Nine first-place finishes pace Wildcats over Richmond

Kayla Quigley

The women’s swim team hosted Richmond last Friday at the Villanova Swim Complex.  The Wildcats defeated the Spiders in this nonconference meet with a final combined score of 147-110. 

The Wildcats went into this competition with a .500 record (4-4), so a win at this time was crucial to the team’s success overall. 

In the end, the women acquired nine first-place finishes, seven second-places and six third-places.  

Villanova dominated the freestyle races, finishing first and second in all five.  Junior Kaisla Kollanus, freshman Caitlin Daday, sophomore Emily Mayo and sophomore Erin Merkle all had impressive races.  

Daday swam 4:58.14 and 10:14.25 in the 500 and 1000 freestyle, winning in both events.  Mayo followed in second in both races with a 5:02.02 in the 500 and a 10:16.33 time in the 1000. 

The 200 freestyle was swept by the Wildcats, with senior Katrin Heider in first, senior Sara Jurek in second, and sophomore Jessica Randolph in third. 

The ’Cats also proved to be impressive in the backstroke events, with freshman Gabby Daigneault clinching first place in the 100 and 200 events, clocking in at 57.36 and 2:03.99.  Mary Spillane, also a freshman, finished third in the 100 backstroke with a time of 59.71. 

Junior Fiona Haride, sophomore Kristin Haufler and freshman Mackenzie Niness all showed their talent in the butterfly events.  

Haride won the 100 butterfly with a time of 57.05 and took third place in the 200 event also at 2:06.05.  Haufler finished second in the 100 with a time of 58.18, as did Niness in the 200 event at 2:06.02. 

Freshman Olivia Cacciatore finished third in the 200 breaststroke with a time of 2:29.64. 

Villanova also performed well in the relays.  Gabby Daigenault, Heather Farley, Fiona Hardie and Katrina Heider secured a victory in the 200 medley realy with a time of 1:47.37.  Colleen Lord, Kristin Haufer, Kaisla Kollanus and Jessica Randolph finished third.

This victory pushed the Wildcats to a 5-4 record overall, and a 2-0 record in the Big East.  The women (and men) will be hosting a meet once again, on Feb. 7 in the Villanova Swim Complex, against Pittsburgh.