After pacing the West Virginia University men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams against No. 18/18 Notre Dame on Jan. 29-30, a trio of Mountaineers have earned Big 12 Swimmer and Diver of the Week honors, as announced by the conference on Wednesday.
Senior David Dixon was named the Men’s Swimmer of the Week for the second consecutive week and second time this season, while classmate Ally VanNetta was named the co-Women’s Swimmer of the Week for the first time in her career. Junior PJ Lenz collected Men’s Diver of the Week honors for the second consecutive week and second time this season.
Dixon has now been named the Men’s Swimmer of the Week seven times in his career, while Lenz’s total climbs to three all-time.
“David and Ally certainly deserve these accolades,” WVU coach Vic Riggs said. “They have been faced with much adversity this season, and they are leading the team very well in their senior seasons, despite everything going on around them.”
“If one were to ask PJ about his athletics past and present, he’d most likely respond that he’s a hard worker who is diligent in application,” diving coach Karla Helder said. “Those characteristics are certainly what I see as his coach. PJ continues to do all that I’ve been asking of him in his diving, and his added commitment is paying off to show new levels of diving.”
Dixon secured a victory in the 200-yard butterfly against the Fighting Irish, touching the wall in 1:46.79. He also finished second in the 100 fly (48.06), while helping the men’s 200 free relay team to a second-place finish in 1:20.96. The Richmond, Virginia, native also tallied a pair of third-place finishes in the 200 IM (1:48.50) and 400 free relay (3:01.48).
For VanNetta, she paced the women’s team with a pair of victories in the Mountaineers’ final regular-season meet. Her wins were earned in the 100 and 200 backstroke events, notching times of 54.43 and 1:56.43, respectively. An Ellicott City, Maryland, native, VanNetta also helped the 400 medley relay team to a third-place finish (3:45.42) and the 200 medley relay team to a fourth-place finish (1:43.92).
Lenz paced the Mountaineer divers for the second straight meet against Notre Dame, earning a trio of second-place finishes. He recorded scores of 342.60 on platform, 353.35 on 1-meter and 392.33 on 3-meter to place second on all three events.
The Mountaineers now prepare to begin the postseason at the 2021 Big 12 Swimming and Diving Championship, at the Lee and Joe Jamil Texas Swimming Center, in Austin, Texas. The event runs from Feb. 19-21 and 24-27, with the diving competition taking place first, and the swimming competition commencing the following week.