Somerville competes at NCAA Championship

Alex Gallucci

Another season has come to an end, and although this means the parting of many dedicated seniors, the men’s and women’s swim teams have much to be proud of. Both teams had many fine performances at the Big East, including a Big East title from junior Jenny Somerville, who captured her third consecutive title in the 1,650 freestyle.

Somerville then went on to Athens, Georgia to represent Villanova at the NCAA Championships on March 16-18. Somerville qualified in two events, the 500 and 1,650 freestyles. She was able to improve her standings by several places, swimming significantly better than her seeded times. Originally seeded 27th in the 1,650 freestyle and 57th in the 500 freestyle, Somerville came out finishing 23rd and 40th, respectively. Somerville was the only swimmer from Villanova to qualify for the NCAA meet.

“I was very honored to represent Villanova at the NCAA. It was a great experience for me,” Somerville said. “I would have loved to have been able to share the experience with some of my fellow team members; that is something I am looking forward to for next year.”

Although the men’s team had no qualifiers, their enthusiasm and support of the women’s team was as strong as ever. As a captain, senior Jim Harrell said he realized the importance of the men’s and women’s teams supporting one another.

“I feel that both teams, although scored separately in meets, really feed off of each other,” he said. “If we knew the girls had an important meet, we always made sure to get behind them and keep them motivated for each race.”

Senior Kiersten Rosenberg also commented positively on this aspect of the team’s unity. “Without the men’s team, the atmosphere of the pool deck would be completely different,” she said. “Their excitement and support for the women’s team this year has been like no other I have experienced. Both the men’s and women’s teams were behind each other 100 percent for every practice, dual meet and championship meet.”

This year the program will graduate six seniors from the team: three from the women’s team, and three from the men’s.

“Each year it gets harder to say goodbye to the seniors because each year we’re all closer to them,” Somerville said. “It will be hard to replace their impact in the pool but even harder to replace their leadership and presence on the team. It is crazy to think my class will be the seniors next year, I know most of us still feel like young freshman. It will be our turn to lead our team, and we only hope we can do as well as the seniors we had this year did.”

The team continues to train with next year’s goals in mind. With the team operating as a strong, cohesive unit, the program should look forward to another successful season next year.