Villanova’s Czar of the swimming pool

Kaitlin Santanna

A familiar name appeared at the top of the scoresheets during a busy stretch for swimming and diving last week. Junior swimmer, Sarah Czar, has proven herself as a successful competitor during her time at Villanova. Last week, she showed her prowess in the pool, contributing to Villanova’s victory over Seton Hall and strong finish in College Park, Md. Czar’s successful week not only contributed to the Wildcats’ finishes, but also led her to be named as The Villanovan’s Star of the Week.

Czar began her successful swimming week on Jan. 13 at a home meet versus Seton Hall. In a competition that featured 15 Wildcat victories, Czar captured two first-place finishes of her own. The junior captured the 100-meter freestyle with a time of 53.42. She also dominated in the 200-meter freestyle, where she finished with the top time of 1:54.50.

Czar continued to swim well in the Wildcats’ next meet versus Maryland, Pittsburgh and Penn State. She finished fifth in the 200- and 500- meter freestyles with times of 1:54.21 and 5:02.89, respectively. Czar finished out her busy weekend swimming the first leg of Villanova’s sixth-place finishing 400-meter freestyle relay.

Czar hails from Egg Harbor Township, a town minutes away from Atlantic City. She attended Egg Harbor Township High School, where she excelled both in the pool and in the classroom. Along with earning three letters for swimming and one for field hockey, Czar was also a Varsity Scholar for all four years at Egg Harbor. Czar’s excellence in the pool garnered accolades as well, including her selection to the Cape-Atlantic League ’05-’06 Winter All-Conference Team for the 100-meter freestyle.

Since Czar arrived at Villanova in 2006, she has contributed victories to the Wildcats’ swimming team. During her freshman year, she posted five victories in the 50, 100 and 200 meter freestyle. Her best meet came against University of Connecticut where Czar picked up a win in the 200 and 100-meter freestyle races. Czar continued her tradition of combining quality performances in both the pool and the classroom when she was named to the Big East Academic All-Star Team at the end of her freshman season.

Czar continued producing strong finishes in her sophomore year. She won first place in several meets in the 100-, 200- and 500-meter freestyle races. Czar also recorded double victories in several competitions, including winning the 200- and 500- yard free against Seton Hall and La Salle along with finishing in first in both the 100- and 200-meter freestyle against Connecticut and Richmond, and again against Georgetown. It was also during her sophomore season that Czar finished in second place in the 200-yard freestyle and sixth in the 100-yard freestyle at the Big East Championships. Both were major accomplishments in her career.

Now nearing the end of her junior season, Czar has settled in as a leader for the swimming and diving team. Throughout her third season at Villanova, Czar perpetually finds herself finishing at the top of her races. The junior’s best meet this season came this past November in a match against Rutgers and Connecticut. Czar picked up a very impressive four victories in the meet.

Czar and the swimming and diving team have one more meet before thy compete in Big East Championships on Feb. 18. During the championships, Czar will look to improve upon her Big East finishes from last season and create momentum to carry her into her fourth and final season swimming at Villanova.

While she has had a great career so far at Villanova, she still has time to make even more history for the Wildcats. Next season she will be looked at as a leader, as she enters her senior year on the team.

For now, she will try to continue to excel in her meets and bring home a Big East title to Villanova. A victory of that magnitude would cement her legacy at Villanova. Regardless of how she finishes her career, Czar will be proud of what she has already done at Villanova. She has performed well in the pool and perhaps more importantly, she has been a great leader to all of her teammates. The combination is what makes her a true star.