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By Chandler Brandes, Swimming World College Intern
The 2016 Big East Swimming and Diving Championships begin on Feb. 24 at the Nassau County Aquatic Center in East Meadow, N.Y.
Full psych sheet available here: 2016 Big East Psych Sheet – Results
The Xavier men will look to win their third-consecutive Big East team title. In 2015, they won nine of the 13 swimming events, and their depth led them to win all five relays. Xavier will return some of their top scorers in Luke Johanns, who won the 50 and 100 free last year, and Nick Foster, 2015 Champion in the 500 and 1650.
The Villanova women will also look to win their third-straight team championship title. Like the Xavier men, the Wildcat women also won nine of 13 swimming events and all five relays. They’ll return top scorers Emily Mayo, who dominated both the 500 and 1650 last year, as well as Fiona Hardie, Big East Champion in the 200 IM and both fly events, and Kaisla Kollanus. They’ve been strong this year, holding the top times in all but two events in the conference.
The Georgetown men came in second last year, and will return 2015 400 IM Champion Daniel Ross. They’ll also rely on Chandler Hinson, Evan Grey, and Samuel Delise, all of whom registered three A-final showings in 2015. The Hoyas finished in the top three in all five relays last year, and their top returners, as well as rookie Arthur Wang, will seek to take the title away from Xavier.
The Hoya women also finished second last year, and their top returner is sophomore Molly Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick won both the 100 and 200 breaststroke events last year, and is a key component to Georgetown’s relays. Also returning is Katie Duncalf, the 2015 Champion in the 200 back who also had a strong showing in the 100. Along with sprinters Erica Fabbri and Bailey Page, Georgetown will look to challenge Villanova for the team title.
Seton Hall diver Gabby Signorelli won both the 1m and 3m last year and will look to defend her titles in both. With the graduation of Ben Mitchell, who swept both diving events in 2015, Georgetown’s Jared Cooper-Vespa is the top returning diver.