S&D: ‘Cats give seniors successful sendoff

Jamie Augustinsky

Three weeks after swimming at College Park, Md., the men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams were finally back in action on Feb. 3 against their fellow Big East Conference swimmers of Syracuse University. This event marked the final home meet of the season and was a special day for the seniors, who were honored before the meet in the Senior Day celebrations. Five men and seven women were honored for their contributions and commitment to the teams over the past four years. The senior members on the men’s side were Stephen Kress, Michael Kernicky, Ryan McKenna, Ryan McCormick and David Drysdale. On the women’s side, Danielle Honrath, Annie Kelley, Kristina Lennox, Jessie Santapaul, Whitney Roth, Jenny Somerville and Allison Stine swam for the final time at home.

“It was definitely a memorable experience for all of us seniors,” Somerville said of swimming in her last event at home. “Our younger teammates and family made the day very special.”

“Swimming in the Senior Day meet was something I had been looking forward to all year,” Kress said. “I had mixed emotions with it being my last meet, but I was excited to swim.”

The women had a memorable Senior Day as their seniors led them to a 138-95 victory over Syracuse. Leading the way were Somerville and Kelley, each double winners. Somerville swam to firsts in the 1,000-meter freestyle and the 500-meter freestyle, and Kelley was victorious in the 400-meter IM and as a member of the first place 200-meter medley relay team.

“The meet against Syracuse was a great way to end my dual-meet career at Villanova,” Kelley said of her victories.

The men also had a productive Senior Day. Although they were defeated with a score of 155-83, Kress swam to a second place finish in the 200-meter freestyle with a sufficient time to qualify for the Big East Championships.

“Making [the] Big East [Championships] has been my goal since day one, and qualifying in my last meet was the culmination of all of my hard work,” he said of his final home meet. “I couldn’t be happier with the way I ended my dual meet career at Villanova.”

Next up for the Wildcats will be the Big East Championships. The whole team is excited for this event.

“We have the strongest team right now that I have been a part of at ‘Nova, and I can’t wait to go to the Big East [Championships] with the rest of the team,” Kelley said.

“Now it is time for us to focus our attention to the Big East Championships for the next week, and hopefully we will all have some great swims in two weeks,” Somerville said.

The Big East Championships will begin Feb. 14 in Long Island, N.Y.