INDIANAPOLIS, IND – The 2013 BIG EAST Championships came to an end on Saturday but not before the Seton Hall women’s swimming & diving team established at least one new school record for the fourth consecutive day.
The Pirates ultimately finished with 115 total points to place eighth in the team standings. The finish is the best for a Seton Hall women’s team at the conference meet since a seventh-place showing in 1994-95.
Louisville was crowned team champions with a final tally of 895 points.
Already the owner of both school records in the backstroke, senior Andrea Shuba (Pittsburgh, Pa.) saved her best for last, re-writing her 200-yard backstroke mark with an 18th-place time of 2:04.06 in preliminaries and giving the women’s team their sixth school record at the meet in the process.
Shuba also swam the lead leg on a record-setting 400-medley relay squad on Friday and re-set her 100-back record earlier in the year at the Patriot Invitational. She leaves a legacy that features the two individual program records as well as contributing efforts on both record-holding medley relay teams.
In the night session, Kerrie Kolackovsky (Franklin Square, N.Y.), Alie Zelenky (Mechanicsburg, Pa.), Rae Congdon (Ottawa, Ontario) and Gabi Levine (Garwood, N.J.) broke the old school record in the 400-free relay by a margin of over two seconds, posting a time of 3:30.18.
Kolackovsky's opening leg split of 52.21 also established a new SHU standard in the 100-free, making the Franklin Square native the current holder of school records in six different individual events. The final relay appearance completed what was an outright assault on the record book by Kolackovsky at the championships. She opened the meet by surpassing the old 200-free mark as part of the fastest 800-free relay team in program history and set one other individual record in the 200-IM prior to the finale on Saturday night.
The efforts capped a four-day run during which the women’s squad collectively set eight new program records.
Other record-setting performances at the meet included the 200 and 800-free relays. During the 800-free showing, Kolackovsky jumpstarted The Hall with the fastest 200-free time ever by a Pirate and went on to grab the 200-IM school record the following day, her fifth individual SHU record.
Freshman Cora Meehan (Noblesville, Ind.) may be poised to add her own name to the record board in the coming years, as the Indiana native posted a season-best time of 2:04.87 to place 21st in the 200-back competition, finishing just .4 seconds off the SHU standard entering the day.
In the 200-breast, Kolackovsky swam her way to her third top-20 individual finish of the meet, leading the Pirates with a 19th place time of 2:21.89. Senior Brenna O'Keefe (Hyde Park, N.Y.) also registered a top-20 effort, pacing the squad with a season-best time of 2:07.69 to finish 20th overall. She was also the team’s top performer in the 1,650-free, placing 22nd by reaching the wall in 17:29.82, a new personal record.
Levine, key member of three of the Pirates’ record-setting relay squads at the meet, closed her individual program by leading the Seton Hall women with a personal-best time of 52.90 (32nd) in the 100-free.
O’Keefe, Shuba, and Zelenky were joined by fellow senior Marielle O'Connor (Allentown, Pa.) in representing Seton Hall for the final time at the championships. The quartet of seniors helped the Pirates add their best finish at the BIG EAST Championships in 18 years to a regular season that saw them post a 7-2 dual meet record.