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Wildcats Finish Fifth at BIG EAST Championships
Hayley Edwards finished second in the 1650 free and third in the 200 fly at the BIG EAST Championships on Saturday night.

Feb. 19, 2012

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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.


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

Team Standings

Villanova                         5th of 11              368.5 Points