Feb. 19, 2012
PITTSBURGH, Pa. - In the span of a few hours on Saturday night junior Hayley Edwards (Pilesgrove, N.J.) turned in All-BIG EAST performances in the 1650 yard freestyle and the 200 butterfly and also anchored the 400 yard freestyle relay. Her efforts helped Villanova continue its ascent in the team standings at the BIG EAST Championships, where the Wildcats finished in fifth place at the close of competition at Trees Pool on Saturday night.
Edwards was the individual runner-up in the 1650 free and also came in third in the 200 fly to register her third and fourth all-conference honors of the week. She also earned individual All-BIG EAST accolades in the 500 free on Thursday night and was part of the Villanova all-conference 800 free relay on Wednesday evening.
She entered competition on Saturday night as the two-time defending champion in the 1650 free and swam a time of 16:20.09 to come in second to Rachael Burnett of West Virginia, who led from start to finish while posting a finishing time of 16:13.94. On short rest later in the evening Edwards turned around and finished third in the 200 fly with a time of 1:58.14, more than 1.5 seconds faster than her mark of 1:59.87 from the preliminaries on Saturday morning.
The 400 free relay was the final event of the meet and Edwards anchored a lineup that came in fourth with a time of 3:23.11. Junior Natalie Elphick (Durban, South Africa) led off the relay and had the fastest split for the Wildcats with a time of 50.56. Elphick was followed by freshmen Katrin Heider (Bergisch Gladbach, Germany) and Sara Jurek (Gilbert, Ariz.) ahead of Edwards.
Junior Roxy Tammadge (Durban, South Africa) matched Edwards with All-BIG EAST accolades in the 1650 free. She placed third with a time of 16:28.28 and the 2-3 finish by her and Edwards helped Villanova make its move in the team standings. Over the final two days of the meet the Wildcats leaped from eighth to fifth in the standings by relying on its across-the-board depth.
Elphick and junior Erin Malone (Sydney, Australia) advanced to the championship finals of the 100 free and the 200 breaststroke, respectively. Elphick placed eighth in the preliminaries of the 100 free with a time of 50.79, while her time of 50.91 in the finals was good enough to move her up one spot to seventh.
In the preliminaries of the 200 breast Malone came in sixth out of 43 entries with a time of 2:15.13. She held her spot by improving her time by almost a full second, as she touched the wall in 2:14.26 in the finals.
Villanova advanced five other athletes to the consolation finals of the individual events and also had two other scorers besides Edwards and Tammadge in the 1650 free.
COMPLETE VILLANOVA RESULTS
Saturday at BIG EAST Championships
Trees Pool (Pittsburgh, Pa.)
Women's 200 Yard Backstroke
Yolana Du Plessis 15th of 41 2:01.95 Lindsey Hagens 19th 2:03.39 Mikah Schlesinger 22nd 2:04.36
Yolana Du Plessis 15th 2:01.70
Women's 100 Yard Freestyle
Natalie Elphick 8th of 54 50.79 Katrin Heider 10th 51.00 Sara Jurek 14th 51.21 Kayra Zsiga 27th 52.29 Sarah Aemisegger 28th 52.36
Natalie Elphick 7th 50.91 Katrin Heider 12th 51.07 Sara Jurek 15th 51.48
Women's 200 Yard Breaststroke
Erin Malone 6th of 43 2:15.13 Laura McGlaughlin 13th 2:17.32 Yolana Du Plessis 17th 2:18.89
Erin Malone 6th 2:14.26 Laura McGlaughlin 14th 2:17.08
Women's 200 Yard Butterfly
Hayley Edwards 4th of 43 1:59.87 Leigh Anne Patterson 9th 2:02.13 Kate Koch 21st 2:06.59 Claire Aksamit 32nd 2:13.51
Hayley Edwards 3rd 1:58.14 Leigh Anne Patterson 10th 2:02.46
Women's 1650 Yard Freestyle
Hayley Edwards 2nd of 31 16:20.09 Roxy Tammadge 3rd 16:28.28 Leigh Anne Patterson 11th 16:54.56 Summer Cook 15th 17:10.30
Women's 400 Yard Freestyle Relay
Villanova 4th of 11 3:23.11 Natalie Elphick 1st Leg (Leadoff) 50.56 Katrin Heider 2nd Leg 50.61 Sara Jurek 3rd Leg 50.95 Hayley Edwards 4th Leg (Anchor) 50.99
Villanova 5th of 11 368.5 Points