‘Cats swim through rough winter waters

Courtney Scrib

Between an intense training trip in Key West and a highly-competitive tri-meet in Maryland, the men and women’s swimming and diving teams had few opportunities to take advantage of the “break” enjoyed by the majority of University students this past month.

Nevertheless, their sacrifices did not go unrewarded or unnoticed as both teams had many top ten finishes in last weekend’s meet against the University of Maryland, N.C. State and Big East rival Pittsburgh.

“Both the women’s and men’s teams did a great job, considering we just came off a tough training trip in Florida,” senior Tori DeLollo said. “The other teams we were racing were not in the same situation as us and had more time to prepare for the meet.”

DeLollo, who is one of the captains of the women’s team this year, swam strong throughout the two days, placing third in the 200-yard backstroke (2:04.11), fourth in the 100 back (58.11) and ninth in the 50-yard freestyle (24.55).

Other top performers for the women included sophomores Annie Kelley and Kristina Lennox. Along with her two fourth place finishes in the 200 IM (2:07.18) and 200 fly (2:05.60), Kelley also placed fifth in the 400 IM (4:29.24) and seventh in the 100 fly (58:53).

Lennox’s best finish came in the 200 fly, where she grabbed third with a time of 2:04.69. The Illinois native also swam and placed in the top ten in three other individual events: the 100, 200 and 500-yard freestyle.

In the 200 and 400 freestyle relays, the squad of DeLollo, Lennox, freshman Jesse Radtke and senior Nichole Werger came in fourth with times of 1:36.94 and 3:33.75, respectively.

“We were a little disappointed with how we swam on Friday night, so we really stepped it up and performed a lot better on Saturday afternoon,” DeLollo said.

In the one-meter event, the women’s diving team’s two newcomers, Tammy Franks and Maripat Finigan, finished tenth (118.80) and 11th (92.05), respectively, while senior Kyla Sullivan placed ninth (123.20).

However, despite the outstanding efforts of the women’s team, the Wildcats fell to the Terrapins (281-65), Pittsburgh (256-94) and N.C. State (198-155).

Meanwhile, the men, still recovering from the Florida trip as well, were also defeated by Maryland (300-51), Pittsburgh (320-32) and N.C. State (288-60).

Regardless of the scores, though, the Wildcats remained optimistic about their performance.

“We had a good meet this weekend,” sophomore Dave Drysdale, who finished ninth in the 200 breaststroke (2:13.37), said. “We came off a good training trip, and it showed in our swims.”

Senior Bryan Rivera, who has been a consistent leader for the Wildcats throughout the season, placed seventh in the 200 free (1:45.65).

The most number of top ten finishes, however, came from underclassmen, including freshman Joe Mechak, who took ninth in the 200 fly (2:00.12). In the 1,650 freestyle event, freshmen Kiel Costella finished ninth (17:14.98), with sophomore Tom Mazzaferro coming in shortly after to grab the tenth spot (17:32.14).

In addition, the relay teams- the 200 and 400 freestyle and 200 and 400 medley- went a perfect four-for-four in fourth place finishes.

As in the swimming events, the one and three-meter dives also featured freshmen with rising potential, as Joe Traks and Mike Hanne earned 11th and 12th place, respectively, in both events.

The Wildcats return to the pool on Sat., Feb. 5, at 12 p.m. when they host Syracuse. During the meet, which will be the final home meet of the season, the seniors of the Villanova team will be honored.