Villanova Women, Xavier Men Lead After Day 2 of Big East Championships

Big East Championships Photo Courtesy: Will Schneekloth

Villanova’s women’s team and the Xavier men lead after Day 2 of the Big East Championships, completed Thursday at the SPIRE Institute.

Villanova used its depth on the women’s side to pad out its lead to 71 points over UConn. On the men’s side, Xavier is up by just 11 points on Villanova, but the Musketeers surged on Day 2.

Women’s Scores

  1. Villanova 347
  2. UConn 276
  3. Seton Hall 187
  4. Xavier 158
  5. Providence 97
  6. Butler 88

Men’s Scores

  1. Xavier 273
  2. Villanova 262
  3. Seton Hall 174
  4. Providence 171.5
  5. UConn 30.5

Villanova’s depth shined early and often on the women’s side. UConn’s Niamh Hofland won the 500 free with a time of 4:48.34. But Villanova took the next three spots, led by Nicole Welch’s silver medal. Kelly Montesi led a Nova 1-2 in the 200 individual medley, defending her title with a time of 2:02.90 besting the field. Second was Rayann Jaryszak with Wildcats in fourth and fifth. For Montesi, it’s the 12th Big East championship of her career.

Seton Hall’s Cornelia Jerresand claimed a tight race in 50 free with a time of 23.34. Snapping at her heels were a trio of Wildcats – Abbey Berloco in 23.38, Millicent Routledge in 23.39 and Perri Stahl in 23.40.

Given that sprint prowess, it’s no surprise that the Wildcats roared away to a wire-to-wire win in the 200 free relay, Routledge, Stahl and Berloco and Alexis Elkovitch clocking in at 1:32.49. Nova was nearly two seconds quicker than UConn in winning its third relay of the meet.

Villanova also picked up points in diving with Danielle Scarano winning the 1-meter event with a score of 497.50. UConn, led by senior Elizabeth Drab, secured the next three spots to neutralize the Wildcats’ advantage.

The 200 IM epitomized the team battle in the men’s race, with Xavier and Villanova monopolizing the top seven spots. Villanova freshman Richard Nolan won the event in 1:49.51, three-tenths ahead of Xavier’s Jonathan Bernard. Villanova took spots three, four and six, with Xavier fifth and seventh.

Christian Thomas of Xavier won the 50 free in 20.43, .11 ahead of Seton Hall’s Thomas Minar. Xavier’s Roark Lundal was third, one of four Musketeers in the championship final.

Xavier went on to win the 200 free relay by nearly two seconds in 1:20.27, a third straight Big East championship in the event. Thomas and Lundal joined Alexander Sironen and Andrew Martin on that win. Thomas brought the race home in 19.76. Martin added the other sub-20 split with 19.80. Martin had earlier won the 500 free in 4:24.56, a margin of more than three seconds over Seton Hall’s Ben Laclair.