Seniors go out with a splash

James Evans

Villanova’s men’s and women’s swimming teams took on Notre Dame and Pittsburgh, two Big East rivals, this weekend in its last home meet of the season. Though the results were not to the liking of most of the Villanova fans, there were strong solo performances.

Maddy Crippen once again proved that she is well worth the price of admission, as she dominated in all her races. She easily won the 1,000-yard freestyle (10:03.24) by a convincing eight seconds over the closest opponent and cruised to wins in the 200-yard butterfly (2:03.56) and 200-yard breaststroke (2:20.75) by two and three seconds, respectively.

Though it was a day for the seniors junior Becky Koch gave the audience some reassurance for next year, as she came through with victories in the 500-yard freestyle (4:51.20) and 200-yard freestyle (1:50.78). Koch showed her preeminence in both competitions as she won easily, winning the 200-yard by four seconds and the 500-yard by seven seconds.

Freshmen Kiersten Rosenberg and Amanda Jackson also provided the ’Cats with a spark, as Rosenberg placed first and third in the 100-yard freestyle (53.20) and 200-yard intermediate medley (2:08.30), respectively. Meanwhile, Jackson placed third in both the 100-yard freestyle (53.42) and 50-yard freestyle (24.79). Jackson was narrowly defeated in the 50-yard freestyle, coming in just three-tenths of a second behind first place and .14 seconds behind second place. Furthermore, Jackson pushed teammate Rosenberg to her limit in the 100-yard freestyle, only losing to her by .22 of a second. She also came within two-hundredths of a second of capturing second place.

The future is looking bright for the ’Cats, as a lot of underclassmen stepped up big for the ’Cats on Saturday. Sophomore Tori DeLollo came within a half of a second of winning the 200-yard backstroke (2:03.37), as she placed second. Also freshmen Lauren Schulman and Trista Felty, both provided the ’Cats with a lift, as Schulman placed third in the 1,000 yard freestyle (10:13.47) and Felty placed second in the 200-yard freestyle (1:55.06). Schulman easily blew out the rest of the competition but missed placing second by two seconds.

On the men’s side, Pete Klimas provided fans with the most exciting race of the day. As Klimas stood on the diving board, just 50 yards away from a potential victory, no one would think that this race would be any different from the rest of the races that day, with someone jumping out to an early lead and holding onto it. However, at the start of this race, Tommy Bird of Pittsburgh and Klimas jumped out to an early lead. Klimas and Bird were going stroke for stroke and literally looked like duplicates of each other. And as they were coming down the stretch, the crowd rose with abated breath and when they reached the wall it was to close to call. As both Bird and Klimas hung on to the edge of the pool looking up at the scoreboard, a hush fell over the crowd. And then in a quick second the times flashed on the scoreboard giving the win to Bird by one hundredth of a second, and coincidently leaving Klimas with a bitter second-place finish in the 50-yard freestyle (21.45).

Klimas also helped the men as he placed third in the 100-yard freestyle (47.56). Once again this race was close for Klimas, as he finished only four-tenths of second behind second place Andrew Patrizzi of Pittsburgh.

Finally, junior Ryan Costella and senior Andrew Harbuck provided the ’Cats with a jolt as they both placed in their races. Costella placed third in his 1,000-yard freestyle race (10:01.13) and Harbuck, placing fourth (1:57.11), came with in a half a second of moving up to third in the 200-yard intermediate medley.

In diving competition, sophomore Julie Rhines and Amy Sfara paced the ’Cats, as they both placed second and third in the one meter and three meter boards. Rhines collected 222.85 points in her dive off the one meter and collected 201.8 off the three meter. Sfara showed that she was no slouch as she gained 212.50 points on her one meter dive and 187.4 on her three meter dive.

The meet was the last one at Villanova for the year and with it, it marks the end of some great careers. Seniors Justin Buland, Andrew Harbuck, Peter Klimas, Adam Walchak, Maddy Crippen and Andie Scelisi, all took their final dip in the pool on Saturday.

The swim team will travel to Syracuse this weekend, in search of a win against its Big East rival.