, while the men’s competition is set to follow at 3 p.m. Action from Thursday’s Backyard Brawl conclusion is available at ESPN.com/Watch.