The first day of championship swimming in the new Big East Conference kicked off Wednesday night with multiple sweeps: Villanova swept the women’s relays while Seton Hall captured all four diving events.
The diving took place first, on Wednesday morning. When major conference shake-ups split the old Big East into the new Big East and the AAC, the American Athletic Conference took the platform diving events (run for the first time in 2013) while the new Big East elected not to run platform events. The upshot of all that is that only two diving events will be contested at these championships, and they both happened Wednesday morning.
Seton Hall made the most of the one day extravaganza, though, winning all four events between men and women and going 1-2 in three of them. Gabby Signorelli won on 1- and 3-meter for the women, scoring 516.15 on the low board and 497.05 on the high. Her teammate Katie Riley followed her in both events.
Ben Mitchell swept the men’s boards, scoring 535.50 on 1-meter and 621.45 on 3-meter. Seton Hall’s Eric Davidson made it a 1-2 sweep on 1-meter, while Georgetown’s Jared Cooper-Vespa grabbed second on 3.
Villanova got its first of two wins by taking the 800 free relay. Katrin Heider, Jessica Randolph, Kaisla Kollanus and Sara Jurek went 7:16.29, powered largely by Jurek’s 1:47.7 split, best in the field. Georgetown was a distant second.
Xavier won the men’s 800 free relay, getting a 1:39.54 anchor leg from William Oswald. In a strange twist, second-place Villanova got the exact same split from anchor Jason Moyer. The two were the fastest of the field. Xavier’s team of Chad Thompseon, Luke Johanns, Eric Dirvin and Oswald went 6:41.02 to Villanova’s 6:44.03.
After a short break, Villanova came back to win the 200 medley relay. Colleen Lord, Kristin Haufler, Fiona Hardie and Jurek went 1:42.76. Jurek put up a conference-best 23.01 anchor leg pulling the early double for Villanova. Xavier was second in 1:44.05.
The final event of the night went to Georgetown’s men in a thrilling finish. Michael Young, Christian Kilgore, Martin Vanin and Matthew Mandel went 1:31.36 to touch out Xavier by just .01. Georgetown had the fastest backstroker (23.06) and butterflyer (21.90), and Mandel held off a charging Rodrigo Suriano at the finish to give Georgetown the win.
Thanks to the huge diving points, Seton Hall leads the men’s meet after one day with 120 points. Georgetown is second at 105. On the women’s side, Georgetown leads Seton Hall 163-138.
Full Team Scores
1 Georgetown University 163
2 Seton Hall University 138
3 Villanova University 109
4 Providence College 65
5 Xavier University 64
6 Butler University 54
1 Seton Hall University 120
2 Georgetown University 105
3 Xavier University 74
4 Villanova University 64
5 Providence College 58