Big East Championships: Day Three

PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania, February 19. NOTRE Dame men and women lead the field with just one day remaining in the 2010 Swimming & Diving Championships. The Irish won three races on the night but were topped in total races by Louisville who won six events on day six at Trees Pool.

The second-to-last evening of swimming began with a bang as the Notre Dame women bested a BIG EAST record in the 400-yard medley relay by almost four seconds. The team of freshman Kimberly Holden, junior Samantha Maxwell, junior Kathryn Casey and junior Amywren Miller finished with a time of 3:36.45 which topped a 2007 mark of 3:40.36 set by West Virginia. Louisville finished just behind the Irish, recording the second-fastest BIG EAST time as the foursome of senior Alana Berrocal, junior Therese Bergstrom, sophomore Lorraine Thompson and senior Whitney Campbell finished in 3:37.35. The Mountaineers also broke the previous BIG EAST mark. The WVU team of senior Morgan Callaway, freshman Robyn Matthews, senior Stephanie Shupe and senior Kayla Andrews recorded a time of 3:39.54

The records continued to fall in the men’s 400 medley relay as Louisville topped its own mark set in 2008. The 3:12.36 mark was dwarfed by the Cardinal team of senior Carlos Van Isschot, sophomore Carlos Almeida, sophomore Pedro Oliveira and senior Kristopher Findorff which finished in 3:10.95. West Virginia’s team of senior Jared Chirstie-Goldthorpe, junior Richard Farquar, sophomore Taylor Camp and sophomore Bradley Eichenseer came in second with a time of 3:14.88. Notre Dame came in third with a time of 3:15.25 set by the foursome of sophomore Petar Petrovic, junior Joseph Raycroft, senior Mackenzie Leblanc and senior John Lytle.

Louisville senior Leslie Vanwinkle who already owns the BIG EAST record in the 400 individual medley, came within a second of her best time but still won the event with a mark of 4:12.03. West Virginia freshman Rachel Burnett came in second with a time of 4:14.91. Notre Dame senior Ashlee Edgell finished with a time of 4:16.93 to place third.

The Cardinals completed the sweep of the 400 IM as Almeida touched the wall first with a time of 3:46.43. He beat out Seton Hall junior Kevin Webster who posted the fastest time during the preliminaries. Webster finished in 3:51.60. Notre Dame junior Michael Sullivan came just behind the Seton Hall junior with a time of 3:51.67.

Louisville increased its win streak to four after UofL’s Thompson took the top spot in the 100 butterfly. The sophomore finished with a time of 53.89, just .57 seconds away from a BIG EAST record. Notre Dame freshman Kimberly Holden came in second with a time of 54.12 while her teammate junior Kellyn Kuhlke finished just behind her at 54.25.

Cincinnati senior Josh Schneider, the reigning BIG EAST Men’s Most Outstanding Swimmer, ended the Louisville win streak. Schneider took over the 100 fly with a new BIG EAST record time of 46.44. The previous mark was set by the Bearcat swimmer at last year’s championship. Louisville’s Van Isschot came in second with a time of 47.06. Notre Dame freshman William Bass rounded out the top three with a mark of 48.56.

Not to be outdone by Schneider, 2009’s Women’s Most Outstanding Swimmer, WVU’s Morgan Callaway followed with a win of her own in the 200 freestyle. The senior finished with a mark of 1:47.00, winning by more than a second and a half. Second place went to Villanova senior Sarah Czar with a time of 148.63. The Mountaineers made it two-of-three as senior Shauna Purtell finished with a time of 148.68.

Louisville got back in the winner’s circle in the men’s 200 free. Sophomore Brendon Andrews came in first in the event, finishing with a time of 1:36.15. He was followed by Notre Dame teammates Lytle (1:37.24) and senior Andrew Hoffman (1:37.75).

Notre Dame won its second race of the night in the women’s 100 breaststroke in record-setting fashion. Maxwell broke her own BIG EAST record and became just the second swimmer this season in the NCAA to record a sub-one minute time, finishing the race in 59.64 seconds. Louisville’s Bergstrom came in second with a time of 1:00.63 while Rutgers junior Shayna Longacre came in third at 1:03.05.

West Virginia also won its second race of the night in the 100 breast. Farquhar touched the wall first with a time of 54.93 to beat out Louisville freshman Michael Haefner who finished with at 55.15. Syracuse junior Kuba Kotynia came in third with a time of 55.45.

Notre Dame’s Holden set a pool record in the 100 backstroke with her time of 53.88. Her time missed a BIG EAST record by just .43 seconds. Rutgers senior Catherine Whetstone finished second at 54.44 and Louisville’s Berrocal came in third at 54.94.

In the final race of the night, the Cardinals added to its day six win total as Van Isschot took the men’s 100 back title. He finished with a time of 47.01 which broke a BIG EAST record set by Villanova’s Tom Tracey in 1996. Pitt freshman Adam Maczewski came in second with a time of 47.73 while Notre Dame’s Petrovic finished third at 48.64.

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