Swimming and diving knocks off Georgetown

Nate Meserve

The Villanova swimming and diving team defeated Georgetown this past Saturday 175-125 at their meet at the Villanova Swim Center. The victory marked Villanova’s second win of the season to improve their record to 2-4, and Coach Rick Simpson notched his landmark 100th career win. Simpson, who is in his 10th season as both the men’s and women’s swimming and diving coach at Villanova, previously coached at other Big East schools Seton Hall and Rutgers.

The visiting Georgetown Hoyas built an early lead, but Villanova fought back. The Wildcats combined to set 12 season-best times in the meet in overtaking Georgetown. Villanova tallied its second dual meet win of the 2009-10 season by winning nine of the 14 individual races and one of the two team relays including the final meet of the event, the 400 freestyle relay.

The Hoyas held the lead in the meet for seven of the 16 events, but soon the wheels fell off as Villanova made a strong push by taking the first diving event to take their first lead in the competition, 77-73. Villanova continued to sweep the top three spots in the 100 freestyle. The 100 free allowed Villanova to take a comfortable 94-75 lead, and the Wildcats never looked back, winning the meet by an impressive 50 point margin.

Strong individual performances were attained by juniors James Styles and Nick Williams, sophomore Ted Sukramani, and freshmen Scott Thiede, Braden Clarke, and Jordan Bickhart, all of whom were victorious in at least one event on Saturday.

Williams and Thiede combined to win three of the freestyle races, while Clarke won the 100 backstroke and Bickhart took the 200 backstroke. Styles won both the 1-meter and 3-meter diving competitions. Freshman John Kracke was another notable performer for the Wildcats. Kracke finished third in the 200 freestyle to qualify for the Big East Championships in February with a personal best time of 1:47.63, cutting off more than seven seconds from the first time he competed in the event against West Virginia on November 13.

Villanova continues its 2009-10 campaign with a meet at Seton Hall on January 12.