Villanova Men Lead After Day 1 of Big East Championships

Big East – Men and Women

EAST MEADOW, N.Y. – Winter storm PETRA was no match for the swimmers and divers of the Big East Conference in Wednesday night.  The cold and snow made conditions outside treacherous.  Inside – the pool was fast and the competition was fierce.

The Villanova men are in the lead after the first day of competition with 116 points.  Villanova and Xavier women share the top spot with 74 points.

Day 1 Results

800 Freestyle Relay

In the first event, the Villanova woman won the 800 freestyle relay with a time of 7:10.63.  Alexandra Fabbri, Taylor Wilson, Millie Routledge and Kelly Montesi took the gold and set a new Villanova record with their win.  Xavier touched the wall second with a time of 7:23.25 and Seton Hall third with 7:24.34.

Georgetown men won the 800 freestyle relay with a time of 6:32.86.  Drew Carbone, Michael Wheeler, Jacob Kohlhoff and Brett Sherman were solid performers for the Hoyas.  Xavier touched second with a time of 6:35.34, and Villanova earned the bronze in 6:37.08.

One Meter Diving

The Villanova men were dominant on the One Meter Springboard.  Michael Perra defended his Big East title from last year with a tally of 584.20 – 64 points ahead of his nearest competition.  Michael Ackert took second place with 519.74 and Joe Swindal third to give Villanova the sweep.

Villanova’s Michael Eckart, Michel Perra and Joe Swindal swept the men’s 1-meter diving top spots at the Big East Championships.

200 Medley Relay

In the most exciting race of the night – the Xavier women put defending champion Villanova on notice that they were here to win.  Xavier out-touched Villanova by six one-hundredths of a second to take gold.  Ali Fort, Lydia Schaeffer, Caroline Gaertner and Emily Conners gave their all and touched the wall in 1:40.26.  Villanova followed with 1:40.32 and Seton Hall with 1:44.38.

One the men’s side, it was Xavier once again showing its speed.  Samuel Johanns, Matthew Dyer, David Bunnell and Christian Thomas claimed the gold for the Musketeers with a time of 1:28.88.  Seton Hall followed for the silver in 1:29.83 and Villanova and Georgetown tied for the third spot in 1:30.62.

Day two of the Big East Championships starts at 10 a.m. Thursday with preliminary races for the 500 freestyle, 200 individual medley, 50 freestyle and 200 freestyle relay.  The Women’s 3-meter springboard diving preliminary event begins at Noon with warm-ups starting at 11.  The athletes will return to the pool for Finals – which will begin at 6 p.m.

Team Standings  –  Day 1

Women:

1. Villanova                 74

Xavier                     74

3. Seton Hall               64

4. Butler                      56

Providence             56

6. Georgetown           30

Men:

1. Villanova                 116

2. Georgetown           112

3. Seton Hall               88

4. Xavier                      74

5. Providence              28

Gerry Dunn is a contributing writer for SwimSwam.  He is a “Diving Dad” and resides in Washington, D.C. Gerry continues to dive competitively and is currently the Chairman of the Master’s program for USA Diving. Want to share your thoughts? E-mail him at [email protected].

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