Louisville Men and Notre Dame Women Win BIG EAST Swimming & Diving Championships

PITTSBURGH, Pa. - The Louisville men took over first place in the second-to-last race of the BIG EAST Swimming & Diving Championships at Trees Pool and did not look back. The Cardinals edged out Notre Dame 768-726 to earn their first-ever BIG EAST Championship. The Notre Dame women scored 741.5 points on their way to a 14th straight league crown.

The first race of the night was the longest as Villanova freshman Hayley Edwards won the 1,650-yard freestyle with a time of 16:20.39. Another rookie took second as Pittsburgh's Kelsey Herbst finished in 16:36.98. Third place went to Louisville senior Amanda Henleben with a mark of 16:36.98.

Louisville dominated in the men's heat of the 1,650 free, taking three of the top four spots. Sophomore Riley Martin touched the wall first, finishing with a time of 15:17.41. The Cardinals also took third and fourth place. Freshman Michael Pryor finished with a time of 15:32.98 and junior Shane Lichtenberg completed the race in 15:32.98. Cincinnati junior Nathan Williams came in second overall with a time of 15:34.41.

Notre Dame picked up its first win of the night in the women's 200 backstroke. Freshman Kimberly Holden became the second rookie of the evening to pick up a victory, finishing with a time of 1:55.79. She topped 2009 Women's Most Outstanding Swimmer Morgan Callaway. The senior from West Virginia finished in 1:56.99. Pittsburgh freshman Joanna Budzis posted a time of 157.79 to take third place.

Seton Hall junior Kevin Webster took the title in the men's 200 back finishing in 1:44.41. Louisville sophomore Pedro Oliveira came in second with a time of 1:45.27. The top three was rounded out by West Virginia freshman Jared Christie-Goldthorpe who finished with a mark of 1:45.33.

In the women's 100 freestyle Mountaineer senior Kayla Andrews, who already owns the BIG EAST record for the event, finished first with a time of 48.94. She was followed by Notre Dame junior Amywren Miller who touched the wall at 49.33. Louisville senior Whitney Campbell finished just .43 seconds behind Miller to take third with a mark of 49.76.

Cincinnati became the fifth team in as many races to win on the final night of competition. Senior Josh Schneider set the first BIG EAST record of the night, breaking his own mark in the 100 free. Schneider finished in 43 flat, winning by more than half a second. Notre Dame senior John Lytle came in second overall with a mark of 43.56. Louisville senior Carlos Van Isschot finished just behind Lytle with a time of 43.67.

Notre Dame became the first team to win multiple events on the final day in 200 breaststroke. Senior Samantha Maxwell, who set the BIG EAST record for the race in last year's championship, finished in 2:11.37 to take first place. Louisville claimed the next three spots as senior Leslie Vanwinkle, junior Therese Bergstrom and sophomore Fanny Lillistrom finished with times of 2:12.02, 2:12.46 and 2:13.44.

A BIG EAST Championship record fell in the men's 200 breast as Louisville sophomore Carlos Almeida finished in 1:54.85, breaking West Virginia's Kevin Donahue's 2008 mark. Cincinnati senior Jeremy Peter came in second with a time of 1:56.95. Third place went to Syracuse junior Kuba Kotynia who finished with a mark of 1:58.21.

The third freshman of the night picked up a victory in the women's 200 butterfly. West Virginia rookie Mandie Nugent finished first with a mark of 158.16, winning by almost a full second. Second place went to Villanova's Edwards who touched the wall at 1:59.08. Notre Dame junior Kathryn Casey came in third at 159.22.

The Louisville men won their third event of the night and clinched the BIG EAST crown on Oliveira win in the 200 fly. The senior finished with a time 1:45.35, winning by a second. West Virginia sophomore Taylor Camp came in second with time of 1:46.35 and UofL senior Rafal Kuchta came in third at 1:46.99.

West Virginia set a BIG EAST record with its performance in the women's 400 free relay. The team of senior Shauna Purtell, freshman Rachel Burnett, Callaway and Andrews topped a league mark set by Louisville in 2009 with a time of 3:17.72. The Louisville team of Campbell, Vanwinkle, junior Sarah Andrews and senior Elizabeth Halet came in second with a time of 3:20.00. Notre Dame's sophomore Amy Prestinario, Holden, junior Delia Cronin and Miller rounded out the top three with a mark of 3:20.41.

In the final event of the 2010 BIG EAST Championship, Louisville capped off its men's title with a win.The team of sophomore Brendon Andrews, senior Kristopher Findorff, Almeida and Van Isschot took the title in the 400 free relay with a time of 2:56.87. The Pittsburgh foursome of sophomore James Lucas, sophomore Otto Pagel, freshman Hussein Medhat and junior Andrzej Dubiel came in second at 2:57.10. Third place went to the Notre Dame team of Lytle, freshman John McGinley, junior Joshua Nosal and senior Andrew Hoffman with a time of 2:57.16.

Men's Swimmer of the Year
Josh Schneider, Cincinnati, Senior

Women's Swimmer of the Year
Samantha Maxwell, Notre Dame, Junior

Men's Coach of the Year
Arthur Albiero, Louisville

Women's Coach of the Year
Brian Barnes, Notre Dame

Men's Standings - Day VII
1. Louisville, 808
2. Notre Dame, 758
3. Pittsburgh, 535
4. West Virginia, 442
5. Cincinnati, 305
6. Connecticut, 288.5
7. Seton Hall, 184.5
8. Georgetown, 133
9. Villanova, 108
10. Providence, 70
11. Syracuse, 32

Women's Standings - Day VII
1. Notre Dame, 773.5
2. Louisville, 718
3. West Virginia, 525
4. Pittsburgh, 426.5
5. Rutgers, 303
6. Villanova, 292
7. Cincinnati, 256
8. Connecticut 205
9. Georgetown, 96
10. Seton Hall, 68
11. Providence, 62
12. Syracuse, 0