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Burnett Repeats as BIG EAST Champ

By Grant Dovey for
February 17, 2011 09:30 PM

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia University men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams raised their point totals to 202.00 and 165.00, respectively, on Thursday evening in the second evening of the 2011 BIG EAST Swimming & Diving Championships. The men now trail Louisville (346.00), Notre Dame (326.50) and Pitt (237.00), while the women are behind Louisville (328.50), Notre Dame (217.50) and Pitt (192.50).

After a superb preliminary swim in the morning, Rachael Burnett, Kata Fodor and Mandie Nugent held the 1-3 seeds, respectively, for the finals, while Danielle Smith was the No. 7 seed in the consolation finals.

Burnett, Fodor and Nugent paced each other throughout the final swim with Burnett taking home her second-consecutive 500 free BIG EAST title with a time of 4:43.04. Fodor finished in a close second with a time of 4:43.51, while Nugent finished fourth in 4:45.11.

Smith had another fantastic swim in the consolation finals finishing in third place with a season-best time of 4:53.34.

"Having Rachael, Kata, Mandie and Danielle start finals for us with successful swims was great," coach Vic Riggs said. "Congratulations to all of our finalist tonight and to Rachael for defending her 500 free crown."

The Mountaineer men were well represented in the 500 free consolation finals with Jared Goldthorpe holding the No. 1 seed, Hugh Simmonds No. 13 and Jake Querciagrossa No. 16.

Goldthorpe took the heat by storm with a convincing win in a time of 4:23.42. Querciagrossa took third in 4:27.65 and Simmonds finished fourth in 4:29.05.

"The men's 500 free was a nice surprise for us. Jared, Jake and Hugh responded to good swims from this morning with great ones tonight," Riggs said.

Breanna McCann who was seeded second after a school record time of 2:00.97 in the preliminary round, placed second in the finals of the 200 IM with a time of 2:01.46. Louisville’s Sarah Andrews finished in first with a time of 2:00.26.

Brandon Carr and George Farquhar held the seventh and eighth seeds in the consolation finals of the men’s 200 IM.

Carr stayed consistent with a seventh-place finish in 1:53.51, while Farquhar had a comeback first-place finish in a time of 1:50.11. Farquhar was able to gain the victory after being in eighth place halfway through the race.

"Breanna has continued to improve from where she was at this point last year and broke the school record that she set last season," Riggs said. "George and Brandon had great swims as well in the consolation of the men's 200 IM."

Tim Squires, Brad Eichenseer and Taylor Camp were seeded No. 2, No. 4 and No. 7, respectively after the men’s 50 free preliminary round. Squires finished the finals in second place (20.05), Eichenseer placed fourth (20.34) and Camp finished in eighth (20.50). Brendon Andrews of Louisville took the top spot with a time of 19.83.

Zach Chow, who was the eighth seed after the preliminary round in the men’s 50 free, took eighth in the consolation finals in a time of 20.93.

The final event of the evening was the 200 free relay where the women’s team of Rachael Gorrie, Smith, Fodor and Eva Burlingham took fifth in 1:35.50.

The men’s squad of Squires, Graham Kauffman, Chow and Eichenseer narrowly placed second behind Louisville with a time of 1:20.12.

"To finish the night off with three of the eight 50 free finalists, it was great to get those points," Riggs said. "Our relays did well and our best days are to come. As I told the team I would be hard pressed to find another team at this meet that had 31 of 33 best times this morning and have nine of 12 faster times at night."

The championships will continue with preliminary rounds at 10 a.m., tomorrow morning, followed by the finals at 6 p.m., tomorrow evening. Events tomorrow include the 400 IM, 100 fly, 200 free, 100 breast, 100 back and 400 medley relay.

Men’s BIG EAST Championships Scores
1 – Louisville – 346.00
2 – Notre Dame – 326.50
3 – Pittsburgh – 237.00
4 – West Virginia – 202.00
5 – Connecticut – 109.50
6 – Seton Hall – 93.00
7 – Cincinnati – 86.00
8 – Georgetown – 78.00
9 – Villanova – 58.00
10 – Providence – 43.00

Women’s BIG EAST Championships Scores
1 – Louisville – 328.50
2 – Notre Dame – 217.50
3 – Pittsburgh – 192.50
4 – West Virginia – 165.00
5 – Cincinnati – 152.00
6 – Rutgers – 144.00
7 – Villanova - 139.50
8 – Connecticut – 126.00
9 – Georgetown – 65.00
10 – Seton Hall – 47.00
11 – Providence – 26.00

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