Inside HOKIE SPORTS | Vol. 15 No. 2 | October 2022 27 WELCOME DIRECTOR BRIAN LUBIN Brian Lubin - ’90 (BS ME) joins the Club Board representing Swimming and Diving alumni. Brian was a distance freestyler from ’85- ’88 and outside of swimming participated and held various leadership positions in ASME and Beta Theta Pi social fraternity. Brian lives in Blacksburg with his wife Cindy (’90 BS ME) and their two Labrador retrievers. With an MBA from UNC-Chapel Hill in ’96 and a 30-year career as an entrepreneur and business executive, he is in the process of ramping down into retirement. Outside of work, Brian enjoys swimming/socializing with a group of former college swimmers, going to VT football and basketball games, and traveling. Brian says: “I love Virginia Tech and Virginia athletics! I look forward to helping continue to build the network of Hokie swimmers and divers while connecting them to Virginia Tech and the great things happening with our swimming and diving program! Swimming and diving alums can reach me at” TRACK & FIELD – PRO HOKIES After widely successful collegiate careers with VT, track & field’s Pro Hokies have been at it again in 2022. As the World Athletics Championships came to the US for the first time ever, two VT alumni represented their countries at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon. Neil Gourley ’18 competed for Great Britain in the 1500m after taking the silver medal in the event at the UK Athletics Championships. Gourley advanced past the first round of the event in Oregon with characteristically witty running, clinching a spot in the semifinals with a strong move on the inside rail. Gourley finished in sixth in his semifinal heat, narrowly missing out on a second consecutive 1500m final at a world championship, following his appearance in the finals at the 2022 World Indoor Championships. Joining Gourley in Eugene was Marek Barta–’18, who qualified for the world stage by winning his sixth national title in the discus throw for Czechia. Ranked No. 7 all-time among Czech athletes in the event with his personal best of 64.40 meters from 2021, the native of Havirov delivered a best of 62.90 meters in his qualification round to finish 13th overall at his world championships debut. Several other Pro Hokies have been excelling both in the US and abroad, as Vincent Ciattei–’18 won his first national title this spring. With a time of 4:03, Ciattei won the USATF Men’s 1 Mile Road Championships in Des Moines, Iowa. Ciattei rode the momentum of his American title to the USATF Outdoor Championships, where the distance runner placed 10th in the 1500m. Also, at the USATF Outdoor Championships, Pro Hokies Hanna Green–’17, Jordan –’16, Fitsum Seyoum–’21, and Deakin Volz –’19 competed among the nation’s top talent in their events. Green reached the semifinals of the 800m where she finished sixth in her heat, Seyoumposted a time of 8:35.84 in a stacked 3000msteeplechase field, while Roach and Volz battled in the discus and pole vault, respectively. Much more remains to come from VT Tech track & field’s Pro Hokies this summer, as professional races and competitions provide opportunities for the Hokie alumni to show their strength. SWIMMING & DIVING Congratulations to: Sara Smith–’09 for being selected to the VT Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2022; and Klaudia Nazieblo–’18 on her promotion to Assistant Coach of VT Swimming and Diving after joining the staff as a volunteer assistant in 2021. The Monogram Club recently caught up with Lucas Bureau–’16 for a Q&A session. Hailing from Latrobe, Pennsylvania, Lucas swam for VT from 2012 to 2016 and graduated with a degree in History with a minor in Political Science in 2016. During his four years on the swimming and diving team he contributed to Virginia Tech’s first and only ACC Men’s Team title in 2014, was a four-time ACCChampionship medalist, was an All-American, broke several school records on relays, and competed in the 2016 and 2021 Olympic trials. Lucas is currently a full-time coach at H2Okie Aquatics, the club swim team in Blacksburg. While finishing up his undergraduate degree, Lucas worked part-time for H2Okie Aquatics which turned into a full-time position after graduation. Q: Describe your experiences as a student athlete. LB: As a student athlete at VT, you are surrounded by so many other amazing athletes and people who just do things the right way. For me, learning how to be a great student athlete was easy because that’s all I wanted. I always did the best I could because I saw being a student athlete as a full-time job, and I wanted to act like a true professional and have a great impact on my team and other people in the athletic department. Showing up early, sitting in the front row, being the hardest worker in the room, and never complaining or backing down from a challenge. Being a great student athlete was my top priority and if there was something distracting me from that, I would just cut that out of my life. I always hated the word sacrifice because to me if you ever said “I sacrifice so much to be a student athlete” then you shouldn’t be one. When you are truly doing what you love to do, you aren’t Sacrificing anything because that’s the only life that you know. That mentality and experience has helped me so much for the life I live today. Q: Who made the biggest impact on you as a student athlete? LB: Ned Skinner (VT head coach from ’98 to ’18) was so great to me. He was hard on me, pushed me to be better, and held me to the standard I wanted to be held at. He knew I wanted to great and had a perfect blend of pushing me but also being like a father to me and caring about me as a person first and a student athlete second. He always had my back, and I always had his and I think that’s why we still have a great relationship to this day. My teammates were also incredible. Especially the year we won ACC’s. Our culture was so healthy and motivating to be great and inspired all of us to reach our full potential. Q: How did your experience at VT prepare you for coaching? LB: Being around the sport of swimming and being involved with VT athletics has helped me tremendously with what I do today. My job is to push and inspire athletes to reach their full potential no matter their skill level. After doing that for 4 years at VT I know what I accomplished as an athlete has helped me tremendously as a coach. Q: Why do you coach? LB: To me, coaching is so rewarding. To see athletes experience the highest of highs and the lowest of lows and still refuse to give up or settle is what it’s all about to me. I want my athletes to be able to handle success and failure. My job is to create an environment of fun, success, and growth. And I love the challenge of trying to make that happen every day. Q: What’s next? LB: As an athlete, I’m training with the goal of making my 3rd Olympic trials that will happen in the summer of 2024. As a coach my goal stays the same. To push my athletes to reach their full potential as an athlete and for them to grow as a person in the upcoming season. Swim & Dive alumni – reach out to Brian Lubin at brian_lubin@ BASEBALL Joe Mantiply–’13 came to Blacksburg in 2009 after being drafted in the 48th round of the MLB Draft by the New York Mets as a leftContinued on page 28