Feb. 17, 2009
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - The University of Connecticut men's and women's swimming and diving teams will take part in the 2009 BIG EAST Conference championships which take place this weekend -- starting on Wednesday, February 18 and run through Saturday, February 21.
This event will take place at the IU Natatorium on the campus of IUPUI -- a first in BIG EAST history. The past 10 championships were held at East Meadow, N.Y., in the Nassau County Aquatic Center.
"Depth and consistency will be a key for us this weekend as we hope to challenge for a top three spot in both team standings," says UConn coach Bob Goldberg. "Also, a number of our swimmers will have their eyes on NCAA-cut times to qualify for the national championship."
A number of UConn senior men's and women's performers will be looking to make an impact in their final BIG EAST Championship. On the women's side, seniors Kate DeVinney (Avondale, Ariz.) in the 200-yard butterfly, Lisa Shelps (Quakertown, Pa.) in the 200-yard IM, Danielle Sanders (Mississauga, Ont.), Kristalynn Kempton (Glen Head, N.Y.), Liza Marianni (Cherry Hill, N.J.) in diving, Erin McLaughlin (Woodbridge, Conn.) and both Audrey Prior (Lutz, Fla.) and Cassie Peterson (White Fish Bay, Wisc.) all hope to contribute to the Huskies' success.
UConn also has a number of senior men who will be looking for success in their final BIG EAST Championship -- Adrian Astiz (Rockville, Md.) in the 200-yard butterfly and 200-yard IM, John Henry Dasinger (Madison, Miss.) in the 50-yard freestyle and 100-yard butterfly, Frisk Driscoll (Westport, Conn.) in the 1,650-yard freestyle and the group of Nick Conrad (Olney, Md.), Ben Levine (North Granby, Conn.) and Jules Alexandre (Wallingford, Conn.) in the 1,650-yard freestyle.
Several other Huskies should also vie for outstanding performances in the event, including sophomore Alex Davidson (Pointe-Claire, Que.) in the 100-yard and 200-yard backstroke, junior John Hogan (Walkersville, Md.) in the freestyle and butterfly events, junior Steve Kustra (North Huntington, Pa.) in the IM and breaststroke, sophomore Tomasz Sobek (Siemianowice Slaskie, Poland) in the 100-yard and 200-yard breaststroke, junior Jon Wong (Toronto, Ont.) in the mid-distance, and junior Steve Ferreira (Madison, Conn.) in diving.
Davidson, Astiz and Sobek are all nationally-ranked in various events for the UConn men.
On the women's side, freshman Caitlin Gallagher (Lawrence, Kansas) is the top seed in the 400-yard IM and will also swim the 200-yard IM and the 200-yard breaststroke. Junior Molly McGroarty (Lynnwood, N.J.) will lead the way for the Huskies in the freestyle.
The entire women's breaststroke team of Kempton, Gallagher, sophomore Kate Baust (Reistertown, Md.) and freshman Anna Drinka (San Antonio, Texas) gives the Huskies some depth as does Sobek and Kustra on the men's side.
"We have had a great dual meet season and have been strong in events like the Terrapin Cup, the U.S. Short Course National Championship and our own Husky Invitational," says Goldberg. "We look to continue that this wekeend."