Swimming: Burnett Receives Third BIG EAST Title
Rachael Burnett, Mandie Nugent and Kata Fodor would compete in the 500 free finals for the Mountaineers. Burnett claimed her third consecutive BIG EAST Champion title in the 500 free, breaking her original record set in 2010 with a time of 4:39.63. Burnett also received her NCCA “B” cut time. Mandie Nugent finished second (4:42.80) and Kata Fodor swam to a fourth-place finish (4:44.45). Danielle Smith finished first in the consolation finals for the 500 free (4:48.87), adding nine points to the women’s score.
“They did a really good job of doing what they needed to do this morning to set themselves up for this opportunity tonight,” says coach Vic Rggs. “I know Rachael has been thinking about this swim since last season, and getting under 4:40 is a big swim for her. Having Mandie and Kata get second and fourth, and Danielle win the consoles just got our night off on the right foot.”
In the men’s 500 free consolation finals, WVU claimed four of the eight spots. Daeton Davenport finished fourth (4:27.69), Hugh Simmonds fifth (4:28.08), Jake Querciagrossa sixth (4:28.20) and Eric Johnson eighth (4:31.74). Combined, they added 13 points to the men’s score. Frank Dyer of Notre Dame finished first in the finals with a time of 4:18.50, a new BIG EAST record.
“It was a big step for our men’s program to have all of them come back and swim better than they did this morning,” says Riggs. “To have all four of them in consoles was really great.”
Breanna McCann battled to a fourth place finish in the 200 IM, recording a time of 2:01.58. Notre Dame’s Emma Reaney took first in the event setting a new BIG EAST record of 1:56.42.
“Having bre get fourth and keep fighting the way she does kept our momentum going,” Riggs says. “We are in a nice position now. After the 200 IM, we were in front of Notre Dame, which was a first for us since I have been here.”
Brandon Carr swam to an eighth-place finish in the 200 IM consolation finals with a time of 1:51.13. William Bass of Notre Dame would claim first in the finals recording a new BIG EAST record of 1:44.81.
“This is a real good way for Brandon to finish his first race as a senior,” says Riggs. “Getting under 1:50 for the first time in the morning was a big swim for him. I was glad he had the opportunity to swim in consoles tonight."
The women’s 50 free consolation finals came down to the final touch. Tiera Butkus claimed fifth with a time of 23.59 and Eva Burlingham took eighth (23.88). Together, they added five points to the women’s total score. Liz Hannson of Cincinnati would take first in the finals (22.96).
“Having Eva and Tiera battle for the 50 free was great for us,” says Riggs. “They dropped almost a second off their time which was exciting.”
Tim Squires and Taylor Camp were seeded No. 5 and No. 7 going into the 50 free. Camp tied for fourth with Louisville’s Samuel Hoekstra with a time of 19.98, while Squires finished sixth in 20.04. Brad Eichenseer finished second (20.27) in the consolation finals.
“Having Brad finish second in the consoles in his last 50 as a Mountaineer was great,” Riggs says. “It was an honor to watch and he is a big reason why our sprint program is where it is today. Having Taylor get fourth and Tim sixth has helped us get closer to Pitt.”
The night concluded with the 200 free relays. The team of Squires, Camp, Eichenseer and Jake Kudrna took third, finishing in 1:19.08. The women’s relay of Rachael Gorrie, Butkus, Burlingham and Julie Ogden finished eighth with a time of 1:34.12.
“It was a strong effort by the women’s free relay,” says Riggs. “Ending the night only 20 points behind Notre Dame and in front of Rutgers and Uconn was our goal. We are looking forward to tomorrow. That was the second best time for our men’s relay. Having Kudrna earn his first final relay spot from the swim in the morning, and then going 19.9 in the relay was a great end for our men.”
The championships will continue tomorrow with the preliminary events for the 400 IM, 100 fly, 200 free, 100 breast and 100 back. Prelims will begin at 10 a.m. and finals at 6 p.m.
Men’s BIG EAST Champion Scores
1- Notre Dame - 406
2- Louisville – 330.5
3- Pittsburgh - 216
4- West Virginia – 186.5
5- Connecticut - 88
6- Georgetown - 86
7- Cincinnati - 71
8- Seton Hall - 70
9- Villanova - 62
10- Providence - 49
Women’s BIG EAST Champion Scores
1- Louisville - 304
2- Notre Dame - 212
3- West Virginia - 192
4- Connecticut - 183
5- Pittsburgh - 164
6- Rutgers - 138
7- Cincinnati - 133
8- Villanova - 131
9- Seton Hall - 52
10- Georgetown - 51
11- Providence - 43
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