WVU Varsity Sports Update

Senior Michael Walker has been named West Virginia University's Athlete of the Week after a successful meet at the 2009 NCAA Men's Swimming and Diving Championships in College Station, Texas.

The Bridgeport, W.Va., native swam for the first time in the championships and swam the 200 IM, 400 IM and 200 breast. In the 200 IM, Walker finished in 43rd place with a time of 1:46.04. This broke Walker's previous record set at the 2009 Big East Championships.

The following day, Walker became Honorable Mention All-America with his 11th-place finish in the 400 IM, when he finished in a school recordbreaking time of 3:44.89.

On the final day of competition, Walker was disqualified in the 200 breast because of a bad first turn and finished the race in 1:55.72. The time ties his school record and personal best, and would have been good enough for 18th place. Walker has now completed his career at West Virginia and helped the team finish in 34th place.

This Week in Baseball

The West Virginia University baseball team enters a five-game home week as it faces Duquesne on Tuesday, March 31, at 4 p.m. at Hawley Field … Ohio comes to town for a matchup on Wednesday at 5 p.m. … WVU then faces Georgetown in its Big East home-opening series from Friday-Sunday.

Last Week in Baseball

The Mountaineers (18-6, 5-1) won three of four games against Southeastern Conference opponent Kentucky and conference rival Villanova … on Tuesday, March 24, WVU defeated UK, 10-7, in front of 3,242 fans at Appalachian Power Park in Charleston, W.Va. … WVU proceeded to defeat Villanova in two of three games at Plymouth Meeting, Pa., over the weekend … the Mountaineers started off the series with a hard-luck 3-1 loss to the Wildcats on Friday … on Saturday, WVU rebounded with a 12-8 comeback win over Villanova … the Mountaineers took the rubber game of the series on Sunday, winning 7-4.

Notes & Quotes

With a 5-1 conference record, the Mountaineers are in sole possession of first place in the Big East … WVU produced a season-high four home runs in Sunday's victory over Villanova … Vince Belnome, Austin Markel, Justin Parks and Dan DiBartolomeo each had a solo home run to give the Mountaineers their first four home run day since April 26, 2008, against Connecticut … WVU improves to 10-4 away from home, which includes away contests and neutral site games … Parks led the Mountaineers at the plate last week, going 11-for-19 with two home runs as the team's leadoff batter … two sterling relief performances helped WVU defeat Kentucky and Villanova in game two … Justin Ellis and Andy Altemus earned wins in relief after pitching 5.2 innings and giving up two earned runs with five strikeouts against UK and VU, respectively … the Mountaineers are off to their best conference start since beginning 5-1 in 2006 … DiBartolomeo leads the Big East with a .482 average (40-for-83), which is 33 points higher than Cincinnati's Lance Durham, who holds the second spot … Chris Enourato continues to lead the conference in wins (5-0) and ERA (1.44) … Belnome (42) and Tobias Streich (36) are 1-2 in the Big East in RBIs.

This Week in Gymnastics

The No. 21 Mountaineers compete at the 2009 Southeast Regional on Saturday, April 4, at 6 p.m., at Reynolds Coliseum in Raleigh, N.C.

Last Week in Gymnastics

WVU (15-8 overall, 10-2 EAGL) did not compete last week.

Notes and Quotes

Saturday marks the Mountaineers' sixth-straight and 26th overall appearance at regionals since the NCAA began sponsoring gymnastics in 1983 … the Mountaineers qualified for regional competition on the strength of their 195.390 regional qualifying score (RQS) … No. 1-ranked Georgia received the regional's No. 1 seed … No. 12 Penn State is the No. 2 seed, No. 13 Nebraska is the No. 3 seed, WVU is the No. 4 seed, 2009 EAGL champion and host NC State is the No. 5 seed and North Carolina is the No. 6 seed … WVU is 1-3 against the field this year … the Mountaineers finished fourth at last year's Southeast Regional with a score of 194.825 … since 2002, WVU has averaged 194.554 points per regional … WVU has competed at three NCAA National Championships and has finished in 12th place at each … prior to WVU's affiliation with NCAA regional and championship competition in 1983, the Mountaineers attended five AIAW regionals and finished in third place at the 1982 AIAW National Championship.

This Week in Rowing

The West Virginia University rowing team has its first-ever home event with a race against Dayton, Duquesne and George Mason on Saturday, April 4 ... time and location are to be announced.

Last Week in Rowing

The Mountaineers began their season on Saturday, March 28, at the Murphy Cup hosted by Temple on the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia, Pa.

Notes and Quotes

The Novice 8+ squad highlighted the event with a sixth-place finish in the grand finals with a time of 7:23.68 ... the team of Amelia Nelson, Alexandra Flavion, Melissa Shaver, Anna-Claire Bowers, Caitlin Murphy, Shannon Gribbons, Jeannine McCarty, Lauren Washabaugh, and coxswain Amy Cheung, qualified with a first-place finish in Heat 1 (7:16.00) ... the Mountaineers also saw good performances both the Novice 4+ entries, as Team A qualified for finals, but was not able to compete due to scheduling constraints ... Team A placed second in Heat 1 behind Bucknell (8:00.39), while Team B finished second behind MIT (8:15.82) in Heat 3 ... the Varsity 4+ team ended the day with a third-place finish (7:59.80), behind Loyola (7:45.60) and Villanova (7:51.14), but failed to qualify for the finals … the Varsity 8+ also failed to make the finals as they placed sixth in Heat 1 (7:07.07).

This Week in Swimming & Diving

The season has now ended for the West Virginia swimming and diving teams.

Last Week in Swimming & Diving

Michael Walker was the lone swimmer to compete in the 2009 NCAA Men's Swimming and Diving Championships. Walker swam in the 200 IM, 400 IM and 200 breast ... in the 200 IM, Walker finished in 43rd place with a time of 1:46.04 ... this beat Walker's previous record set at the 2009 Big East Championships. The following day, Walker became Honorable Mention All-America with his 11th-place finish in the 400 IM ... this was also a new school record and a time of 3:44.89. On the final day of competition, Walker was disqualified in the 200 breast because of a bad first turn and finished the race in 1:55.72 ... the time ties his school record and personal best and would have been good enough for 18th place.

Notes & Quotes

"I'm real proud of Michael. We knew there was a better swim in him and he swam a great race. This is what can happen at this meet, you put yourself in the right position and anything can happen. The best part was watching former President George H.W. Bush ask Michael how he did. That is something he will remember forever." - Coach Vic Riggs

This Week in Tennis

The West Virginia University tennis team returns to Big East action on Tuesday, March 31, with a 4 p.m. match at Georgetown ... the Mountaineers will then play host to Rutgers at 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 4, and Connecticut at 11 a.m. on Sunday, April 5.

Last Week in Tennis

The Mountaineers (7-14, 2-2 Big East) were idle last week ... in their last week of play, the Mountaineers went 1-3 with a 6-1 win over New Orleans and losses to Troy (5-2), Southern Miss (6-1) and Lamar (5-2).

Notes and Quotes

Sophomore Ashley Pilsbury led the Mountaineers with a 3-1 record in singles play ... Pilsbury started out with a 6-1, 6-2 win over New Orleans' Anita Racz at the No. 6 spot ... she then went on to defeat Shannon Rogers from Southern Miss, 6-4, 6-3, and Lamar's Manami Kuroda 6-4, 7-5 ... freshman Veronica Cardenas and junior Monique Burton also had a good week as each posted a 2-2 record ... Cardenas recorded wins over Troy's Leonie Guijt, 2- 6, 7-5, 1-0 (10-2) and Amber Gaza from New Orleans, 6-3, 6-2, while Burton defeated Pis Dozo-Moreno from New Orleans, 7-5, 6-1, and Salina Aranda from Lamar, 6-1, 6-4 ... junior Olga Elkin and freshman Kathryn Haught also captured wins against New Orleans, as Haught defeated Kozue Matsumoto 6-3, 4-6, 10-8 at the No. 2 spot and Elkin took down Ceara Howey 6-3, 7-6 (19-17) at the No. 3 spot.

In doubles play, Burton and junior Stephanie LaFortune led the team with a perfect 4-0 record ... the duo captured wins over the Sofija Karalic and Howey from New Orleans 8-5, Stephanie Vieira and Caroline Joaunin from Troy, 8-3, Hollie Robinson and Rogers from Southern Miss, 8-2, and Manijee Ashrafiand Salina Aranda from Lamar, 9-7 ... Cardenas and Elkin also had a good week, as they saw victories over New Orleans' Dozo-Moreno and Garza, 8-1 and Troy's Mirte De Bakker and Gabriella Veiga, 9-7.

This Week in Track and Field

The Mountaineers travels to Durham, N.C. to compete in the Duke Invitational Friday, April 3, and Saturday, April 4.

Last Week in Track and Field

WVU competed in two meets as four student-athletes traveled to Palo Alto, Calif. to compete at the Stanford Invitational while the rest of the team traveled to Wheeling, W.Va. to take part in the WJU Bill Van Horne Invitational ... at the Stanford Invitational, Clara Grandt finished in third place in the 10k with a time of 33:16.96 … with that time, the West Union, W.Va., native set a new school record and received automatic bids for the Big East Championships, ECAC Championships and NCAA Championships … senior Alison Spiker ran in the second heat of the steeple chase, finishing in ninth place with a time of 11:06.03 to qualify for the Big East Championships …. Ahna Lewis raced in the second heat of the 5k, finishing in seventh place in a time of 16:33.79. It was Lewis' first time running the 5k and she qualified for the Big East Championships, ECAC Championships and NCAA Regional Championships … Karly Hamric competed in the second section of 800-meter race and finished in third place with a lifetime best time of 2:09.27. In the WJU Bill Van Horne Invitational, WVU took home first-place finishes in the 100, 200 and 400-meter races and also won the 4x100 and 4x400-relays, along with the long jump and high jump … junior April Rotilio won the 200-meter race in a time of 24.96 … with that time the Bellaire, Ohio, native qualified for the Big East Championships … senior Brittany Hohn and sophomore Jordann Mitchell also placed first in the 100 and 400-meter races, respectively … freshman Meghan Mock took the long jump title, while sophomore Katelyn Williams and junior Natasha Redman shared first place in the high jump.

Notes & Quotes

"It was a low-key introduction to the spring for the girls. We're tuning up for the Duke Invitational and it's a nice stepping stone for us to go to Duke." – Coach Sean Cleary

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