Feb. 17, 2012
PITTSBURGH, Pa. - Senior Yolana Du Plessis (Boksburg, South Africa) broke a school record in the 100 yard backstroke and as a team Villanova moved up two spots into sixth place following three days of competition at the BIG EAST Championships, which continued at Trees Pool on Friday evening. The stage is now set for the final day of action at the conference meet tomorrow.
In the preliminary races for the individual events on Friday morning Du Plessis broke a school record which had stood for 19 years with a time of 55.36 in the 100 back. That time also placed her seventh out of 42 swimmers in the event and qualified her for the finals during the evening session. Du Plessis eclipsed the previous mark of 55.91 set by Tammy Kouser in 1993.
"We are thrilled with Yolana's swim," Wildcats head coach Rick Simpson said. "The previous record had been on the books for quite some time. Yolana had a terrific start and put together a great race. She swam well again in the finals and we are excited for her."
Villanova enjoyed a great deal of success team wide during the morning session and qualified at least one athlete for the finals in four of the five individual events being contested. It was that depth across the roster which allowed the Wildcats to jump two places in the team standings.
"The third day is always huge for us and the team is very excited with where our seeding is for tomorrow. Everyone on the team is swimming with a lot of energy and momentum going into the final day of the meet."
No event showed off the depth of the Villanova team better than the 200 freestyle, in which four different swimmers scored team points for the Wildcats with a top-16 finish. Freshman Katrin Heider (Bergisch Gladbach, Germany) led the way in fourth place during both the preliminary swim and the finals. She had the better of her two times in the evening session and touched the wall in 1:48.06. Junior Roxy Tammadge (Durban, South Africa) came in 11th in the preliminaries and later came back to win the consolation final and finish ninth overall. She finished with a time of 1:49.65 in the finals, while junior Natalie Elphick (Durban, South Africa) came in 11th (1:50.25) and freshman Sara Jurek (Gilbert, Ariz.) was tied for 14th (1:50.72).
Junior Erin Malone (Sydney, Australia) placed fifth in the finals of the 100 breaststroke and improved her time by more than a second from the preliminaries. Malone swam a time of 1:01.56 in the finals and fellow junior Laura McGlaughlin (West Chester, Pa.) placed 11th in 1:02.80. Earlier in the day McGlaughlin posted a time of 1:02.84 which was good for ninth place in the preliminary round.
The other Villanova athlete to advance to the finals was senior Lindsey Hagens (Westboro, Mass.), who qualified in the 400 individual medley. She registered a time of 4:22.67 to start off the meet in the preliminary round, while her time of 1:49.65 on Friday night moved her up to a seventh place showing.
"One of our goals today was to have at least one qualifier in the championship final of every event," Simpson said. "We came close to that and were very well represented in the finals tonight. I am proud of everyone on the team for putting themselves in the position to maximize our point potential. We were able to put ourselves in a position to make up some ground.
The BIG EAST Championships conclude on Saturday and the biggest event on the schedule for the Wildcats is the 1650 free, in which junior Hayley Edwards (Pilesgrove, N.J.) is the two-time defending champion. The other events on the schedule tomorrow are the 200 back, 100 free, 200 breast, 200 fly and 400 free relay.
COMPLETE VILLANOVA RESULTS
Friday at BIG EAST Championships
Trees Pool (Pittsburgh, Pa.)
Women's 400 Yard Individual Medley
Lindsey Hagens 8th of 32 4:22.67 Summer Cook 18th 4:33.29 Kate Koch 20th 4:34.48
Lindsey Hagens 7th 4:24.09
Women's 100 Yard Butterfly
Kate Koch tie-29th of 52 57.33 Kayra Zsiga 33rd 58.22
Women's 200 Yard Freestyle
Katrin Heider 4th of 42 1:48.68 Natalie Elphick 11th 1:50.10 Sara Jurek 12th 1:50.34 Roxy Tammdge 13th 1:50.92 Claire Aksamit 31st 1:56.47 Sarah Aemisegger 33rd 1:56.87
Katrin Heider 4th 1:48.06 Roxy Tammadge 9th 1:49.65 Natalie Elphick 11th 1:50.25 Sara Jurek tie-14th 1:50.72
Women's 100 Yard Breaststroke
Erin Malone 7th of 46 1:02.76 Laura McGlaughlin 9th 1:02.84
Erin Malone 5th 1:01.56 Laura McGlaughlin 11th 1:02.80
Women's 100 Yard Backstroke
Yolana Du Plessis 7th of 42 55.36 Mikah Schlesinger 29th 59.11
Yolana Du Plessis 7th 56.06
Women's 400 Yard Medley Relay
Villanova 4th of 11 3:43.36 Yolana Du Plessis 1st Leg (Leadoff) 56.08 Erin Malone 2nd Leg 1:02.42 Hayley Edwards 3rd Leg 54.37 Katrin Heider 4th Leg (Anchor) 50.49
Villanova 6th of 11 237.5