2022 Big East Fan Guide: Can The Villanova Women Make It 9 In A Row?

2022 Big East Championships

The Big East held their conference championships after the 2021 NCAA Championships last year due to COVID-19. The conference has switched back their championships though to its normal time frame this year.

The Villanova women have been dominant in the conference winning the last eight titles, but Connecticut join the conference last year and finished second behind Villanova by only 68.5 points. The Xavier men have been dominant winning the last three championships.

Schedule

Wednesday

  • 200 medley relay
  • Women’s 1-meter diving
  • Men’s 3-meter diving
  • 800 freestyle relay

Thursday

  • 500 freestyle
  • 200 IM
  • 50 freestyle
  • 200 freestyle relay

Friday

  • 400 IM
  • 100 butterfly
  • 200 freestyle
  • 100 breaststroke
  • 100 backstroke
  • Women’s 3-meter diving
  • Men’s 1-meter diving
  • 400 medley relay

Saturday

  • 1650 freestyle
  • 200 backstroke
  • 100 freestyle
  • 200 breaststroke
  • 200 butterfly
  • 400 freestyle relay

Women’s Showdowns

Star: Villanova’s Kelly Montesi has won eight individual conference titles in nine races so far in her career, and will again be a driving force for the Wildcats as they seek a ninth straight crown. Montesi is the three-time defending champion in the 400 IM, two-time defending champ in the 200 IM, and won the 200 fly last year (and 2019) while claiming the 200 back in 2020. She’s pre-entered in eight different events, so we’ll wait and see where she puts her focus in her senior season.

100 freestyle: Connecticut’s Maggie Donlevy and Seton Hall’s Natalie Heim are only separated by 0.01 on their best times this season. Both swam their respective season bests at midseason. Donlevy is a freshman at UConn and has already set a lifetime best while at UConn swimming a 50.72. Heim is a sophomore at Seton Hall and tied for third at the conference championships last season swimming a time of 51.20. Heim has already swam faster this season, however, swimming a new school record time of 50.73.

400 IM: Villanova junior Kaitlin Gravell holds the top time in the conference this season with a 4:19.01. Behind her is Connecticut sophomore Niamh Hofland with a 4:19.09. Last year, Hofland was second at the championships in a 4:15.53, and Gravell was third touching in 4:21.25. The race this year looks to be much closer between the two.

Swimulator Results – Women

  1. Villanova, 685.5
  2. UConn, 662.5
  3. Seton Hall, 506.5
  4. Xavier, 466.5
  5. Georgetown, 412.0
  6. Butler, 194.0
  7. Providence, 159.0

SwimSwam Predictions – Women

  1. Villanova
  2. UcoNN
  3. Seton Hall
  4. Xavier
  5. Georgetown
  6. Butler
  7. Providence

The meet looks to be a very close battle between Villanova and Connecticut on the women’s side. Both teams are strong at diving as Connecticut had four A finalists in the diving events last year and Villanova had two in each. This could give the slight edge to UConn, but Villanova is championship-tested and holds an early-season dual meet win over the Huskies this season. We’ll stick with the eight-time defending champs, especially when they have a swimmer like Montesi who is essentially a lock for three individual wins.

Men’s Showdowns

1650 freestyle: Villanova’s Jake McIntyre holds the top time in the conference this season with a 15:30.20 from midseason. McIntyre was second in the event last year swimming a 15:31.58. Xavier’s Andrew Martin is not far behind McIntyre this season as his best is a 15:30.49. Martin won the event last year in a time of 15:26.91.

100 butterfly: Georgetown’s Michael Baldini swam a conference-leading time of 48.89, but Christian Thomas of Xavier is right behind him with a 48.99. Baldini is a junior but did not compete in the event last year, and Thomas is a graduate student but also did not compete in the event last year.

Swimulator Results – Men

  1. Georgetown, 762.0
  2. Xavier, 655.0
  3. Villanova, 524.0
  4. Seton Hall, 474.5
  5. Providence, 409.5

SwimSwam Predictions – Men

  1. Georgetown
  2. Xavier
  3. Villanova
  4. Seton Hall
  5. Providence

On the men’s side, the Swimulator projects that Georgetown will overtake Xavier for the title after not competing last season. With Xavier not having a diving squad, Georgetown gets the edge.

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Swimmer
7 months ago

Georgetown didn’t swim last year because of Covid

Rinchard
7 months ago

Xavier does not have a diving team and Georgetown does… that’s why you haven’t seen xavier divers compete

About Anya Pelshaw

Anya Pelshaw

Anya has been with SwimSwam since June 2021 as both a writer and social media coordinator. She was in attendance at the 2022 Women's NCAA Championships writing and doing social media for SwimSwam. Currently, Anya is pursuing her B.A. in Government & Law and Economics at Lafayette College. There she is …

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