Villanova Women, Xavier Men On Top Of Big East After Day Three

SEWELL, New Jersey, February 21. AFTER three nights of competition at the Big East Championships, the Villanova women and Xavier men hold leads in the teams standings. The Villanova women won four events tonight to extend their lead over Georgetown to more than 50 points, while the Xavier men have a cushion of nearly 150 points over Georgetown.

Villanova Press Release

Ben Smith broke a 25-year-old Villanova record and the women’s team won four of six events on the third day of the BIG EAST Conference Swimming Championships on Friday.

Smith took gold in the 100 butterfly with a time of 48.84, breaking Chris Craft’s 25-year-old record time of 49.04 in the event. It is the first time since 1996 that a Villanova men’s swimmer earned an individual BIG EAST title.

Sara Jurek continued her BIG EAST success in the day’s first event, the 400 IM. She finished at 4:22.10 for gold. Mary Snyder tied for second in the event with Xavier’s Mackenna Rife with both swimmers tapping the wall at 4:27.69.

Fiona Hardie took first in the 100 butterfly with a time of 54.70, while teammate Kaisla Kollanus placed third with a 54.98.

Wildcats took the top three spots in the 200 freestyle with Katrin Heider earning gold (1:49.29). Emily Mayo placed second (1:50.24) while Jessie Randolph took the bronze (1:50.36).

Colleen Lord placed second in the 100 backstroke with a time of 56.48. Megan Conrad finished the event in fourth place with a time of 57.06.

The women’s 400 medley relay team finished the night atop the podium, winning the event with a time of 3:46.46 behind lord, Kristin Haufler, Hardie and Kollanus’ efforts.

Jason Moyer also had a strong outing on the men’s side, taking the silver medal in the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:39.77.

Mike Rodriguez, Tony Sipala, Smith and Moyer finished the evening with the bronze in the 400 medley relay behind a time of 3:23.13.

The championships conclude tomorrow with preliminary and final rounds in the 1650 freestyle, 200 backstroke, 100 freestyle, 200 breaststroke, 200 butterfly and 400 freestyle relay.

Women’s Team Scores

Villanova 567
Georgetown 511.50
Seton Hall 372
Xavier 371.50
Providence 226
Butler 165

Men’s Team Scores

Xavier 637
Georgetown 493.50
Seton Hall 319
Villanova 305.50
Providence 202

Xavier Press Release

Four different Musketeers won events for Xavier swimming on the third day of the BIG EAST Swimming Championships. In the process, the men widened their lead on first place to nearly 145 points and the women closed to within 0.5 points of third.

The women’s A-finals in the 400 IM kicked off the night session with an exciting finish. Mackenna Rife, Xavier’s lone participant in the race finished in a dead-heat with Villanova’s Mary Snider for second place. Rife’s time of 4:27.69 was nearly three seconds above her personal best.

Xavier’s men took four of the top six spots in the 400 IM. Chad Thompson won the event in 3:55.88 and Nick Foster claimed second in 3:57.98. Eric Futscher (4:02.61) and Robert Van Kirk (4:04.41) touched fifth and sixth, respectively.

Knox Hitt (2nd, 49.08), Erik Biernat (4th, 49.63) and Armando Moss (6th, 50.21) kept the men’s momentum rolling with three more top-six finishes in the 100 fly.

Adding to the women’s totals in the A-finals of the 200 free were Molly Kroeger (1:51.85) and Taylor Jach (1:54.90), who finished fourth and seventh, respectively. Will Oswald (1:39.64) won the men’s event and was joined in the top eight by Luke Johanns (3rd, 1:40.94) and Eric Dirvin (8th, 1:42.64).

Haley Dresner touched fourth in the 100 breaststroke, clocking a time of 1:05.53. Michael Gordon (56.93) nabbed second, Carter Clark (57.76) sixth and Van Kirk 59.04) seventh in the men’s race.

The women then got a huge win in the 100 back from Stewart, who broke her own school record by posting a time of 55.60. She had previously set the mark at 55.85. Teammates Jacquelyn Misanik (57.66) and Kristen Liebert (57.76) come in sixth and seventh, respectively.

Arthur Smith led a contingent of four Musketeers in the top five of the men’s 100 back. Smith notched a time of 50.48, just ahead of teammate Knox Hitt’s 50.52. Rodrigo Suriano (50.97) and John Kinney (51.34) rounded out the top-five, touching fourth and fifth, respectively.

Stewart, Dresner, Ashley Whitely and Kroeger wrapped up the women’s evening in the 400 medley relay. The quartet finished third with a time of 3:52.09. Smith, Gordon, Hitt and Johanns closed the men’s night with a second-place finish.

Swimming resumes at 10 a.m., Saturday morning with prelims and the Championships will conclude with finals at 5 p.m., Saturday evening.

Results For: Big East Championships, Day Three

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Author: Emily Sampl

Emily Sampl, an editorial assistant for Swimming World Magazine, is a freelance writer for USA Swimming and an assistant coach at Boulder High School and Boulder Elks Swim Team in Colorado. Emily graduated with a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Colorado and master's degree in sport administration from the University of Northern Colorado.

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