By: Jack Dunn ~Staff Writer~
The Xavier men and women’s swim teams finished third and fourth, respectively, in the Big East Championships at the Nassau County Aquatic Center in Long Island last week, winning seven events and setting 17 school records.
The women’s team was returning a strong core group from its third place team from last year. On opening night, the 800 free relay consisting of sophomore Katie Kerr, senior Taylor Jach, freshman Emily Saugstad and junior Paxtyn Drew posted the second fastest time in program history, finishing third with a time of 7:30.39. For the second event of the day, the 200 medley relay team, made up of Drew, sophomore Becca Titterton, sophomore Caroline Gaertner and freshman Emily Conners, broke the school record with a time of 1:41.27.
On day two of the championships, Conners broke another school record in the 50 free with a 23.02 mark in the preliminary heats. She finished third overall in the event, with fellow Musketeers Gaertner and Drew finishing just behind her.
The third school record to fall during the meet was the 200 free relay, with Conners, Gaertner, Drew and freshman Abigail Garner placing second with a time of 1:31.94.
On the third day of the meet, Gaertner won the 100 fly with a time of 53.72, besting the school record. Gaertner also set a school record in the 100 back, posting a 54.43 mark for second place. The relay team of freshman Ali Fort, Titterton, Gaertner and Conners ended the day with a school record time in the 400 medley relay, finishing third with a time of 3:47.01 The women wrapped up the championships with a final score of 498 points, good enough for fourth overall in the meet.
The men’s team was unsuccessful in defending its title but still had a strong meet overall. On the first day, it put up a fourth place finish in the 800 free relay, with the team of junior Alex Wolfred, sophomores Sam Johanns and Enrique Hernandez and freshman Brandon Abbout posting a time of 6:41.6.
The Musketeers claimed the top spot and set a new school record in the 200 medley relay, with Johanns, sophomore Matthew Dyer, graduate student Knox Hitt and senior Tony Miller finishing with a time of 1:28.89.
Day two of the meet began with Wolfred setting a school record in the 500 free with a time of 4:29.05. Hitt also finished third overall in the 50 free, posting a time of 20.6.
The day ended with Xavier claiming third place in the 200 medley, with junior Robert Snader, Miller, sophomore Bloomfield Hills and Hitt finishing with a time of 1:21.98.
On day three of the Championships, Hitt won the 100 fly, his second Big East win in the event. He won with a time of 47.65, beating his own school record. Dyer won the 100 breast, beating the other swimmers with a school record time of 54.91. Johanns also led all Musketeers in a top three finish with a time of 49.24, narrowly beating sophomores Nathan Runyon and David Bunnell. The day ended with another Xavier school record, with Runyon, Dyer, Hitt and Johanns claiming the Big East title in the 400 medley relay with a time of 3:16.25.
Both teams look to improve next season, with the men hoping to reclaim the top spot in the Big East while the women look to build on a strong finish.