The Notre Dame men can do almost no wrong at these Big East Championships, though the Cardinals still got some positive results from their junior freestyler Joao de Lucca to carry them to a couple of notable victories. Meanwhile, the Louisville women still maintain a strong 50-plus point lead over Notre Dame into the meet’s final day. That’s by no means an unimpeachable margin, especially with platform diving yet to come, but the Cardinal should feel comfortable.
Women’s 400 IM
In the first swim of the evening the Louisville Cardinal women did a fine job extending their lead over Notre Dame by sweeping the top three positions.
Tanja Kylliainen lead the event from start to finish and destroyed her own meet record time winning the in a time of 4:07.29. Kylliainen set the meet record last year swimming a 4:10.40.
Her teammate Abigail Chin separated herself from the pack in the backstroke portion of the race finishing second in a time of 4:13.24 while Victoria Mitchell managed to beat out Grace Fredlake of Notre Dame by 13 100ths of a second to finish third with a time of 4:16.76.
Men’s 400 IM
The early lead in this race belonged to lane one, Evan Noble of Louisville and lane eight, William Franz of Connecticut who went into the backstroke in the first and second position. Nolan Tesone of Louisville used the backstroke to catch the swimmers in the two outside lanes and than extended that lead in the breaststroke.
Noble would eventually fall off the pace by Franz continued to challenge Tesone right to the finish. In the end Tesone won the event in a time of 3:48.90, Franz was second in a time of 3:49.76 with Notre Dame’s Matthew DeBlasio finishing third in a time of 3:50.95.
Women’s 100 butterfly
After this mornings preliminaries predicting that Louisville’s Kelsi Worrell would win the 100 butterfly was a safe bet. Worrell set a new meet record in the event by swimming a time of 51.55 nearly three seconds faster than the second place qualifier Notre Dame’s Kimberly Holden.
In the final Worrell took the first 50 out faster than her morning swim posting a time of 23.95 compared to the 24.07 she split in the morning, but she could not hold on to the faster pace and faded a bit tying her preliminary time of 51.55. Holden had a much faster time in the final finishing second touching in a time of 52.57 with Worrell’s teammate Mary Mittel finishing third in a time of 54.61.
Men’s 100 butterfly
Kourosh Ahani from Pitt qualified first after the prelims in a time of 47.19, in the final he finished in the same position swimming a time of 46.74.
Finishing second was William Bass of Notre Dame in a time of 47.38 with his teammate Jonathan Williamson who posted a time of 47.93 managing to finish just ahead of Louisville’s Aaron Young who finished fourth in a time of 47.99.
Women’s 200 freestyle
After the first 100 yards of the women’s 200 freestyle it was anyone’s race with six girls touching within two tenths of a second of each other. That changed in the third 50 when Louisville’s Breann McDowell split a 26.91 to take a lead of over a second heading into the final 50.
McDowell extended that lead winning the event in a time of 1:46.77 with Pitt’s Danielle des Tome finishing second in a time of 1:48.54.
Finishing in third was Kelsey Herbst of Pitt, the one woman who looked out of the race at the 100, touching in a time of 1:48.74.
Men’s 200 freestyle
In one of the most anticipated events of the evening Louisville’s Joao De Lucca squared off against Notre Dame’s Frank Dyer. The two men who should contend for the national title both took their preliminary swims easy saving their energy for their race this evening.
In the final De Lucca took a slight lead over Dyer in the first 100 posting a 46.40 with Dyer splitting a 46.54.
De Lucca continued to increase his lead slightly, that was until he exploded off the wall into the final 50 yards leaving Dyer in his wake, eventually winning the race in a new meet record time of 1:33.11 eclipsing his own record of 1:33.44 set at last year’s championship meet.
Dyer finished second in a time of 1:34.70 with Alex Burtch of Louisville finishing third in a time of 1:36.39.
Women’s 100 breaststroke
Emma Reaney of Notre Dame had a great swim in the preliminaries to break her own Big East record of 59.38 posting a time of 59.20.
In the final Reaney went out 23 one-hundredths of a second faster than her morning swim turning in a time of 28.03. She continued to pull away from her competition with a final 50 split of 30.81 over a second faster than the next best woman.
Reaney won the event breaking the Big East record for the second time in one day posting a time of 58.84.
Erin Malone of Villanova finished second in a time of 1:00.77 with Reaney’s teammate Christen McDonough finishing third in a time of 1:01.63.
Men’s 100 breaststroke
Notre Dame’s Christopher Johnson, who had the fourth fastest time this morning, lead the race from start to finish setting a new Big East record swimming a time of 52.95. The previous mark of 53.07 was set in 2008 by Kevin Donohue of West Virginia.
Johnson’s teammate Zachary Stephens finished second in a time of 53.17 with Cameron Miller finishing third in a time of 53.53 completing the Irish’s sweep of the top three positions.
This is a big upset by Notre Dame. It was plausible that one of the Irish swimmer could have won this race, but to go 1-2-3 against a very good Louisville breaststroke group that includes Addison Bray (53.66) and Kameron Chastain (53.81) is a sign of how well the Irish are swimming this week.
Women’s 100 backstroke
Notre Dame continued their winning ways in a third straight event Kimberly Holden winning the women’s 100 backstroke in a time of 53.34. Her Notre Dame teammate Kelly Ryan was second in a time of 53.53 with Kristina Bradenburg of Louisville finishing third in a time of 53.95.
After the women’s individual events Louisville is on top of the women’s standings with 558 points followed by Notre Dame with 498 points.
Men’s 100 backstroke
Adam Maczewski of Pitt dominated the men’s 100 backstroke from start to finish winning in a time of 47.09.
Aaron Young of Louisville finished second in a time of 48.75 just ahead of Notre Dame’s Bogac Ayhan who touched in a time of 48.80.
After the men’s individual events Notre Dame is on top of the men’s standings with 618 well ahead of Louisville who is second with 465 points
Men’s 3-Meter Diving Final
This 3-meter final was about as close of a diving final as there can be, with the end result being decided by just a tenth of a point. Notre Dame’s Michael Kreft took a big early lead, but when he received just average scores on his 5th dive, Pitt’s Aaron Snyder capitalized to move within four points of the leader. Given that Snyder’s final dive had a degree of difficulty half-a-point higher than Kreft’s, he knew all he needed was to be solid on that final dive to pull out the victory.
Solid he was, as he got 5.5’s and 6.0’s on his final dive. Kreft basically matched that on his final dive, but the degree of difficulty was just barely enough to put Snyder over the edge for the title 338.30-338.20.
Women’s 400 Medley Relay Final
The Notre Dame women’s 400 medley relay has a few moving parts, but at the end of the day they have three solid legs, and one monster leg in the form of Emma Reaney, their breaststroker. After her individual split, she was even faster on the rolling start here with a 58.15 on their second leg. Louisville, with a 51.6 from Worrell and a 48.7 anchor from McDowell, would fight-back, but could beg no closer than a second at the final wall.
Nore Dame’s finishing time was 3:34.86, with the Cardinals taking 2nd in 3:36.39.
Turgers ended up 3rd in 3:40.52, followed by Villanova in 3:41.22. That relay for Villanova included a 1:00.45 breaststroke split from senior Erin Malone.
Men’s 400 Medley Relay Final
Louisville got one back, after several big Notre Dame performances in this session, in the 400 medley relay, taking the win in 3:11.62. The Irish were 2nd in 3:12.98.
Though that’s not enough to make the team scoring competitive, but it should build some confidence by the Cardinals. Sophomore backstroker Aaron Young was about six-tenths faster here than he was in the individual 100 back, leading off in 48.18. Then Addison Bray won the breaststroke leg to extend Louisville’s lead.
An outstanding 46.32 from William Bass on the butterfly leg put the Irish temporarily in the lead, but Louisville saved their best for last: a 41.93 from Joao de Lucca that roared them to victory.
Pitt ended up 3rd in 3:15.15.
Full Live meet results available here.
1. Notre Dame, University of 703
2. Louisville, University of 522
3. Pittsburgh, University of 379.5
4. Connecticut, University of 301.5
5. Cincinnati, University of 177
6. Georgetown University 146
7. Seton Hall University 118
8. Villanova University 110
9. Providence College 79