Men's swimming earns fourth place at Big East
Published: Sunday, March 3, 2013
Updated: Sunday, March 3, 2013 22:03
From Wednesday to Saturday, the UConn men’s swimming and diving team competed in the Big East Championships at Indiana University. At the conclusion of the tournament, UConn had earned 436 points, putting them in fourth place out of nine teams.
Wednesday, day one of competition, started off with the preliminary rounds of the 1-meter diving competition. Senior Grant Fecteau, freshman John Brice and junior Tony Cortright all qualified for the finals, in which Fecteau took third place with a score of 304.45 that qualified him for the NCAA tournament.
Completing Wednesday’s activities were two relay events. In the 800-yard freestyle relay, a UConn team of juniors Sean Battle and Keith Piper, sophomore Sawyer Franz and freshman Michael Lennon, came in fifth place with a time of 6:40.33. This event was won by Louisville, who beat their own previous Big East record with their time of 6:23.40.
The Huskies made a huge impact in the 200-yard medley relay, where the men came in third behind Notre Dame and Pittsburgh, shattering a school record with a time of 1:29.28. This relay team consisted of Piper, sophomore Lachezar Shumkov, freshman Diguan Pigot and senior Kyungsoo Yoon. Notre Dame took first with a time of 1:26.33, followed by Pittsburgh with a second place time of 1:27.34. The Louisville team, a skilled opponent, was disqualified during this race.
At the conclusion of first day events, the Huskies stood at third place with a score of 92, behind Notre Dame and Pittsburgh in first and second, respectively.
Day two shaped up to be another successful day for Lennon as finished fourth in the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 4:24.88, another school record broken for UConn. Notre Dame swimming swept the first three spots in this race.
In the preliminaries of the 50-yard freestyle, Yoon broke his own personal best as well as the school record with his 20.13 second finish that qualified him for the finals later that night, where he came in fourth. Frank Dyer of Notre Dame came in first in 19.62 seconds, making him the first swimmer in Big East history to win the 50 and 500-yard freestyles.
The day ended in an intense 200-yard freestyle relay. Louisville and Notre Dame took spots one and two in a neck-and-neck race, followed by Pittsburgh and then the Huskies coming in fourth in 1:20.55. This finish put UConn in fourth place with 167 points to finish out Thursday’s events.
Friday swimming was highlighted by Franz, who had an impressive second place finish in the finals with a time of 3:49.76, finishing a little over one second behind the first place winner, Nolan Tesone of Louisville. This led Franz to receive All-Big East honors.
On the diving side, Brice came in third place with 328.35 points, earning All-Big East honors. He was closely followed by Fecteau with a score of 326.45. After a fourth place finish in the 400-yard medley relay, UConn finished day three with 301.5 points, a score that put them in fourth place with Notre Dame still in the lead.
The fourth and final day of the competition was an exciting day of races, relays and platform diving. UConn junior Tony Cortright took seventh in the latter with a score of 217.9 points. Lennon had another strong 15:30.57 finish in the long 1650-yard freestyle race that earned him sixth place out of twenty three other swimmers.
Sawyer Franz had a successful day yet again with his third place finish of 1:45.78. in the 200-yard backstroke, which was enough to break yet another school record. Franz already holds three other UConn records. The final event of the tournament was the 400-yard freestyle relay, in which Battle, Piper, Pigot, and Yoon swam together to get fourth place with a time of 2:59.77.
The four-day tournament concluded with Notre Dame dominating the rest of the field and as the Irish won their sixth Big East title with a score of 991. Louisville took the runner-up position, followed by Pittsburgh and then the Huskies with 436 points. The team will not compete again until the end of March, when those who qualified will return to Indianapolis to compete in the NCAA Championships.