PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The 2011 BIG EAST Swimming & Diving champions, the Louisville men turned in the top team performance for the conference at the 2011 NCAA Swimming & Diving Championships in Minneapolis with a 17th-place finish, collecting 73 points for the best finish in school history.
Louisville junior Carlos Almeida recorded the best finish for the BIG EAST in this year’s NCAAs, taking third overall in the men’s 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 52.02 seconds. This marked the event’s 10th-fastest time in NCAA Championship history. He was joined in the event by teammate Kameron Chastain, who finished 12th with a time of 53.15, the only freshman in the top 15.
Almeida also posted a school-record time of 1:54.21 to finish fifth in the 200 breaststroke. He reset his own school record and won the 200-yard individual medley consolation finals, using the breaststroke leg to pull ahead and post a winning time of 1:43.97 to finish ninth overall. In the 100 backstroke, junior Brendon Andrews improved four spots to 12th after qualifying 16th. He used a fast first split of 10.96 en route to a time of 47.07.
In relay action, the UofL quartet of Andrews, Almeida, junior Pedro Oliveira and Chastain swam the 200 medley in 1:26.72 for a 13th-place finish. The Cardinals claimed 14th in the 800 freestyle relay as freshman Joao De Lucca, Andrews, freshman Alex Burtch and Almeida combined to post a time of 47.07. After qualifying 14th, the 400 medley relay team of Andrews, Almeida, Oliveira and De Lucca moved up to No. 12 in the nation with a school-record time of 3:09.30.
Andrews, Burtch, Chastain and De Lucca put up their fastest effort of the season in the 200 freestyle relay with a time of 1:19.21 to finish 18th. The quartet also took 18th in the 400-yard free relay, finishing in 2:57.20. In the individual version, De Lucca put up a 1:35.22 to finish 18th in the nation, while Oliveira finished 17th in the 200 butterfly, tapping in at 1:44.82.
The West Virginia men finished 30th in the team standings as Jared Goldthorpe earned the Mountaineers seven points. The sophomore finished 10th in the 200-yard backstroke, posting a school record time of 1:42.17. Goldthorpe also swam the 500-yard freestyle, taking 36th with a time of 4:23.57. He became the first Mountaineer men’s swimmer since Michael Walker in 2009 to earn Honorable Mention All-America status.
Notre Dame freshman Frank Dyer represented the Irish, competing in three events. He recorded the program’s highest finish at the NCAAs with a 26th-place showing in the 200-yard freestyle, touching in at 1:36.15. Dyer took 40th overall in the 100 free with a time of 44.05 and claimed 44th in the 500-yard version at 4:27.25.
The 2011 BIG EAST Most Outstanding Swimmer, Kevin Webster represented Seton Hall in three events. The senior finished 27th in the 400 IM with a time of 3:30.91. He claimed 36th in the 200 back at 1:48.64 and 37th in the 500 free at 4:24.30.
On the women’s side, Louisville senior Terese Bergstrom earned four points for the Cardinals, coming in at No. 40 in the team standings at the NCAA Women’s Swimming & Diving Championship in Austin, Texas. The reigning BIG EAST 100-yard breaststroke champion posted a time of 1:00.70, good for 13th-place.
In women’s diving action, UofL sophomore Hannah Gadd, the 2010 and 2011 BIG EAST Women’s Most Outstanding Diver, finished 25th on the 1-meter springboard at the NCAA Championships. The reigning BIG EAST 1-meter board champion posted a score of 26.15.
Notre Dame senior Samantha Maxwell finished 17th in the 100-yard breaststroke, touching in at 1:00.83, fractions of a second from qualifying for the final race. The senior logged a top 40 finish (37th) in the 200 breaststroke, coming in at 2:12.97, while making her fourth NCAA appearance in as many seasons.
Sophomore Kimberly Holden joined Maxwell to represent the Irish. Holden placed 46th in the 100 butterfly with a time of 54.13, while taking 25th with a time of 53.54 in the 100 back, an event in which she claimed the 2011 BIG EAST title. In her first appearance at the NCAAs, she went 1:55.76 in the 200 back to finish 23rd.
West Virginia sophomore Mandie Nugent recorded a 17th-place finish in the 200 butterfly, touching the wall at 1:57.08. The co-2011 BIG EAST Women’s Most Outstanding Swimmer took 31st in the 100 butterfly with a time of 53.51. This was Nugent’s second consecutive trip to the NCAA Championships.