‘Cats drop first meet

Kaitlin Santanna

The Villanova swimming and diving team opened 2006 in a competition in Pittsburgh against the Panthers and the University of Maryland on Jan. 13 and 14. Although both the men’s and women’s team came up short, the team amassed 14 top-five finishes.

The women lost to Pitt by a score of 240-113 and to Maryland with a score of 187-161, while the men lost with scores of 300-48 and 268-68 respectively.

Junior Jenny Somerville started the competition strong for Villanova by winning the first event of the meet. She posted the best time of 17:04.66 in the 1650 free. Friday continued to be a successful day for the Wildcats.

Freshman Brie Von Rosendahl made her mark on the competition by finishing second in the 100-meter breast with a time of 1:06.17. Kristina Lennox won the 100-meter fly (55.97), while her junior classmate Annie Kelley finished second in the 400-meter IM (4:28.14).

The women’s team marked a successful end to the day with the 200 free relay, where Jesse Radtke, Marlee Morden, Whitney Roth and Lennox posted the third best time of 1:37.91.

This strong showing on Friday put the Lady Wildcats only ten points behind the University of Maryland. Despite four top-three finishes, Villanova was not able to make up this deficit.

Lennox recorded her second win of the competition in the 200-meter fly (2:04.57) and placed second in the 200-meter free (1:52.50). Somerville finished third in the 500-meter free (5:02.04) and Kelley’s time of 2:08.38 was good for second place in the 200-meter IM.

The men’s team had five top-five finishes of their own to speak of. They started and ended Friday with good finishes. Sophomore Kel Costella started off the meet for the men with a fifth place finish in the 1650-meter free (17:16.69). The 200-meter free relay team made up of Mike Kernicky, James Harrell, Zach Rambo and Matt McLaughlin finished fourth in the final event of the day.

Saturday saw similar results from the ‘Cats. McLaughlin took fifth place in the 200-meter free (1:46.90), and Kernicky finished fifth in the 50 free with a time of 22.01 as well.

These two, along with Harrell and Ryan McKenna, were part of the last event of the competition, the 400-meter free relay, in which the team finished fifth.

The Wildcats have a short break before returning to action on Feb. 4 in Syracuse, N.Y., when they will swim against the Orange.