Kerrie Kolackovsky had a historic performance for Seton Hall at the Big East Championships to conclude the 2013-14 campaign.
The highly decorated senior put in a solid gold effort in the 100-yard breaststroke to go along with the seven top-eight finishes on the third day, earning her the Co-Most Outstanding Female Swimmer with Villanova’s Fiona Hardie. Kolackovsky’s final time was 1:04.19. Teammate Megan Mallon earned silver with a time of 1:05.13. The championship was the first in the pool in 20 years.
Kolackovsky then completed the sweep after leading the way in the 200-breast. She clocked a time of 2:19.60 and Mallon reeled in a bronze medal in the 200-breast at 2:24.03. Kolackovsky is one of two swimmers in Seton Hall history to hold multiple Big East Championships. The women finished in fourth place with 530 points and Villanova took home the gold with 842 points.
On the men’s side, junior James Logan, who was the strongest and most consistent Pirate, topped off a huge Big East Championship performance, capturing his first Big East title in the 200-yard breast with a final time of 2:04.09. Ian DeLisio finished up a stellar Seton Hall career with a sixth-place finish at 2:09.35. Senior Joey Lacus also had a second-place effort in the ‘B’ final with a time of 2:09.23.
The men took a significant lead into the relays on day one thanks to the efforts by Ben Mitchell at the diving championships. After a disqualification in the 800-free relay, Logan, freshman Keith Carlino, sophomore Tim Bosse and junior and Zach DeLillo helped Seton Hall rack up a season-best time in the 200-medley at 1:31.02, just behind Georgetown.
Day two saw the relay team of Logan, Carlino, Bosse and freshman Zach Suter take second in the 200-meter free relay following Xavier.
Bosse led the way for the Pirates in the 500-free placing 10th at 4:39.12.
Senior Jon Ropson took 13th at 4:41.22 followed by freshmen Ian Campbell and Seth Underwood at 4:41.44 and 4:43.31. Senior Tyler Naumann placed 16th at 4:45.10.
Suter claimed a top-10 finish in the 50-free with a time of 21.37 and Lacus reeled in a 14th place finish at 21.65.
The Pirates were in sole possession of third place entering day three. Logan put in a season-best in the 100-yard breaststroke final to take home third place at 57.11. Lacus placed second at 58.78.
Senior Matt Benson came in eighth place in the 100-back with a time of 51.23.
Carlino, Logan and DeLillo teamed up with Suter for a fourth place finish in the 4000- medley relay with a time of 3:24.01.
The 400-IM had three Pirate scorers in Campbell at 4:09.64, Underwood at 4:10.89 and sophomore Andrew William at 4:13.01.
The men’s performance showed much improvement as they gained four spots on their tournament finish a year ago, finishing in third place. Xavier took home the gold with 924 points.
The women’s team received help from sophomore Gabby Signorelli who shined at the diving championships along with senior Katie Riley, giving the swimmers a second-place position heading into day one.
Kolackovsky, freshman Melody Bush and sophomores Cora Meehan and Rae Congdon got things going in the 800-free relay with a 7:35.21 posting which became the program’s new best time.
Another landmark was reached later as Bush and Kolackovsky combined their skills with Mallon and senior Kelly Markwell to round up a time of 1:44.60 in the 200-medley which surpassed the school record previously set in 2012.
Kolackovsky took second in the 200-IM final while Bush took seventh on day two. Kolackovsky entered the race with the fastest in-conference time and finished at 2:04.19. Bush came in at 2:08.54.
Seton Hall had one scorer in both the 50 and 500-yard freestyles, the two remaining events on day two. Meehan, The Hall’s top-seeded swimmer heading into the event claimed 12th in the 500-free. Markwell was awarded 16th in the 50-free with a B final time of 25.08.
Fifth-place points came in the 200-free relay where Markwell, sophomore Gabi Levine and freshmen Kelsey Buonaiuto and Tessa Lindner swam a season-best time of 1:38.39.
Bush had an impressive third day, breaking her own school record in the 100-back and capturing a bronze medal in the process with a time of 56.85. Bush, Mallon, Kolackovsky and Markwell placed second in the 400-medley at 3:50.12.
Markwell was also one of three finalists for Seton Hall in the 100- fly, the other two being Levine and Lindner. Lindner led in sixth place at a time of 57.02 followed by Markwell (57.20) and Levine (57.76).
Freshman Cece Henry led the Pirates in the 400-IM ranking seventh with a time of 4:32.17.
The remaining event saw Congdon barely missing a first-place finish in the 200-free ‘B’ final with a time of 1:55.06.
Kolackovsky fought her way to a second conference title in consecutive days on day four of her final Big East Championship as a Pirate.
Markwell was victorious in the closing of her career as a Pirate picking up ninth-place points at 2:07.65.
Kolackovsky, Congdon, Levine and Bush wrapped up their solid outings and put an exclamation point on the 2014 Champion- ships by swimming a 3:32.32 to take fourth in the 400-free relay.
Tom Zappia can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.