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 Makes Splash at Patriot Invitational

The Patriot Invitational marked a mid-season test for the Hoyas and a measuring stick for their progress so far. After a strong start to the season, the Georgetown swimming and diving team worked hard during its 20-day break between meets.

The crowd at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., saw that preparation pay dividends for the Hoyas over the weekend. They represented themselves well, with the men placing sixth out of nine schools at the meet and the women placing fourth in their competition.

Head Coach Steve Cartwright was proud of the Hoyas’ performance, considering that it sets them up for the rigors of the Big East tournament later in the year.

“As a whole, we placed very well,” he said. “Individually, we had some strong performances, which allow us as a coaching staff to see where we are for the second half of the season.”

To date, Georgetown has qualified 18 women and 16 men for the Big East tournament in February.

“Every time we get out and race, it’s an opportunity to get more qualifiers,” Cartwright said. “We have some other opportunities to qualify more swimmers and get the entire team to Pittsburgh [for the Big East championship], which is the ultimate goal.”

The Patriot Invitational pitted the Hoyas against many local schools, including host George Mason, American, George Washington and Howard. In addition, they faced some highly touted swimming programs, including UNC-Wilmington and UMBC.

The weekend also set up the second straight meet in which Georgetown was pitted against its Big East rival, Seton Hall. The degree of competition, along with the rigorous three-day schedule, closely simulates the Big East tournament’s four-day schedule, which is especially helpful to the newest members of the team.

On Sunday, the Hoyas put forth their best performance of the weekend, with sophomores Victor Lopez-Cantera and Kristen Pratt turning in strong individual results. Lopez-Cantera finished second in the 200 fly with a time of 1:52.28, while Pratt placed fifth in the same event with a time of 2:07.58.

Junior Caitlin Karniski highlighted a solid showing from the diving team, with a second-place finish in the 3-meter dive.

Other Hoyas also placed on the final day of competition, including freshmen Paul Quincy and Samantha Kietlinski. Quincy finished third in the 1650 freestyle with a time of 16:16.86 minutes, while Kietlinski finished sixth in the 100 freestyle with a time of 52.66. The performance of the two young Hoyas means Georgetown could be poised for a high finish in the conference tournament, as they are making heavy contributions in the midst of their first collegiate swimming seasons.

On the first day of competition, the women’s 200 freestyle relay team of seniors Lindsay Vickroy and Laura Alito, junior Megan Harvey and freshman Amy Ballanfant set a school record of 1:36.95. In addition, freshman Christina Costa set a school record in the 200 backstroke.

Cartwright was very happy with these marks, especially at this stage in the season.

“These records are very promising – very rarely do we break school records in November, as it’s so early in the season, and we don’t rest nearly as much as for . [the] conference tournament,” he said. “It’s great to see these kinds of performances just halfway through the season.”

Georgetown has also made strides outside of the pool, with the addition of a new scoreboard to the Albert G. McCarthy Jr. Pool. Along with all involved in the program, Cartwright is excited about the new addition.

“It certainly will enhance the student-athlete experience here, and it’s just one more step in building the program for the future,” he said. “Swimming is a sport that relies heavily on its timing system, so this really will allow us to host more meets at Yates [Field House].”

This part of the season is crucial for the Hoyas, as they face a number of academic breaks without formal practice, but Cartwright is confident his swimmers will work diligently on their own. The Hoyas will have to maintain their conditioning as they head to Pennsylvania to face Big East foe Villanova University in early December.

“The Georgetown-Villanova rivalry does not stop at the basketball court – it extends here as well, and the team has been looking forward to it for a long time,” Cartwright said.

The Hoyas head from one measuring stick to another, as their matchup against the Wildcats on Dec. 5 will determine where they stand in the Big East. “

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