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Swim and Dive Sweeps La Salle

Natalie Zickel/Villanovan Photography
Men’s swim and dive beat La Salle, 169-108.

This past week, Villanova’s men’s swimming and diving team lost to Rider on Nov 1., 128-165, and to NJIT on Nov 3., 139-157. However, the men’s and women’s teams both picked up wins against La Salle on Nov. 4, 169-108 and 190-102, respectively.

“Our guys actually stepped up really well,” head coach Rick Simpson said. “We’re much more improved against Rider than we were at Georgetown, so we were really happy with the way they swam.”

On the men’s team, senior Charlie Hinckley had a stellar performance on the road against Rider, taking first place in the 200 freestyle and the 500 freestyle.

“He’s very consistent and he really doesn’t ever have a bad day in training,” Simpson said. “He really does lead by example.”

Sophomore Chris Jones also dominated on the platform, taking first place in the one meter and the three meter diving competitions.

“[Jones] had a fantastic week,” Simpson said. “He’s really stepped up his game. He’s had his best week of his career in terms of his performance.”

Another notable performance came from senior Richard Nolan, junior Henry Halloran and freshman Ben Tunila. The group finished second through fourth in the 200 breaststroke and picked up crucial points for the Wildcats.

At NJIT, Hinckley won the 200 freestyle and 500 freestyle, repeating his sweep.

From the platform, Jones showed his consistency, scoring 293.25 to beat NJIT divers by more than 60 points. He also improved upon his three meter score from Wednesday’s competition against Rider (281.63), and defeated NJIT’s Aiden Ban by just one point, 260.55 to 259.05.

Sophomore Gavin Jones also remained consistent, picking up points in three different events. He finished third in the 200 freestyle, tapping the wall at 1:43.90, third in the 100 freestyle and fourth in the 50 freestyle.

In the victory against La Salle, both the men and women’s team had a powerful showing.

For the men, Hinckley won the 200 freestyle (1:40.71) and the 500 freestyle (4:39.42), two events in which he has won both times where he has competed in them. He has won the 500 four times this year and the 200 three times. Jones saw a pair of wins with yet another one-meter (252.60) and three-meter (324.08) sweep.

Another standout performance came from Hinckley, junior Henry Halloran, sophomore Henry Gingrich and junior Patrick Hemingway, who picked up a win in the 200 medley relay with a time of 1:33.01.

The men were very successful in the 100 backstroke with a win from sophomore Gavin Jones, and freshmen Josh Seidman and Max Christensen finished just behind him in second and third place.

On the women’s side, the A-team of senior Audrey Pastorek, junior Lainey Quinones, sophomore Winnie Jalet and freshman Alyssa McHale won the 200 medley relay.

“We’ve spent a lot of time talking about [the 200 medley relay], and we’re really trying to focus on it,” Simpson said. “It’s the first event of a dual meet and we usually feel a little flat with that relay, so it’s an area as a team where we know we have to focus on it.”

Freshman Marlene Blanke had multiple wins for the ‘Cats, touching first in the 1000 Free (10:25.85) and in the 500 freestyle (5:07.35).

In diving, freshman Katie Vaughn took first place in the one-meter (230.61) while sophomore Mimi Danzis took first place in the three-meter, recording a new personal best of (242.92).

“[The diving team has] a fantastic chemistry going on right now,” Simpson said. “They’re all working hard and staying focused and they all contribute equally right now, which in diving is not always the case. This is a group where another name pops up that stands out, which makes this group really special.”

The men are preparing for the West Virginia Invitational starting on Nov. 16. The women will face Penn on Nov. 8, before joining the men at the West Virginia Invitational.

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