Swimming set for Big East

February 10, 2011

The Hoyas are poised to set records at this year’s Big East Championships. (Photo by Shira Saperstein)

Georgetown’s swimming and diving team is preparing for the Big East Championships, which are set to begin Friday for divers and President’s Day weekend for swimmers. Both competitions will be held at the University of Louisville. The Hoyas finished the regular season with both the men’s and the women’s squads losing to Maryland in their final dual meet. Despite the loss, the Hoyas are hoping to make all their hard work this season come to fruition when it matters most.

The Hoyas are poised to set records at this year’s Big East Championships. (Photo by Shira Saperstein)

The Hoyas head into the conference championships after posting their strongest finish ever in last year’s meet, where the men finished eighth and the women finished ninth on their way to setting 12 Georgetown records.  But this year the Hoyas hope to improve even more after having a successful season that included wins against cross-town rivals American and George Washington.

One thing the Hoyas hope to do is win an event, which they weren’t able to do in last year’s meet. Victor Lopez-Cantera had the team’s best single race finish, when he came in 11th in the 200 m butterfly.

The team prepares all season for the Big East championships with the goal for each swimmer to peak for the meet.  36 of the 43 swimmers and divers on the team were successful in qualifying for the championships. Their progress says a lot about the team who has dealt with a coaching change in the last year.

First year head coach Jamie Holder came over to Georgetown from Princeton, where he was an assistant coach.  Holder said he went into the season with the goal of qualifying every swimmer for the Big East Championships, a goal which he’s come very close to achieving.  Heading into the postseason, he is feeling confident.

“We’ve had a lot of success over the season,” he said.

Although the Hoyas finished the season on a loss, they won their final home meet against George Washington 161-110 (Men) and 168-104 (Women).  The loss at Maryland wasn’t all bad, with three more Hoyas qualifying for the Big East championships.  Sophomores Tom Cooke and Brad Murray and senior Keenan Timko each qualified for the tournament while the women’s side had a sweep of the 50 yard butterfly with Megan Harvey winning, followed by Kristen Pratt in second and Alexandra Van Nispen in third.  The qualifications were aided by the state-of-the-art facility at Maryland, which usually leads to faster times.  However, Maryland swept the first through third spots in 15 different events at the dual meet.

Perhaps the meet against the Terrapins will serve as a test for the Hoyas. Louisville heads into the Big East Championships at their home pool as the tournament favorites with 14 Big East leading times for both the men’s and women’s sides.  For the diving Championships, the leading man in the conference is Eric Lex of Notre Dame and the leading woman is Brittany Teneyck of Cincinnati.

Though the Hoyas are underdogs to win at the Big East Championships, even from the middle of the pack they still have the goal of finishing better than ever before.  Each swimmer will also be looking to set school and personal records.  The dual meets have prepped Georgetown for the postseason as they have often gone into the meets after a busy week of practice, but the Hoyas should be well rested when they dive into the lanes next week.  And the Georgetown records should be falling quickly next week as the team has prepared all season for this moment.

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