2021 Big East Day 3: UConn Women Win 4 Events, Xavier Men Go 1-2-3-8 In 100 BK


The 2021 Big East Championships continue in Geneva, Ohio with the third finals session where the Villanova women and Xavier men are on track to defending their 2020 team titles. The SPIRE Institute had a busy Friday evening session with the finals of the men’s and women’s 400 IM, 100 fly, 200 free, 100 back, 100 breast, men’s 1-meter diving, and 400 medley relay timed finals. The UConn women highlighted the evening with four event wins, including two 1-2 finishes and the 400 medley relay win.

Team Scores (After Day Two)


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


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

Women’s 400 IM Finals

  • Big East Record: 4:07.29, Tanya Kyllianen (Louisville) — 2013

Top 3:

  1. Kelly Montesi (Villanova)- 4:11.98
  2. Niamh Hofland (UConn)- 4:15.53
  3. Kaitlin Gravell (Villanova)- 4:21.25

Villanova opened the meet with a 1-3 finish to UConn’s 2-5 finish, scoring a 5-point advantage. Winning the event by three-and-a-half seconds was Kelly Montesi at 4:11.98. Picking up 17 points for second place was UConn’s Niamh Hofland, hitting 4:15.53. Villanova’s Kaitlin Gravell placed third at 4:21.25, completing Villanova’s 36-point pick-up.

Breaking the 4:30-barrier to win the consolation final was UConn’s Caitlin Spencer, dropping three seconds from prelims at 4:29.72. Teammate Nicole Burg placed 15th, giving UConn an additional 11 points from the B-final.

Men’s 400 IM Finals

  • Big East Record: 3:45.45, Michael Walker (West Virginia) — 2009

Top 3:

  1. Richard Nolan (Villanova)- 3:52.21
  2. Justin Viotto (Providence)- 3:53.21
  3. Jackson Parker (Xavier)- 3:56.33

After winning his first career Big East title in the 200 IM followed by an exciting post-race interview, Villanova’s Richard Nolan won his second Big East title in his career, this time in the 400 IM with his one second-margin victory of 3:52.21. Placing second for Providence was Justin Viotto, dropping nearly four seconds from prelims at 3:53.21.

In third was Xavier’s Jackson Parker, hitting a time of 3:56.33. Villanova’s Nolan Danus also swam under four minutes to place fourth at 3:57.29.

Earlier in the event, Xavier finished 1-2 in the consolation final, led by Jonathan Bernard (3:58.50) and Will Serab (4:02.46), who touched out Villanova’s Ethan Brown (4:02.71) by a quarter of a second.

Women’s 100 Fly Finals

  • Big East Record: 51.55, Kelsi Worrell (Louisville) — 2013

Top 3:

  1. Linnea Anderson (UConn)- 54.29
  2. Charlotte Proceller (UConn)- 54.94
  3. Taylor Hogan (Xavier)- 55.20

The UConn women had an impressive showing in the 100 fly, earning 52 points with their 1-2-4 finish. Swimming under 55 seconds was champion Linnea Anderson (54.29) and runner-up Charlotte Proceller (54.94). Placing third in between the UConn trio was Taylor Hogan (55.20), who held off fourth-place finisher Grace Ali (55.60).

Xavier finished 1-2-4-5 in the consolation final, a 25-point pick-up, led by winner Lorelei Gaertner (56.23).

Villanova had zero scoring 100 butterfliers, allowing the UConn women to smash 52 points off of Villanova’s lead, temporarily trailing Villanova by a mere 13 points at this point in the session. Seton Hall remains in third, yet now lead over Xavier by just three points.

Men’s 100 Fly Finals

  • Big East Record: 46.44, Josh Schneider (Cincinnati) — 2010

Top 3:

  1. Liam Cosgrove (Seton Hall)- 47.70
  2. Joseph Mullen (Xavier)- 48.73
  3. Alexander Sironen (Xavier)- 48.80

Storming under the 48-second barrier was Seton Hall’s Liam Cosgrove, nailing the wall at 47.70. The Xavier men then finished 2-3-4 behind Cosgrove, picking up 48 points, led by Joseph Mullen (48.73), Alexander Sironen (48.80), and Roark Lundal (48.85).

Breaking 50 seconds to win the consolation final was Villanova’s Jesse Marsh, swimming a time of 49.64.

Women’s 200 Free Finals

  • Big East Record: 1:44.09, Christa Riggins (Notre Dame) — 2008

Top 3:

  1. Millicent Routledge (Villanova)- 1:49.09
  2. Nicole Welch (Villanova)- 1:50.15
  3. Clara Keiser (Xavier)- 1:50.20

Answering UConn’s 1-2-4 finish in the 100 fly was Villanova in the 200 free, where Millicent Routledge (1:49.09) and Nicole Welch (1:50.15) led a 1-2 finish. Xavier’s Clara Keiser placed third at 1:50.20, five 0.05s behind Welch.

Winning the consolation final was Seton Hall’s Madeleine Bachand at 1:54.57, touching a half second ahead of Providence teammates Abigail Tchoukaleff (1:54.97) and Samantha Martin (1:55.07).

The Villanova women did not have any swimmers score in the 400 IM. Instead, they scored nine swimmers into the top 16 finalists during prelims, totaling 96 points alone. They have now extended their lead over UConn to a 78-point margin. Xavier has now jumped Seton Hall for third place by five points after the 200 free.

Men’s 200 Free Finals

  • Big East Record: 1:33.11, Joao de Lucca (Louisville) — 2013

Top 3:

  1. Andrew Martin (Xavier)- 1:36.68
  2. Ben Leclair (Seton Hall)- 1:37.82
  3. Gideon Langenbusch (Seton Hall)- 1:38.83

Winning the men’s 200 free in a sub-1:37 effort was Xavier’s Andrew Martin (1:36.68), who led a 1-6-8 finish for his team. Finishing 2-3-5 was Seton Hall, led by top three finishers Ben Leclair (1:37.82) and Gideon Langenbusch (1:38.83).

Giving Xavier an additional nine points was Daniel Stroh, winning the consolation final at 1:41.07.

Women’s 100 Breast Finals

  • Big East Record: 59.64, Sam Maxwell (Notre Dame) — 2010

Top 3:

  1. Katelyn Walsh (UConn)-1:01.74
  2. Margaret Kleinsmith (Villanova)- 1:02.04
  3. Angela Gambardella (UConn)- 1:02.76

In the women’s 100 breast championship final, UConn scored a 1-3-7 finish (48 pts) while Villanova finished 2-4-5 (46 pts), out-scoring the team leader by two points. Winning the final in a sub-1:02 swim was UConn’s Katelyn Walsh (1:01.74), touching three-tenths ahead of Villanova’s Margaret Kleinsmith (1:02.04). Placing third was UConn’s Angela Gambardella (1:02.76).

Breaking 1:05 to win the consolation final was Xavier’s Alison Herman, touching in at 1:04.92. Both Villanova (1st) and Xavier (3rd) have extended their leads over UConn (2nd) and Seton Hall (4th) in the team standings. Meanwhile, Butler has now jumped Providence for 5th place by a three-point margin with the help of Emily Landwehr‘s 12th-place finish (1:06.04, 5 pts).

Men’s 100 Breast Finals

  • Big East Record: 52.95, Christopher Johnson (Notre Dame) — 2013

Top 3:

  1. Kevin Hood (Providence)- 55.52
  2. Gennarino Conzemius (Seton Hall)- 55.62
  3. Francis Prikasky (Villanova)- 55.75

At the first 50, Seton Hall’s Gennarino Conzemius was out in a 25.79 to Providence’s Kevin Hood‘s opening 26.04 split. However, Hood closed in on Conzemius to touch the wall first by a tenth of a second 55.52 to 55.62. Taking a tight third-place finish was Villanova’s Francis Prikasky (55.75).

Winning the consolation final by 0.09s was Xavier’s Cameron Weese, touching in at 57.09. Placing second was Villanova’s John Strain (57.18).

Women’s 100 Back Finals

  • Big East Record: 52.96, Darby Goodwin (Villanova) — 2017

Top 3:

  1. Kayla Mendonca (UConn)- 55.11
  2. Caitlin Spencer (UConn)- 55.58
  3. Kali Fischer (Xavier)- 55.61

Scoring another 1-2 finish for UConn, this time in the 100 back, were Kayla Mendonca (55.11) and Caitlin Spencer (55.58). Placing third place by three one-hundredths was Xavier’s Kali Fischer (55.61).

With Sally Alrutz‘s 5th-place finish (55.91, 14pts), the Providence women have re-gained their lead over Butler for fifth place with a five-point margin.

Seton Hall’s Julie Stankiewicz won the consolation final by a half second, stopping the clock at 56.54.

Men’s 100 Back Finals

  • Big East Record: 46.61, Brandon Andrews (Louisville) — 2012

Top 3:

  1. Christian Thomas (Xavier)- 48.48
  2. Andrew DeVine (Xavier)- 49.41
  3. Benjamin Quon (Xavier)- 49.59

Xavier’s big attack of the session was in the men’s 100 back championship final, where they scored a 1-2-3-8 finish, picking up 63 points from this event alone. Leading the charge was Christian Thomas (48.48) and Andrew DeVine (49.41), both dropping a half second from prelims. Teammates Benjamin Quon (49.59) and Nicholas Mahoney (50.75) rounded out their dominant finish.

Finishing in fourth place was Providence’s Will Layden (50.07), touching out Seton Hall’s Ross Patano (50.10) by 0.03s. Winning the consolation final was Seton Hall’s Liam Cusgrove, registering a time of 50.66.

Men’s 1-Meter Diving Finals

Top 3:

  1. Michael Ackert (Villanova)- 551.05
  2. Justin Corres (UConn)- 541.35
  3. Noah Clipman (Villanova)- 520.05

The Villanova men’s divers finished 1-3 again, this time on the 1-meter board, led by Big East champion Michael Ackert (551.05) and Noah Clipman (520.05). UConn’s Justin Corres placed second with 541.35 points, nearly ten points behind Ackert. Finshing in fourth place was Providence’s Griffin Conley (365.70). Even with the absence of divers, the Xavier men still hold a 69-point lead over Villanova even with the 36 diving points.

Women’s 400 Medley Relay Timed Finals

  • Big East Record: 3:35.89, Notre Dame — 2011

Top 3:

  1. UConn- 3:41.53
  2. Villanova- 3:42.42
  3. Xavier- 3:46.45

UConn’s 400 medley relay was powerful before the event began, as three of their four legs won their respective individual events. Leading off UConn was 100 back champion Kayla Mendonca, who swam 0.01s faster than her individual winning time at 55.10. Then, Katelyn Walsh split a 1:01.98 on the breast leg. Villanova breaststroker Margaret Kleinsmith pulled away from Xavier with her 1:01.44 split, trailing UConn by 0.68s heading into the back-half of the relay.

Into the butterfly legs, event champion Linnea Anderson of UConn split 54.11 to Villanova 400 IM champion Kelly Montesi and her 54.57 split. Villanova’s Abbey Berloco anchored in a 50.09 free split, yet it was not enough to catch UConn’s Melissa Lowry (50.34). UConn won their fourth event of the day with their winning relay time of 3:41.53. Villanova finished in second place at 3:42.42.

Anchoring the Xavier relay in a 50.40 was Kali Fischer, aiding their third-place finish (3:46.45). Taking fourth place was Seton Hall at 3:50.44, highlighted by 50.87-anchor Cornelia Jerresand, who touched out Providence (3:50.58) by 0.14s.

Men’s 400 Medley Relay Timed Finals

  • Big East Record: 3:08.84, Louisville — 2012

Top 3:

  1. Xavier- 3:15.07
  2. Seton Hall- 3:17.98
  3. Villanova- 3:20.61

The Xavier men carried over their momentum after their dominant 1-2-3-8 finish in the 100 back. Leading off their relay was Alexander Sironen, whose 100 back time of 48.52 would have placed second in the 100 back. Earlier in the meet, Sironen finished third in the 100 fly. Then, Roark Lundal split a 55.05 on the breast split to give themselves a two-second lead. Into the fly legs, Joseph Mullen split 47.73 after placing second in the 100 fly.

The Xavier team flexed their versatile squad with 100 back champion Christian Thomas on the freestyle anchor, splitting 43.80 to aid their 3:15.07 winning time. Seton Hall’s Ben Laclair anchored his squad’s relay in a 44.19 while Villanova’s Reid Hutcherson split 45.39 on the anchor leg. Seton Hall placed second at 3:17.98 while Villanova took third at 3:20.61. Placing fourth was Providence at 3:22.62, highlighted by Will Layden‘s 45.17 anchor leg.

Team Scores (After Day Three)

Heading into the last finals session, the Villanova women and Xavier men maintain their leads in the team standings.

UConn remains in second place after their big finals session behind Villanova, shaving down their lead by 30 points. The Villanova women went from a 71-point lead at the beginning of the session a 41-point lead. In third place by 50 points is Xavier (369), ahead of Seton Hall (316). In the race for fifth place, Providence holds a narrow 7-point lead over Butler.

Meanwhile, the Xavier men extended their lead over Villanova to a 77-point margin, almost guaranteeing their team title tomorrow if things go as planned. Seton Hall also distanced themselves from Providence to maintain third place.


  1. Villanova 584
  2. UConn 543
  3. Xavier 369
  4. Seton Hall 319
  5. Providence 155
  6. Butler 148


  1. Xavier 573
  2. Villanova 496
  3. Seton Hall 415
  4. Providence 335.5
  5. UConn 67.5

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About Nick Pecoraro

Nick Pecoraro

Nick has had the passion for swimming since his first dive in the water in middle school, immediately falling for breaststroke. Nick had expanded to IM events in his late teens, helping foster a short, but memorable NCAA Div III swim experience at Calvin University. While working on his B.A. …

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