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by Paul Regan

The women’s swimming and diving team earned their first Big East wins of the season this weekend in a quad meet at Rutgers. The Wildcats defeated Seton Hall 204-146 and Georgetown 259-91. The men’s team lost to both Big East opponents, falling to Seton Hall 177.50-171.50 and Georgetown 214-127.

The Wildcat women had success in both the team and individual events held in Piscataway, N.J.

’Nova took second place in the 200-meter freestyle relay. The team of sophomore Kaisla Kollanus, junior Katrin Heider, junior Sara Jurek and freshman Jessica Randolph came in at 1:37.08.

’Nova also took first and second place in the 400-meter freestyle relay with times of 3:30.58 and 3:36.19.

In the 200-meter freestyle, Heider placed first with a 1:52.20 and Jurek finished third with a 1:52.81. Heider also earned third place finishes in both the 100-meter freestyle (52.67) and the 500-meter freestyle (5:07.22). Jurek took in second in the 400-meter individual medley with a time of 4:29.44.

The Wildcat freshmen made important contributions in the individual events.

Freshman Erin Merkle took third in the 1000-meter freestyle with a 10:35.62. Freshman Colleen Lord earned third place finishes in both the 100-meter backstroke (59.68) and the 200-meter backstroke (2:09.25). Randolph took third in the 200-meter breaststroke (2:32.48) and freshman Emily Mayo finished second in the 500-meter freestyle with a time of 5:04.13.

In the diving portion of the meet, senior Michelle Hall recorded the highest scores for Villanova on both the 1-meter board (222.20) and the 3-meter board (241.35).

The Wildcat men, although they did not fare as well as the women’s team, still placed well at the quad meet.

The team of senior Kyle Grant, junior Chris Tamanini, freshman Michael Rodriguez and freshman Murphy Smith placed second in the 200-meter freestyle relay with a time of 1:27.34. The Wildcats also took first in the 400-meter freestyle relay with a 3:11.40.

Junior Jason Moyer and senior Ben Smith both had outstanding weekends. Moyer took first in the 100-meter freestyle (47.16),  second in the 50-meter freestyle (21.95) and third in the 200-meter freestyle (1:45.19). Smith had first place finishes in the 100-meter butterfly (51.03), 200-meter butterfly (1:54.64) and 200-meter individual medley (1:57.12).

Sophomore Nikolai Tchobanov finished third in the 400-meter individual medley with a time of 4:17.75 and third in the 200-meter freestyle with a 1:59.37.

Freshmen Harrison Rodts and Greg Cino earned second and third, respectively, in the 1000-meter freestyle with times of 10:03.28 and 10:03.91.

For the diving team, sophomore Zachary Romanovsky scored 217.55 on the 1-meter board and 228 on the 3-meter board.

The Wildcats will return to Piscataway, N.J. in two weekends (Nov. 22-24) to compete in the Frank Elm Invitational.

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