FAIRFAX, VA. – For the second night in a row, the Seton Hall women’s swimming and diving team turned in an impressive effort at the Patriot Invitational that was highlighted by a record-breaking performance.
Junior Kerrie Kolackovsky (Franklin Square, N.Y.) emerged from 42 original entrants to enter the 100-yard breaststroke final as the second seed. In the final, Kolackovsky raced to the individual crown with a time of 1:04.05 that stands as the best in Seton Hall history. The Franklin Square native was already the school record holder in the event, and surpassed her previous mark by 65 hundredths of a second.
It is also the second SHU record that Kolackovsky has set in as many years at the Patriot Invitational after she established a new 1,650-yard freestyle standard on the final day of last year’s event.
Freshman Megan Mallon (Glen Mills, Pa.) placed third in the 100-breast consolation final to add additional points for The Hall. Sophomore Megan Mostoller (Cheshire, Conn.) recorded the 24th fastest time in prelims, clocking in at 1:08.79 to earn a trip to the 2013 BIG EAST Championships.
Senior Andrea Shuba
returned for the 100-backstroke on Fri.
after re-setting her school record on Thurs.
Senior Andrea Shuba
During the final race of the opening day, senior Andrea Shuba (Pittsburgh, Pa.) improved upon her own school record in the 100-yard backstroke as she led off for a 400-yard medley relay squad that placed sixth overall with a 57.64 leg.
On Friday, Shuba and the rest of the Pirates took to the pool for competition in the 100-yard backstroke event. The senior captain ended the day as SHU’s top performer in the race, taking 12th place points (58.15) and leading an effort that included six new automatic qualifying times for the conference meet.
Gabi Levine (Garwood, N.J.) added the option to swim the event at the BIG EAST Championships en route to a 14th place finish overall. Cora Meehan (Noblesville, Ind.) just missed out on the consolation final with the 17th fastest prelim time, finishing ahead of five more Pirates who came in under the conference standard.
Alexa Santis (Ijamsville, Md.) placed 21st (59.87), senior Marielle O'Connor (Allentown, Pa.) finished 24th (1:00.08) and Kelly Miller (State College, Pa.) was 29th (1:00.89) in preliminaries as all three added their names to the Pirates’ growing list of BIG EAST qualifiers. Katie Adams (Linwood, N.J.) and Alie Zelenky (Mechanicsburg, Pa.) also eclipsed the qualifying mark during preliminary action.
The team also added two more BIG EAST automatic qualifiers in the three other swimming events that were held on day two. Kolackovsky scored another top-three finish in the 400-yard individual medley, taking third place with a finals time of 4:27.01. Classmate Jane Ehret (Florida, N.Y.) contributed a 15th place performance and was joined by Brenna O'Keefe (Hyde Park, N.Y.) in qualifying to swim the event at the conference meet.
O’Keefe and freshman Rae Congdon (Ottawa, Ontario) surpassed BIG EAST standards in the 100-yard butterfly preliminaries, finishing behind a trio of Pirates that scored in the event. The effort was paced by an eighth place finish from Kelly Markwell (Old Bridge, N.J.) while Levine (11th) and Shuba (14th) raced their way to points in the consolation heat.
Meehan tallied a 16th place finish to lead SHU in the 200-yard freestyle as freshman Leah Mayer (London, Ontario) clocked her first BIG EAST qualifying time with the 18th fastest preliminary time.
Junior Kate Dwyer (Freehold, N.J.) also qualified for the 200-yard freestyle, but did it as part of an 800-free relay team that finished 12th. Kolackovsky joined freshmen Congdon, Mayer and Meehan on a squad that clocked in fifth in the event,
The team also produced its fastest 200-yard medley relay time of the season, as Shuba, Mallon, Markwell and Zelenky put together a time of 1:47.90 that was good enough for seventh to lead The Hall.
In diving action, junior Katie Riley (Newburgh, N.Y.) ranked seventh out of 24 competitors after preliminaries to earn a spot in the one-meter finals. In the final, she dove to a score of 233.30 and moved up to finish fifth after bettering her prelim mark by almost 13 points.
Day two proved to be significant in more ways than one for the Seton Hall women as aside from a second school record in 48 hours, the team clocked 14 new automatic BIG EAST Championship times and six team members added their names to the travel list for the February trip to Indianapolis.
19 Pirates have now qualified for the 2013 conference meet in at least one event.