2012 BIG EAST Swimming and Diving Championship Preview

 PROVIDENCE, R.I. - BIG EAST teams have wrapped up their regular seasons and are preparing for the BIG EAST Men's and Women's Swimming & Diving Championships, which begin on Friday, Feb. 10 in Pittsburgh, Pa., at the University of Pittsburgh. The divers will take to the pool on Feb. 10-12 while swimming action will begin Feb. 15. The event concludes on Saturday, Feb. 18, with a senior ceremony and final events.
 
Cardinals Look to Defend Titles
Louisville heads into the 2012 BIG EAST Championships as the defending champions for both men and women.  The men won for the second-straight year in 2011, their second title in program history.  The women won their first BIG EAST title in 2011, ending a 14-year winning streak by Notre Dame. 
 
BIG EAST Among the Nation's Best
Louisville's men and women rank in the nations' top-25 in the CollegeSwimming.com/CSCAA Coaches' poll.  The men come in at No. 12 after a strong season which saw the defeat of No. 11 Indiana in Bloomington.  The Cardinal women find themselves among the country's elite at No. 24.
  
NCAA Bound
To date, athletes from six schools have provisionally qualified for the NCAA Championships.  Cincinnati (Josefin Wede, Helena Pikhartova), Louisville (Dani Barbiea, Lacey Bobo, Aileen Cole, Krissie Brandenburg, Brendon Andrews, Matt Schlytter, Caryle Blondell, Samuel Hoekstra, Grite Apanaviciute, Eszter Povazsay, Joao De Lucca, Abby Chin, Johanna Cowley, Erika Wozniak, Victoria Mitchell, Albert Lloyd, Alex Burtch, Raine Thompson, Lindsay Rogers, Tim Collins, Kameron Chastain, Tanja Killiainen, Fanny Lilliestrom, Carlos Almeida, Riley Martin, Pedro Oliveira, Kenny Crapse, Addison Bray, Kevin Bandy and Gisselle Kohoyda), Notre Dame (Frank Dyer, Chris Johnson, Kevin Overholt, John McGinley, Amy Prestinario, Emma Reaney, Kelly Ryan, Hannah Bowen, Zach Stephens, Suzanne Bessire, Bill Bass, Bertie Nel, Sarah Dotzel, Lauren Stauder and Bridget Casey), Pittsburgh (Alex Rodenkirk, Morne Boshoff, Jon Lierley, Jake Van Roekel, Adam Maczewski, Kourosh Ahani and Ben Solari), Rutgers (Trisha Averill), and West Virginia (Tim Squires, Taylor Camp, Scott Fetsko, Brad Eishenseer, Kale Kudma, Mandie Nugent, Danielle Smith, Kata Fodor, Rachael Burnett, Jake Querciagrossa, Daeton Davenport, Breanna McCann and Julie Ogden) will all be represented.
 
Eight BIG EAST Schools Earn Season's Weekly Awards
Each week of the season, the BIG EAST selected a men's and women's BIG EAST Swimming and Diving Athlete of the Week. A total of 20 awards were received by eight different schools. Individually, Notre Dame freshman Emma Reaney led all participants with three awards. 
 
Men's Athlete of the Week                              
Oct. 25 - Frank Dyer, Notre Dame
Nov. 1 - Richard Dunham, Seton Hall
Nov. 8 - Alex Burtch, Louisville
Nov. 15 - Taylor Camp, West Virginia
Nov. 22 - Jake Van Roekel,  Pittsburgh
Dec. 5 - Frank Dyer, Notre Dame
Jan. 17 - Joao De Lucca, Louisville
Jan. 24 - Austin Acheson, Seton Hall
Jan. 31 - Brandon Andrews, Louisville
Feb. 7 - Pedro Oliveira, Louisville 
Women's Athlete of the Week
Oct. 25 - Hannah Gadd, Louisville
Nov. 1 - Patrisha Averill, Rutgers
Nov. 8 - Caitlin Gallagher, Connecticut
Nov. 15 - Emma Reaney, Notre Dame
Nov. 22 - Kerrie Kolackovsky, Seton Hall
Dec. 5 - Emma Reaney, Notre Dame
Jan. 17 - Emma Reaney, Notre Dame
Jan. 24 - Kelly Ryan, Notre Dame
Jan. 31 - Raine Thompson, Louisville
Feb. 7 - Tanja Killiainen, Louisville
 
Women Break Multiple Records in 2011
Last season in Louisville, 10 BIG EAST Championship records were broken, including seven by women. Notre Dame's Kimberly Holden set a record in the 100 Backstroke with a time of 52.99, while teammate Amanda Nugent swam the 200 butterfly in 1:57.00.  Notre Dame women also broke records in the 400 medley relay with a time of 3:35.89 and Jennifer Chiang set a new standard in the 3-meter diving event with a score of 337.40.  Louisville women also got in on the act, with Lorraine Thompson swimming the 100 butterfly in 53.10 and Hannah Gadd scoring a 329.95 on the 1-meter springboard.  Cardinal women also set a new record in the 200 medley relay (1:38.43).  On the men's side, Notre Dame's Frank Dyer broke the record in the 500 freestyle, finishing in 4:19.88.  The Louisville men saw previous records fall in the 400 free relay (2:54.04) and the 800 free relay (6:23.23). 
 
BIG EAST Web Coverage/Live Streaming
BIGEAST.tv will be streaming live coverage of the 2011 BIG EAST Swimming & Diving Championships beginning today. The men's and women's diving championships will begin Friday, Feb. 10 and span through Sunday, Feb. 12 at the University of Pittsburgh. The swimming portion of the championship will kick off on Wednesday, Feb. 15 and run through Saturday, the 18th.
 
For all of the BIG EAST's coverage of the Swimming & Diving Championships, visit the 2012 Championship Central page at http://www.bigeast.org/Sports/SwimmingDiving/2012SwimmingDivingChampionship.aspx