One race after another every one of these athletes gives their all. It is inspirational watching all of them – and to see the sportsmanship and camaraderie between teammates and between teams is just awe inspiring. During preliminaries you could see every kid digging a little deeper to do their best.
1650 Freestyle – Always impressive – this race is just under a mile. Emily Mayo of Villanova cruised to a gold medal with a time of 16:28.54. Teammate Caitlin Daday swam 16:47.00 and Jillian Calocino rounded out the top three with a time of 16:51.76.
200 Backstroke – Darby Goodwin of Villanova continued to impress with a time of 1:55.02 to take gold. Kathleen Duncalf of Georgetown (1:57.85) followed for second and Paxtyn Drew from Xavier (2:00.15) for bronze. Goodwin and Duncalf both made NCAA “B” cut.
100 Freestyle – Alex Fabbri once again showed her prowess in freestyle. She touched the wall in 49.70 for Gold. Teammate Taylor Wilson followed with a time of 50.19 for silver and Emily Conners of Xavier (50.40) for the bronze. Fabbri’s time in this event qualified her for NCAA “B”.
200 Breaststroke – Molly Fitzpatrick of Georgetown continued her strength in the breaststroke events with a gold medal. Her time of 2:11.16 beat Heather Farley of Villanova (2:14.50) to the wall for silver and fellow Wildcat Brooke Bruno (2:16.83) for bronze.
200 Butterfly – Villanova swept the top 2 places in the 200 Butterfly. Christine Sullivan touched first at 2:00.74 and Mackenzie Niness second at 2:02.04. Kelleigh Haley of Georgetown took third with a time of 2:04.56.
3m Springboard Diving – Preliminaries were exciting with Bridie Dunn, Meg Barnhorst and Elizabeth Miller battling for the lead. An incorrect dive for Bridie Dunn dropped her to fifth – and top three spots were owned by Georgetown. In the finals – Meg Barnhorst of Georgetown continued diving strong and took the gold in the finals with a score of 527.75. Elizabeth Miller of Georgetown was second (511.35) and Bridie Dunn of Villanova clawed her way back to third for the bronze (592.70) and a new Villanova Three Meter Record.
400 Freestyle Relay – Villanova continued its dominance of relays with a gold medal performance. The team of Wilson, Randolph, Goodwin and Fabbri won the event in 3:20.10 – making it a clean sweep of the relays for Villanova. Xavier took silver in 3:22.44 and Seton Hall took third in 3:25.34
1650 Freestyle – Vadim Jacobson from Seton Hall took the gold medal with a time of 15:36.71. He was followed to the wall by Alex Wolfred of Xavier (15:40.79) and P.J. Naughton of Villanova (15:49.91) took the bronze.
200 Backstroke – Andrew Kelly of Villanova sped to gold with a time of 1:46.56. Teammate Justin Cucchi followed for silver (1:46.88) and Henry Hollinshead of Georgetown (1:48:12) took Bronze. Andrew Kelly had a NCAA “B” qualifying time in prelims.
100 Freestyle – In one of the closest races of the evening – Dakota Williams of Seton Hall out-touched David Bunnell of Xavier (44.95) with a winning time of 44.86. Noah Yanchulis of Seton Hall took bronze with a time of 45.03
200 Breaststroke – Matthew Dyer of Xavier handily took gold with a time of 1:59.88. Josh Tosoni of Seton hall followed for silver with a time of 2:00.45 and Robert VanKirk of Xavier snuck into third with a time of 2:03.11.
200 Butterfly – Kyle Nash of Seton Hall took gold with a time of 148.70. Nash touched the wall at 1:39.22 in a closely contested race. Terry Johnson of Georgetown (1:39.45) took silver and Villanova freshman Jade Rice (1:49.79) earned bronze.
400 Freestyle Relay – The final event of the evening was the Men’s 400 Freestyle Relay. Seaton Hall won the race with a time of 2:58.14. Xavier took second with a time of 2:59.12 and Villanova took 3rd with a time of 3:01.50.
Todd Michaels of Villanova was the Big East Diving Coach of the Year.
Final Team Scores at the completion of Meet – The Big East Swimming and Diving Championships:
- Villanova 1,017
- Georgetown 685
- Seton Hall 518
- Xavier 498
- Providence 239
- Butler 189
- Seton Hall 872.5
- Georgetown 677.5
- Xavier 658.5
- Villanova 614.5
- Providence 196
Editor’s Note: Gerry Dunn is the father of Villanova diver Birdie Dunn.