XU swimming success in Big East Championship: Men’s team takes first-ever title, women’s grabs third place late

By: Nikhil Jelaji ~Staff Writer~

The Xavier men’s swim team brought home the school’s first Big East Championship this past weekend since joining the league last July. This also marks the first time in school history either the men’s or women’s swimming team has won a conference championship.

Senior Chad Thompson brought home six gold medals and was named the Big East Most Valuable Performer.

Head coach Brent MacDonald was also named Big East Men’s Coach of the Year after the championship victory.

“I am so proud of the way our guys attacked this meet from the first relay,” MacDonald said. “We knew that we would have a battle on our hands all week long and they swam incredibly well under pressure.”

After the diving event last weekend, Xavier trailed Seton Hall by 88 points and Georgetown by 33. From that point on, Xavier took over. After the first full day of competition on Thursday, Xavier had already built a 60-point cushion. By the end of Friday, the margin was over 145 points and Xavier cruised onto compete in the Championship on Saturday.

“This is a great big step for our program and shows our dedication to excellence both in the classroom and in the pool,” MacDonald said. “I’m so proud of our seniors Chad Thompson and John Kinney for leading us to this amazing accomplishment, they have set a fine example for our team since day one.”

The women’s team went into the competition on Thursday tied for fifth place, trailing Georgetown (99), Seton Hall (74), Villanova (29) and Providence (11) after the diving portion of the competition and rebounded to finish in third place in the final round of competition.

The final night of competition started well for the Musketeers. Sophomore Mackenna Rife grabbed a bronze medal in the women’s mile with a time of 17:06:52, while freshman Taylor Jach placed seventh in the event with a time of 17:37:47.

The women’s team also picked up another silver in the 400 free relay. Sophomore Molly Kroeger, freshman Abbigail Walsh, sophomore Claire Brolsma and junior Carolyn Stewart posted a time of 3:29:30, beating the school’s six-year record by .09 seconds.