Villanova Women, Seton Hall Men Lead After Day 3 of Big East Champs

One day before the 2017 BIG EAST Swimming & Diving Championships final presented by Jeep, the Villanova women and Seton Hall men continue to lead the field after three days of competition at the Nassau County Aquatic Center.

Friday’s highlights from the pool included Villanova’s Darby Goodwin breaking the BIG EAST record in the 100-yard backstroke with a mark of 52.96 in the first leg of the 400-yard medley relay. The record was formally held by Notre Dame’s Kimberly Holden with a mark of 52.99, set in 2011.

With Goodwin’s strong start the Wildcats’ 400-yard medley relay team of Goodwin, Farley, Niness and Wilson went on to win the event in a school record time of 3:40.18, which was more than four seconds faster than second place Georgetown at 3:44.48. On the men’s side, Xavier repeated as the champion in the 400-yard medley relay with a finished of 3:16.25.

The Xavier men also found success in the 100-yard backstroke with the Muskeeters claiming the top three finishes. Samuel Johanns secured first-place with a 49.24 mark, followed by teammates Nathan Runyon (49.26) and David Bunnell (49.44), respectively. Villanova’s Goodwin paced the women’s 100-yard with a time of 53.15.

The Muskeeters also crowned Matthew Dyer (54.91) in the men’s 100 breaststroke, Albert Hitt (47.65) in the men’s 100-yard butterfly and Caroline Gaertner in the women’s 100-yard butterfly.

Fighting to keep first place, the Seton Hall men registered a triple crown in the men’s 400 IM as the Pirates claimed the top three finishes in Lior Grubert (3:54.38), Ivan Michalovic (3:56.28) and Jonathan Bar-Eli (3:57.09), respectively.

Adding to Seton Hall’s performance, Noah Yanchulis repeated as the 200-yard freestyle BIG EAST Champion, with a NCAA-B cut time of 1:36.77. Villanova's Alexandra Fabbri also met a NCAA-B cut in the 200-yard freestyle with a top time of 1:46.15. Teammate Christine Sullivan added to the Wildcats momentum as she claimed the 400-yard IM title with a time of 4:21.76.

Molly Fitzpatrick won the first women's individual title for Georgetown of this year's championships as she finished first in the 100 breaststroke for the second time of her collegiate career with a NCAA-B cut time of 1:01.27. Teammates Ryan Blom (508.35pts.) and Jared Cooper-Vespa (501.40 pts.) added success for the Hoyas on the men’s side by securing the top two spots in the men’s one-meter dive, respectively.

The final day of competition will begin at the pool at 10 a.m. for the prelims of the 200-yard backstroke, 100-yard freestyle, 200-yard breaststroke, 200-yard butterfly and women's three-meter diving. In the afternoon, the competition will begin a little earlier than the previous three days with the timed final first heat of the mile swim starting at 3:40 p.m. At 5:35 p.m., the BIG EAST will recognize its senior student-athletes will a short senior ceremony on the pool deck. Finals of the morning events and mile swim will begin at 6 p.m.

Coverage for tomorrow's Championships will start at 10 a.m. with the prelims then restart again at 3:40 p.m. and continue through the end of the finals. Watch live on the BIG EAST Digital Network (BEDN) on FOX Sports Go.
Team Rankings - After Day 3

1. Villanova                    689
2. Georgetown               422
3. Xavier                         362
4. Seton Hall                   316
5. Providence                 155
6. Butler                          122

1. Seton Hall              589.50
2. Georgetown           511.50
3. Xavier                     436
4. Villanova                 413
5. Providence              136