Xavier & Villanova Men Tied, Wildcat Women Lead At Big East Championships

by Gerry Dunn 2

February 27th, 2020 College, Previews & Recaps

2020 Big East Championships

East Meadow, N.Y. — The sun came out today after a few days of dreary weather. It foreshadowed a great night for BIG EAST Swimming and Diving.

All Championship action will air live on the BIG EAST Digital Network and live-streamed on YouTube.

500 Yard Freestyle:

In a very close race – Nicole Welsh from Villanova outswam her competition with a time of 449.64. Julie Stankiewicz from Seton Hall out-touched Villanova’s Brenna McLaughlin (453.93) with a time of 452.54 for second.

On the Men’s side, Brett Sherman of Georgetown touched the wall with a time of 4:22.63. Andrew Martin from Xavier took second with 4:23.41 and Ben LaClair from Seton Hall took the 3rd spot on the podium with 4:24.86.

200 Individual Medley

Last year Villanova women dominated this event – and this year was a repeat. Kelly Montesi took gold for Villanova touching the wall at 2:01.33. She was followed in quick succession by teammate Rayann Jaryszak (2:02.51) and freshman Kaitlin Gravell (2:03.38) for the 1-2-3 finish.

Junior Andrew Carbone of Georgetown got to the wall in 146.10 which was an NCAA B qualifying time. He was followed by Villanova’s Justin Cucchi (1:47.37) for silver and Michael Baldini (1:49.07) from Georgetown for bronze.

50 Yard Freestyle

The sprints are always a favorite of the crowd as it seems all of the swimmers touch at the same time. Millicent Routledge of Villanova out-touched all others with a time of 22.79 for gold. Emily Conners of Xavier was second just behind with 22.96 and Belinda Donohoe of Georgetown was third with a time of 23.25

On the Men’s side Thomas Minar of Seton Hall was first to the wall with a time of 20.36. He was closely followed by senior Stephen Krecsmar of Villanova with 20.54 and Christian Thomas of Xavier with 20.63.

Men’s One Meter Diving:

Last year Villanova took 1-2-3 in this event. This year they did not disappoint the crowd. Defending Big East Champion Michael Perra maintained his lead from preliminaries through finals and led all divers with 568.10 points to hold on to his title. Sophomore Michael Ackert of Villanova was not far behind with 544.15. Georgetown’s Joseph Hofman took third with 501.00. Senior Joe Swindal finished his college career with a 4th place finish with 496.20.

200 Freestyle Relay:

The last 4 years has been a ferocious battle between Villanova and Xavier in this event. Villanova out-touched Xavier last year – and this year the tables turned. Xavier won the event with a time of 1:31.95. Senior Emily Saugstad, freshman Erin Merke, Maureen Cummings and senior Emily Conners will hold on to the title until they meet again next year. Villanova took second with 1:33.29 and Seton Hall took third with a time of 1:34.14.

In the most exciting race of the night, all five teams were neck and neck. Xavier and Seton Hall TIED for first place with a time of 1:21.05. Alexander Sironen, Noah Coomler, Brandon Aboud and Christian Thomas took home gold for Xavier. Thomas Minar, Ben LaClair, Joseph Gibson and Samuel Hendrix earned the other golds for Seton Hall. Georgetown touched the wall third place in a time of 1:21.43.

Tomorrow’s Event Schedule

Day three of the Big East Championships starts at 10 a.m. Thursday with preliminary races and Woman’s Three Meter diving. The Women’s 3-meter springboard diving preliminary event begins at Noon with warm-ups starting at 11. The athletes will then return to the pool for Finals – which will begin at 6 p.m.

Day two was very exciting for the Men with Xavier and Villanova tied for the lead with 330 points. Seton Hall and Georgetown are within striking distance with only 12 points between them.

Villanova Ladies took the lead on Day Two with a total of 330 points. Villanova once again has a chance of breaking that elusive 1000 point mark if they stay on track.

Team Standings  – Day 2


  1. Villanova         330
  2. Georgetown   266
  3. Xavier             201
  4. Seton Hall       172
  5. Providence     106
  6. Butler             105


  1. Xavier                     246
  2. Villanova                 246
  3. Seton Hall               237
  4. Georgetown           234
  5. Providence             112

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 Board of Directors for USA Diving. Want to share your thoughts? E-mail him at [email protected]

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4 years ago

50 Free runner up was Krecsmar not Cucchi.

Also “Georgetown touched the wall second for third place (Not often I get to say that)” – That’s not true, they still touched 3rd and therefore they got 3rd place.

4 years ago

Great reporting, Diving Dad!