Xavier Men's Swimming Captures First BIG EAST Championship
Feb. 22, 2014
SEWELL, N.J. - The Xavier men's swimming team has delivered the university its first BIG EAST Championship since joining the league last July. This also marks the first time in program history in which either the men's or women's swimming teams won a conference title.
"I am so proud of the way our guys attacked this meet from the first relay," said head coach Brent MacDonald. "We knew that we would have a battle on our hands all week long and they swam incredibly well under pressure.
"This is a great big step for our program and shows our dedication to excellence both in the classroom and in the pool. I'm so proud of our seniors Chad Thompson and John Kinney for leading us to this amazing accomplishment, they have set a fine example for our team since day one."
Senior swimmer Chad Thompson brought home six gold medals and was named the BIG EAST Most Outstanding Performer. MacDonald was tabbed BIG EAST Men's Coach of the Year after leading Xavier to the championship.
After the diving portion of the championships last weekend, Xavier trailed by Seton Hall by 88 points and Georgetown by 33. Neither Xavier's men's nor women's programs have a diving program.
From that point on, Xavier dominated. After the first full day of competition on Thursday, Xavier's men's team had already built a 60-point cushion. By the end of Friday, the margin was over 145 and Xavier cruised to the Championship on Saturday night.
The women's team entered the championship tied for fifth, trailing Georgetown (99), Seton Hall (74), Villanova (29) and Providence (11) after the diving portion. They rebounded for a third-place finish in the Championships.
"Our ladies had an incredible challenge on their hands in moving to the BIG EAST," stated MacDonald. "Our goal was a top-three finish and they battled so hard the final two days to make it happen. I'm so proud of their perseverance, and with such a young team its clear we have a very bright future."
The Final night of the competition started well for the Musketeers, with Mackenna Rife grabbing a bronze medal in the women's mile. Rife notched a time of 17:06.52. Taylor Jach (17:37.47) also took home seventh in the event.
Nick Foster started the men's final night of competition by winning the 1650 free. Foster eclipsed his own school record in the event, posting a time of 15:39.24. Nicholas Strader (15:42.86) took home the silver and Kiernan McGeehan (16:05.37) finished seventh.
Carolyn Stewart kept the momentum rolling for Xavier, capturing the gold medal in the 200 back in 2:00.21. Jacquelyn Misanik (2:02.81) and Kristen Liebert (2:03.95) added fourth and fifth-place finishes in the event.
Thompson led a trio of Musketeers in the A-final of the 200 back. Thompson broke his own school record with a new time of 1:48.32 to take home first place. Arthur Smith (1:48.99) took home the silver medal with his second-place finish and Rodrigo Suriano (1:49.87) took fourth.
Molly Kroeger (51.99) was the lone representative in the women's 100 free, where she took seventh. Kroeger posted a time of 51.84 in the prelims, a mark that ranks second all-time at Xavier.
Xavier won its second-straight men's event thanks to a record-shattering swim by Luke Johanns in the men's 100 free. The sophomore took the gold medal with a time of 44.64, breaking Sam Conchuratt's 2013 record by nearly half a second.
The A-final in the women's 200 breast featured three Musketeers. XU picked up a silver medal finish from Natalie Hyde (2:23.57). Haley Dresner (2:24.69) and Hannah Martin (2:27.90) added fifth- and eighth-place finishes for the women.
Michael Gordon brought home a silver medal in the men's 200 breast. Gordon's time of 2:04.48 was .15-seconds off of Xavier's record. Eric Futscher (2:09.10) finished fifth and Eric Dirvin (2:09.39) seventh.
The women closed their Championships with a silver medal in the 400 free relay. Kroeger, Abbigail Walsh, Claire Brolsma and Carolyn Stewart posted a time of 3:29.30, breaking a six-year old Xavier record by .09-seconds.
Then, the men capped the event with a bang. Johanns, Suriano, Moss and Thompson posted a nearly three-second victory in the men's 400 free relay. The quartet's time of 3:00.08 tied Xavier's record in the event.
Final Meet Results
Xavier Men's Medals
Xavier Women's Medals