Five members of the West Virginia University men’s swimming and diving team are set to compete at the 2021 NCAA Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships, from March 25-27, at the Greensboro Aquatic Center in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Senior David Dixon, redshirt juniors Jacob Cardinal Tremblay and Jake Lowe, junior PJ Lenz and sophomore Owen Johns qualified to represent the Mountaineers at this year’s national meet. Dixon earned a spot at the NCAA Championships for the fourth consecutive season, while Tremblay qualified for the second-straight year. Lowe, Lenz and Johns earned bids for the first time in their careers.
Dixon is set to represent West Virginia in the 100- and 200-butterfly events, as well as the 200 individual medley. Tremblay will compete on all three diving events, while Lenz is set to compete on 1-meter springboard and platform. Lowe and Johns will appear on the 1- and 3-meter springboard events.
ESPN will provide live coverage of each day’s prelim and finals events on ESPN3. Preliminary sessions are scheduled for 10 a.m. ET, while each night’s finals are set to begin at 6 p.m.
“It’s a blessing to be able to go and compete this week after the tough year our student-athletes have endured,” Mountaineer head coach Vic Riggs said. “This is the highest level of competition that our sport offers at the collegiate level, and we’re so lucky to have this opportunity to compete against the best in our division. On top of that, the fact that we were able to pull it off in a very difficult year is outstanding for us.”
“With the divers, we have been going over the refinement of the skills that they have implemented over the course of this year,” diving coach Karla Helder said. “I have been urging them not to overreach and not be overly competitive. We are making sure that they are hitting their standards, but also doing so in a relaxed and joyful fashion, given the big opportunity they have in front of them this week.”
Competition for the Mountaineers begins on Thursday, with Dixon appearing in the 200 individual medley race and Tremblay, Lowe, Lenz and Johns taking part in the 1-meter springboard competition. On Friday, Dixon will race in the 100 fly, while Tremblay, Lowe and Johns are set to appear in the 3-meter event. The national meet concludes on Saturday, with Dixon competing in the 200 fly, and Tremblay and Lenz competing on platform.
With his fourth consecutive NCAA Championships bid, Dixon becomes the first Mountaineer from the men’s team to qualify in four straight seasons. WVU’s five competitors at this year’s competition are the most for the men at a single NCAA Championship since 2007, when eight Mountaineers competed at the national meet.
Dixon and Tremblay also qualified for the 2020 NCAA Championships, before the national meet was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In total, 270 swimmers and 63 divers are set to compete at this year’s national championship.
Last time out, the Mountaineer divers competed at the 2021 NCAA Zone A Diving Championships, where Tremblay, Lenz, Lowe and Johns placed inside the top six on the springboard events or the top four on platform to earn a spot at the NCAA Championships. Dixon earned a trio of NCAA B cuts in the 100 fly, 200 fly and 200 IM at the 2021 Big 12 Championship to earn a spot at the national meet.