As swimming and diving coach Derek Sapp sends off many decorated seniors at the last event of the season, he is also excited at the potential of the underclassmen.
Last week, a combined 15 pirates were named to All-Big East teams. In order for swimmers to be selected, they must have performed well at the Big East Championships, earning a finish of third place or higher.
Ben LaClair wrapped up a stellar sophomore season as he led all swimmers at the championships with seven all-conference honors. The Massachusetts native tied for the lead in accolades as he placed third in the 100 Free, 800 Free Relay, 500 Free, 200 Free Relay, 200 Free, 400 Medley Relay, 100 Free, 400 Free Relay.
Another underclassman, freshman Ross Pantano, saw his name on the leaderboard as he continued to swim well in the 200 Yard Backstroke. Pantano’s time of 1:46.91 was good enough to capture third in that event.
For seniors, Josh Tosoni broke his own school record as he touched the wall first in his signature event, the 200 Breaststroke. Tosoni first place and record-breaking time was clocked at 1:57.90.
The best diver on the men’s side, senior Tim Lynch, reached the podium with fifth place finish with a score of 432 in the one meter.
Men’s swimming closed out the Big East Championships with third place in the 400 Free. After that event, the Pirates reached 685 points which placed them at third overall.
Women’s swimming and diving finished fourth and had a school record broken over the course of the three-day event.
In the first event of day two, junior Julie Stankiewicz first set the program record for the event for the 500 Free in the prelims. She followed up that prelims to touch the wall at a time of 4:52.41, which netted her second place in the final.
Freshman sensation Sierra Cripps captured third place in the 200 Breaststroke in a time of 2:02.67. The women capped off their season with a fourth-place finish in the last event, the 400 Relay.
The men tied with Georgetown for the second most All-Big East recognitions and Cripps led the Seton Hall women’s side with all-conference honors in the 100 and 200 Fly.
The Big East Championships were a bittersweet ending for both teams that lose valuable seniors but on the one hand, there is a lot of potential to tap into with the blossoming underclassmen.
Evando Thompson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Find him on Twitter @evthmps.