The Georgetown swimming and diving team broke records and earned gold medals at the Big East Championships in East Meadow, N.Y., that took place Feb. 20 through Feb. 23. The men’s and women’s teams finished second and third out of the six schools that competed in the championships. Over the course of the four-day meet, the team broke 17 program records and won seven gold medals.
This year’s results displayed a slight change from last year’s Big East team standings where the men placed second and the women’s team finished in third. The Hoya men came away with 744 points, behind Xavier University with 779.5 points, while the Georgetown women finished with 643.5 points behind Xavier University with 662 points and Villanova University with 1007.5 points.
On Wednesday, the men’s team started strong in the 800-yard freestyle relay. The relay team of senior Jacob Kohlhoff, sophomore Drew Carbone, freshman Michael Wheeler and freshman Brett Sherman gave Georgetown its first win with a time of 6:32.86. The quartet broke the previous record time by almost three seconds.
Wheeler set a school record on Thursday morning in the 500-yard freestyle preliminary race, but classmate Sherman broke it again that night. In the evening finals Sherman came away with a first place with a time of 4:23.63 minutes, pulling just .12 seconds ahead of Wheeler, who finished second.
Junior Cristina Barrett swam the fastest race of her career in the women’s 500-yard freestyle on Thursday evening. She won second place and recorded a new program time of 4:50.85 minutes.
On the diving board, sophomore Naomi Peng won second place and sophomore Riley Fujioka won third place in the 3-meter event.
Carbone broke his own record in the 200-yard individual medley preliminary then placed first in the 200-yard individual medley, finishing almost two seconds before the second-place swimmer in what was an otherwise tight race.
In Friday’s evening finals, Sherman claimed silver in the 400-yard individual medley. Kohlhoff then placed first in the 200-yard freestyle, and Wheeler followed his teammate in third place.
Freshman Sean Devlin fell short of first place in the 50-yard freestyle and swam to finish second with a time of 20.42. Sophomore Nathaniel Goldfarb earned third place in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 55.06 seconds.
Coming into the competition as one of the Big East leaders in the backstroke event, Carbone won gold in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 48.27 seconds. Carbone also claimed first place in the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 1:43.77 minutes, winning his fourth gold medal in the Big East Championships.
In the women’s 100-yard backstroke, freshman Grace Chen swam to silver in 55.05 seconds. The quartet of Chen, senior Laine Morgan and sophomores Megan Smith and Belinda Donohoe finished on the podium in third place in the 400-yard medley relay.
On Saturday, sophomore Evie Mauzé kicked off the evening finals with a bronze medal in the 200-yard backstroke with only .03 seconds between her and the second place finisher. Her classmate Alexandra Rieker earned a silver in the 200-yard breaststroke, while Smith followed in fifth place.
The women’s 400-yard freestyle relay team of Morgan, junior Lauren Rutledge, sophomore Grace Sun and Donohoe also claimed a spot on the podium with a third place finish.
On the men’s side, junior Jack Calderwood, Devlin, Kohlhoff and Carbone secured second in the 400-yard freestyle relay and broke the school record by over a second.
Freshman Carlson Temple also broke another school record in the morning preliminaries of the 200-yard breaststroke and ended in fourth place in Saturday evening’s finals.
A few Georgetown swimmers and coaches were recognized for their solid performances. Carbone earned Big East Championships’ Male Most Outstanding Swimmer for the second year in a row by winning four gold medals in this year’s championships. Swimming and Diving Head Coach Jack Leavitt along with his coaching staff were named Big East Men’s Coaching Staff of the Year and Head Diving Coach Marc VanDyken was named Big East Women’s Diving Coach of the Year.
The Big East Championships saw some of the best performances and exciting races of this year’s swimming and diving season. The Hoyas will return to action next month for the NCAA Championships in Austin, Texas, beginning on Wednesday, March 20.