Villanova Takes Top 6 Places in Women’s 200 Free Big East Final


  • Wednesday, February 22 – Saturday, February 25
  • Nassau Aquatic Center, East Meadow, NY (Eastern Time Zone)
  • Defending Champion: Villanova women (3x) & Xavier men (3x) (results)
  • Championship Central

Wow – just wow.  The excitement is palpable on the third day of the Big East Swimming and Diving Championships.  Just when you thought a swimmer couldn’t possibly go faster – they do.  Just when you thought that a swimmer couldn’t medal – they do.  It was certainly worth the price of admission today at Nassau Aquatic Center.


Villanova maintained perfection with a sweep of the 400 Individual Medley.   They placed six Wildcat swimmers in the finals – and took six of the top seven places. Christine Sullivan touched the wall first taking the gold in 4:21.76.  Teammates Caitlin Daday followed (4:21.79) and Gabrielle Daigneault (4:24.97) took the bronze.  To this point – Villanova has taken the gold in every individual event and relay…..  Amazing.

The women’s 100 butterfly looked to be a tossup based upon prelim times.  The finals did not disappoint – with an exciting race won by Caroline Gaertner of Xavier.  She touched the wall at 53.72 followed by Sydney Simpson of Seton Hall (54.42) and Dorothy Morgan of Georgetown (54.90).  Both Gaertner and Simpson’s times made the NCAA “B” cut.

Villanova again had six of the eight finalists in the 200 free and this time swam the six fastest times. Alex Fabbri of Villanova swam to her second individual title winning the 200 freestyle.  She touched the wall at 1:46.15 for the gold and an NCAA “B” cut.  Emily Mayo (1:47.37) and Jessica Randolph (1:49.52) followed as silver and bronze medalists for Villanova.  Both Fabbri and Mayo came in below the NCAA “B” cut time.

Molly Fitzpatrick from Georgetown won the 100 breastroke race with a time of 1:01.27.  Heather Farley from Villanova (102.60)  and Sydney Simpson from Seton Hall (1:02.94)  followed for silver and bronze. Fitzpatrick’s time was a NCAA “B” qualifying time.

In the 100 Backstroke Darby Goodwin of Villanova repeated as Big East Champion.  Her time of 53.15 edged out Caroline Gaertner of Xavier (54.43) and Paxtyn Drew of Xavier (55.23).  Both Goodwin and Gaertner had NCAA “B” qualifying times.

The last event for the women was the 400 Medley Relay.  Villanova’s team of Goodwin, Farley, Niness and Wilson took the gold with a time of 3:40.18.  Darby Goodwin’s 100 Bbckstroke time of 52.96 is a new Big East Record.  Georgetown followed in second place (3:44.48) and Xavier finished third touching the wall at 3:47.01.

MEN  –

Seton Hall’s Lior Grubert won the 400 Individual Medley and retained his Big East title.  His time of 3:54.38  bested his teammates Ivan Michalovic (3:56.28) and Jonathan Bar-Ali (3:57.09)  to complete the Seton Hall sweep of the event.

In the 100 butterfly Villanova’s Jake Hoin and Xavier’s Albert Hitt battled it out.  It was deja vu from last year’s Championship when Hitt out-touched Jake Hoin for the Gold.  Hitt’s time of 47.65 allowed him to maintain the title he won last year. Jake Hoin repeated as a silver medalist (48.13) and   Connor Phillips of Seton Hall took third with a time of 48.50.

Men’s 1-meter diving saw Ryan Blom from Georgetown extend his lead from the prelims to repeat as 2017 Big East Men’s Diving Champion.  He totaled 508.35 points  followed by teammate Jared Cooper-Vespa (501.30) for silver.   Alex Pfisterer of Seton Hall took the bronze with a score of 490.55.

In the Men’s 200 freestyle Seton Hall’s Noah Yanchulis was a repeat champion with a time of 1:36.77.  Vadim Jacobson from Seton Hall followed with a time of 1:37.57 and Jacob Kohlhoff from Seton Hall took bronze with a time of 1:39.16.

In the Men’s 100 breaststroke Matt Dyer of Xavier won the event with a time of 54.91.  He was followed by Josh Tosoni (55.73) and Zohari Suslovich (56.28) – both from Seton Hall.  Dyers time was a NCAA “B” cut qualifier.

The Men’s 100 Backstroke was the closest final of the day.  Sam Johanns of Xavier out touched his team mate Nate Runyon with a time of 49.24 beating Runyon (49.26)  by two hundredths.  David Bunnell of Villanova rounded out the field in third with a time of 49.44.

The final event of the evening was the men’s 400 medley relay.  Xavier’s team of Runyon, Dyer, Hitt and Johanns won the event with a time of 3:16.25.  Seton Hall (3:17.89) edged out Villanova (3:17.89)  for second leaving the Wildcats with a bronze.

Team Scores at the completion of day 3 – The Big East Swimming and Diving Championships:

Women:                                                                Men:

  1. Villanova            689                                    1.  Seton Hall          589.5
  2. Georgetown       422                                    2. Georgetown       511
  3. Xavier                  362                                    3.  Xavier                  436
  4. Seton Hall           316                                    4.   Villanova            413
  5. Providence         155                                     5.  Providence         136
  6. Butler                   122       

The last day of competition is tomorrow with trials starting at 10am, with women’s 3m diving prelims at noon and finals commencing at 6pm.

Editor’s Note: Gerry Dunn is the father of Villanova diver Birdie Dunn.

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