The Georgetown swimming and diving teams travelled to Geneva, Ohio, for the Big East Championships hosted at the SPIRE Institute from Feb. 21 to Feb. 24, where the women’s and men’s teams placed second and third, respectively, setting a total of 13 program records and earning six gold medals over the four-day meet.

The women’s team finished second with a total of 628.5 points, ahead of Seton Hall with 588 and Xavier with 555, only falling to Villanova’s 966.5 points.

Head Coach Jack Leavitt lauded the team’s effort in pursuit of the Wildcats.

“On the women’s side, you want to hold that spot and chip away at that lead that Villanova has built,” Leavitt said in an interview with The Hoya. “The last few years, they have scored over 1,000 points and this year they did not. That was a nice step forward for our program there, and great for our senior girls who especially stepped up and scored a lot of points.”.

The men’s team earned third with 661.5 points, behind Seton Hall’s 777 and Villanova’s 749.5 points.

Leavitt also noted how a disqualification in the 400-yard medley relay knocked the team out of contention late in the competition.

“On the men’s side, we were in a tight battle,” Leavitt said. “It was anybody’s meet all the way through Friday,” Leavitt said.

Leavitt also commented on not only the success of the Hoyas, but also the enthusiasm the student-athletes brought forward.

“From start to finish in a four-day meet, we brought so much energy and passion. … It was one of the most fun meet environments I’ve ever been a part of, and for our team to make that step forward together as a group is something that is going to pay dividends in the future,” Leavitt said.

Sophomore Elizabeth Miller was named female diver of the meet.

“Elizabeth is a competitive [diver] and she really wants to win. She goes out there and gives her best effort every single time, and we have been impressed with her progression the past two years,” Leavitt said.

For the men, freshman Drew Carbone was named swimmer of the meet.

“Drew was within 0.2 of a second of winning three events as a freshman at this meet. … He stepped up to the challenge every single day and got his teammates motivated to swim fast as well. It was a great honor for him because he deserved it and worked really hard for it. He wants to be somebody that can get that award every year.” Leavitt said.

Coach Michael Tober was also honored, winning women’s diving coach of the year for the second year in a row.

Senior captain Dan Ross placed first in the 400 individual relay  with a time of 3:55.54, quickly followed in third by fellow senior Sam DeLise with a time of 3:57.16.

Leavitt said Ross’ victory will go down as one of the best races he has ever seen in person.

“I felt really great about the [race], I won it my freshman year so it felt really good to bring that back to Georgetown,” Ross said.

Senior Molly Fitzpatrick received her fourth Big East title for the 200 breaststroke, and her seventh individual title to round out her swimming career.

“I don’t know if it has really sunk in yet — you can’t ask for a better ending,” Fitzpatrick said.

Leavitt commented on how the team will feel the effects of Molly Fitzpatrick on the program for years to come.

“Molly has elevated this program to a level we have never seen before. She is the first to the wall, and her teammates can see that it is possible to be a dedicated student-athlete at Georgetown and compete at that high of a level,” Leavitt said.

Sophomore Cristina Barrett and senior captain Christine Ryan both competed in the A finals for the 500 and 1650 freestyle events. Barrett placed third in the 500 with a time of 4:52.10, with Ryan closely behind in seventh with a time of 4:53.93. In the 1650, Barrett placed second, while Ryan placed fifth.

“The last 500 yards of [Barrett’s] mile were the fastest 500 in the pool. She came home [in that event] better than anybody else,” Leavitt said. “Cristina and Christine work so well together and work so hard every day. Christine had three lifetime best times and got to finish her career with three A final swims.”

On Friday, the women’s diving team swept first, second and third in the 1-meter dive with performances by sophomore Elizabeth Miller, freshman Riley Fujioka and freshman Naomi Peng, respectively.

“Time and time again, [the divers] were reliable and were the reason our team was put in the position to place where we did,” Fitzpatrick said.

The Hoyas are graduating 19 seniors from both the men and women’s teams who have left their mark on both team culture and morale, as well as on the scoreboard.

“We are certainly going to miss the senior class – 19 seniors is a lot to lose, not just in terms of points but also in leadership and personality,” Leavitt said. “I can tell the way this team came together in the end, we are really primed and ready to go into this offseason and really define what our roles are going into this next season.”

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