Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

GU Impresses at Big East Championships

The Hoyas’ swimming and diving season came to an end this past weekend with the much-anticipated Big East Championship in Pittsburgh, Pa.

Over the weekend, the Louisville Cardinals won the men’s championship, while the Notre Dame Fighting Irish took the women’s championship back to South Bend. The Hoyas, however, concluded one of their strongest seasons in program history, with the men finishing in eighth place with 133 points, and the women finishing in ninth with a total of 96 points.

Head Coach Steve Cartwright said he was pleased with his team’s performance over the course of the past week, especially given the nature of the Big East conference.

“The Big East is a pretty eclectic conference when it comes to swimming,” he said. “We look to individuals obtaining lifetime best times, the breaking of team records and scoring more points as a team than we have in years past. If we’re able to go to Big East and do those things consistently, on a year-to-year basis, then it’s been a successful season.”

From the beginning of the season, Cartwright has stressed that his main goal was to have his team swimming its best in February and to send the entire roster to Pittsburgh for the championships. The Hoyas almost reached their goal, sending all but three individuals. This year marked a milestone for Georgetown, as the Hoyas sent the largest roster to the Big East championship in program history.

The Hoyas finished off their historic season in Pittsburgh, setting 12 more school records when it counted the most.

The women’s 400 freestyle relay team, consisting of senior Lindsay Vickroy, juniors Mallory Kiplinger and Megan Harvey and freshman Samantha Kietlinski, set one of those school records, finishing eighth in the event with a time of 3:28.93.

The women also set another relay record, with their ninth place finish in the medley. The team consisted of Harvey, Vickroy, fellow senior Laura Alito and sophomore Kathryn Berg.

These two events capped off a productive season for the women’s team, as it made program history, not just with individual school records, but also with the best dual meet record in Georgetown history.

The men also finished on a high note as they gained steam throughout the season and avenged their prior dual meet loss to Villanova. Although defeating the Wildcats remains a significant accomplishment, Cartwright focused more on the importance of improving as a team for the Big East Championship.

“Beating Villanova is certainly something that we’ve done in years past, but we look to get up on the next rung on that ladder – just trying to get more points and moving up,” he said. “Our guys look forward to dual meets, but everybody knows that we swim faster in February at Big East.”

That was certainly the case for the men’s side, as sophomore Victor Lopez-Cantera ended his team-leading campaign strongly, finishing 11th in the 200 butterfly.

Lopez-Cantera also helped the Hoyas finish eighth in the 200 medley relay, swimming the third leg behind senior Wes Going and sophomore Bradford Crist and in front of sophomore Jens Brenninkmeyer.

The biggest loss the Hoyas will face after the season involves the seniors, including Alito, Vickroy, Going and James LiVolsi, who headlined most of the team’s meets and kept the Hoyas in contention throughout the season.

“I’m not a believer that we can replace people that leave,” Cartwright said. “Everybody brings their own dynamic to the team, and that team dynamic changes every year – not just with the freshmen that come in but those that make the conscious choice to step up. Even though we don’t replace them, they will be big shoes to fill, especially with their leadership as captains.”

Throughout the season, the Hoyas witnessed a changing of the guard, with Kietlinski making a splash with her impressive swimming early on. On the men’s side, freshman Paul Quincy made a similar impact in his freestyle events. In addition, other freshman members, including Ken Ryan and Brad Murray, began to find their niche in their respective events by the end of the season.

Typically, there is a significant jump between freshman and sophomore years, and Cartwright expects much of the same from this group.

“Freshman year is a big adjustment here,” he said. “The change comes as to what they do between the conclusion [of freshman year] and the beginning of the sophomore year. They now know what to expect [and] how competitive this conference really is . A lot of kids make that transition from freshman to sophomore year.”

There will be little time for the Hoyas to rest, as the team starts its spring training in just two weeks.

“Every year, in order to keep moving the program forward, we can’t do the same things and expect different results,” Cartwright said. “It’s going to get a little tougher [and] a little more challenging for people that want to be a part of something special.”

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