Feb. 19, 2009
After two days of competition, the University of Louisville men's and women's team are in the hunt, both standing in second place behind Notre Dame
Louisville won five championship finals through all the events in session three. The surge by both the men and women Cardinals has pushed both Louisville squads into second place of the standings. The men finished the night with 271 points and the women had 242.5. Pittsburgh rounds out the top three of the men's standings with 184.5 points, as well as the women's leaders with 186.5. Three meet records were set at the conclusion of session three.
"There were some very inspired swims this evening for both the men and women," said U of L head coach Arthur Albiero. "It puts us a step closer to our goal of making the NCAA field. We knew it was going to be a tight meet all the way and we are in a good position to have a chance."
In the 500-Free A-final, junior Amanda Henleben chased WVU's the entire race and held off a hard-charging Lauren Sylvester from Notre Dame to finish second in 4:49.37. In the men's finals, ND's Steve Brus built what turned out to be an insurmountable lead. Shane Lichtenberg stayed in the chase but was out-touched by three tenths of a second to finish third in 4:25.50. Pedro Oliveira hung on for sixth. In the men's consols, Riley Martin was fourth (4:28.45) and Rafal Kuchta was fifth in 4:28.59.
In the 200-IM, Anna Dishuck was third after the first two legs and made a monster move in the breaststroke leg and then posted the fastest freestyle leg to finish in 1:59.94 which was a NCAA Qualifying time a year ago. Teammate Fanny Lilliestrom finished seventh, going 2:03.70. In the consols, Abby Miller was eighth with a time of 2:05.71. For the men, Carlos Almeida and Vali Preda matched stroke for stroke in the fly and backstroke legs and pulled away from their competitors in the final leg with Almeida taking the crown in 1:45.26 which set a new conference mark. Preda was second in 1:46.21. In the consols, Luke Wakefield was as far back as fourth after the backstroke, but made his move in the breast and freestyle to power to a second place finish in 1:49.32.
"That was a great win for Anna Dishuck
," said Albiero, said of the junior who was the only woman to break two minutes in the event. "She is so coachable and it is gratifying to see her continue to make strides."
In the 50 free, for the women, Whitney Campbell performed as advertised with a wire to wire win in 22.36. Nicole Landish posted an NCAA B-cut with a time of 22.65.Liz Halet tied for fifth in 23.04. Freshman Lacey Bobo was seventh in 23.36, just outtouching Aileen Cole who was eighth 23.65. For the men, Kris Findorff and Alex Sweet both made NCAA B-Cuts with times of 19.78 and 19.90 respectively, good for second and third place. Brendon Andrews tied Sweet for third with the identical time of 19.90. Carlos Van Isschot was sixth, posting a time of 20.30.
"Whitney has been our go-to-girl in the sprints all year," said Albiero. "To watch her walk away from the meet as a conference champion was great."
In diving, Kayla Purkiser finished 14th with a score of 261.20.
In the final event of the evening, U of L swept both the men's and women's 200-free relay both setting BIG EAST Meet records. Whitney Campbell blasted off the blocks in the leadoff and handed over the lead to Nicole Landisch, who held on. Anna Dishuck increased the lead to a half a body length. Liz Halet turned a blazing anchor split of 21.97 as the Cardinals won by a full body length with a time of 1:29.46, an 2008 NCAA qualifying mark.
In the men's 200-free relay, freshman Brendon Andrews was first off the blocks and touched second. Kris Findorff regained the lead in the second leg and Carlos Van Isschot broke it open to a half body length. Anchor Alex Sweet exploded off the blocks and brought the Cardinals home in 19.10, the fastest split of the night for the win.