SWIMMING & DIVING | Conference Foe Looms Large
Published: Friday, February 7, 2014
Updated: Friday, February 7, 2014 00:02
Georgetown’s swimming and diving team will head up to Piscataway, N.J., in a meet against Rutgers and Providence. The men’s team will face Providence, while the women’s team will face Rutgers and Providence. This will be the Hoyas’ last meet before the Big East Championships.
The women know that this will be a tough meet, especially against a difficult Rutgers team. Rutgers has already defeated Georgetown this season in a quad meet that also included Villanova and Seton Hall.
“Rutgers is a really strong team. I’m not concerned with trying to win that meet,” Head Coach Jaime Holder said. “Providence is a great Big East competitor for us, and they are probably coming in with the same type of attitude as we are with their eyes on the Big East [Championship].”
The men and women are entering this meet trying to finish off what has been an up and down regular season. Both squads are looking for one final duel-meet win before the championship season, but they also recognize this meet is a chance to prepare for a bigger goal: the Big East Championships.
“We’re using this meet as our last opportunity to fine tune things before the Big East,” Holder said. “We want to put our best lineup forward, but we’re also not going to have some key people in their best events just to [try to] mix it up so that they have some opportunities to swim something a little different before they have to lay it on the line for the Big East.”
Despite some moments of brilliance, the Hoyas have been unable to find consistent success. This season, though, has been filled with strong performances from Georgetown’s freshmen.
Because of their individual successes, much of the focus this season has been on those freshmen for the Hoyas. Holder has been impressed with the season that they have put together, especially those swimming the 100-yard butterfly, Molly Gaynor and Martin Vanin.
“I have been really impressed overall with their seasons. Martin walked on the team,” Holder said of Vanin. “I wouldn’t be surprised if he breaks some school records this year. Certainly by the time he graduates he will.”
Both squads fell to Drexel on a Senior Day, which saw seven seniors competing in their last home meet. The men fell 161-125, while the women lost 156-141. Despite the losses, the Hoyas had some strong showings. Vanin continued his strong freshman campaign, winning the 100 butterfly with a time of 52.07. Sophomore Austin Evenson had strong races as well, winning the 1000 freestyle as well as the 500 freestyle.
On the women’s side, sophomore Nicole Tronolone found success in long distance events, winning the 1000 freestyle and 500 freestyle. In the 200 butterfly, juniors Jillian Carter, Casey Bandman and Jessica Gaudiosi and sophomore Lauren Ward placed first through fourth in that order.
The Providence men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams are both coming off of losses to Boston College. The Friars enter this final regular season with a subpar record, but the team, like the Hoyas, is still trying to finish off the season strong before the Big East Championships.
This Providence team is a very young team on both the men’s and women’s side. The men’s team currently carries 12 freshmen, while the women’s team carries nine. This youth is perhaps why the Friars have had such an inconsistent season. Because of this inexperience, the Hoyas enter this meet with a good chance for victory.
The women for Rutgers have had a solid season thus far, but they have struggled against ranked opponents, dropping lopsided affairs to No. 24 Michigan (219-81) and No. 25 Notre Dame (206-94). These losses by no means discredit their team. This will be one of the most challenging opponents that the Hoyas will face all season. They will certainly pose a huge challenge for the Hoyas considering the recent track record between the two teams. A strong performance for the women would be a positive indicator of the team’s potential before the Big East Championships.
Although Holder is satisfied with the team’s season thus far, he is hoping for the team to continue to compete at a high level in the final meets of the year.