Swim and Dive Update

by npatano on February 10, 2022

Friar Sports

Big East Championships Approaching

Leo Hainline ’22

Sports Co-Editor

The Providence College Swimming and Diving team took on the University of Connecticut on Saturday, Feb. 5 in a dual meet, the final chance to clock in official times ahead of the Big East Championships occurring later this month.

PC’s men’s and women’s teams raced under different circumstances, given that UConn has recently cut their men’s program. Many on the men’s team utilized this meet as an opportunity to receive more practice under race-like conditions, although they were racing against the clock rather than an opponent. As for the women, this meet gave them the opportunity to swim in events needed to qualify for the Big East Championships scheduled for Feb. 23-26. For some of the seniors, this meet was their final time competing for the Friars. 

The implications of the UConn meet varied for the individual swimmers across the Friars’ program, but those who needed these races to qualify for the Big East “suited up,” a swimming term referring to wearing a technical race suit to increase performance, and swam with the pressure of knowing these races could conclude their individual seasons or collegiate careers. Mike Hawkins ’22 and Elizabeth Murray ’23 both delivered big performances this past weekend and qualified for Big East due to their times. 

Swim and Dive Team
Photo Courtesy of PC Athletics

Angela Brillantes ’22, one of the swimmers who will be competing in the coming weeks in East Meadow, NY, is confident that this past weekend has provided a good prelude to the Big East for the Friars: “After last year’s huge wins, the expectations are definitely pretty high and I think we’re in a good position to do some great things. The energy from this weekend was insane, watching the entire team support swimmers trying to qualify or finish up their careers. The energy levels and emotion were crazy, seeing everyone step up for each other this weekend, and it’s exciting to think that it’ll just be a million times crazier at Big East.” 

Over the next coming weeks, the Friars will be fully focused on ensuring that they are in the best condition for their biggest meet of the season. Unlike over winter break, during which the teams trained twice a day to build up their conditioning and speed, the swimmers will lighten their schedules so their bodies are fully rested ahead for  late February. 

Last year, the Friars impressed at the Big East Championships, setting a total of 21 program records. Coach John O’Neill won Big East Coach of the Year: his first time receiving the honor. Justin Viotto ’22 won the 200 Fly with a school record of 1:48:23, and Kevin Hood ’23 also set a school record in his first-place finish in the 100 Breaststroke, with a time of 55:52. These student-athletes constitute two of the three Big East Champions in program history. 

Both Viotto and Hood, as well as the entire Friars program, will hope to both replicate and expand on the success that they enjoyed in the 2021 Championships. With many returning swimmers who contributed to the Friars’ success during the previous season in the meet, do not be surprised if the team  claims multiple accolades at the Big East Championships. 

Swim Across America Rhode Island

by The Cowl Editor on September 16, 2021


PC Swim Team Continues to Raise Money for Cancer

Liam Tormey ’22

For the past 12 years, Swim Across America has hosted an annual charity swimming event in Rhode Island. The organization, dedicated to raising money for cancer research at the Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island through swim-related events, has been around since 1987.

Providence College Swimming and Diving head coach, John O’Neill, has been a part of Swim Across America Rhode Island since the beginning. He was a part of the initial consultation to start it in Rhode Island.

“It’s a great organization to be partnered with,” O’Neill said. “The most well-known research centers in the country partner with SAA like Dana Farber, John Hopkins, and Sloan Kettering. The doctors and researchers I’ve met are fantastic.”

There are open-water swims all across the country, but the director wanted to open one in Rhode Island, O’Neill said, and from there, everything grew and he became a board member with SAA-RI.

O’Neill wanted the event to be open to as many schools as possible to help such a great cause. “I suggested we could expand the participation to college teams and we invited every college within an easy driving distance to come.”

Swimming and Diving athletes from schools like Brown University, Bryant University, Roger Williams University, the University of Rhode Island, and Providence College were all featured in the event.

Last Saturday, Sept. 11, at Wheeler State Beach in Narragansett, RI was the host of the 12th annual SAA in Rhode Island.

Coach O’Neill said, “It winds up being a celebratory day and the start of the college season.”

This is an important event that is not just about kicking off the college season. “The cause is still the cause,” as O’Neill points out. “There aren’t too many families I know who don’t have a cancer situation within the family.”

Being able to help out in any sort of way is important to O’Neill. “It wasn’t personal on my level, my family is all healthy, thank goodness, but we get into the extent we’re not unlike anybody else as we’ve had family members with cancer. Our team, our families, and our alumni have embraced this beyond anything I could have imagined.”

Friars Lacrosse helps out the Swim Across America fundraiser
Photo Courtesy by John O’Neill

In speaking about why O’Neill felt passionate about this specific method of service, he explained, “I felt very strongly about targeting an organization we can make a big impact on.”

Spreading the word has been the most beneficial way to receive donations for SAA. Athletes, families, and alumni register online and spread the word through social media and family members.

O’Neill wanted to find a way to keep his alumni a part of their alma mater. He said, “I wanted our alumni to be a part of something special. We’re bringing the Friar Family back.”

As of three days before the event, the Friars had already raised $53,000. Since the swim was founded, the Friars have raised over $260,000 altogether. The Facebook Fundraiser tool, along with Instagram and other forms of social media, have been key to raising awareness.

The day starts early for athletes, but “When the teams get off the buses and see everyone, it just becomes this electric event. You’ve been swimming with your teammates for a bit, but it’s like flipping a switch. The competitive juices come out and everyone’s energy is really high.”

Student-athletes will have an enjoyable experience while still bringing their competitive nature out. Even for alumni, the case remains the same.

“Although some will race, it’s not a race. A lot have been out of competitive swimming for a while, but they’re recreational health swimmers and it helps them to get going again.”

Last year, the event was canceled in-person at the beach due to COVID-19. However, the Friars still managed to find a way to keep it going in their own pool.

“We broke it up into pods,” O’Neill said, but “it wasn’t about money, it was just about staying engaged.”

Even in an off year, the Friars still managed to raise $25,000, which is an outstanding result considering the tough circumstances.

The seniors were the only class before Saturday who had experienced what they call “the beach.” Before the COVID year, the 2019 event was canceled due to a hurricane. This only meant the excitement and atmosphere surrounding being in person was so much higher this year.

On the day of the event, the athletes and participants in the event get off the bus and head to registration. Each registrar is given an ankle chip that tracks their swim both for safety and timekeeping while in the water.

Groups will go out in waves into the water and the event is then underway.

In asking Coach O’Neill how he and his team will continue to help the great cause after the event is over, he chimed in to say, “Our kids become walking billboards for Swim Across America. The towels they get, the shirts they get, they have an enormous amount of pride in.”

All across America, any location you can think of, holds a SAA event. The events begin in the spring and continue throughout the rest of the year. Last Saturday, both Rhode Island and Seattle hosted their event. 

Coach O’Neill was also appreciative of another team on campus: Coach Gabrielli’s Lacrosse team.

Gabrielli and his team were there last Saturday to help out in all the background scenes that make the event so successful.

“We couldn’t be more appreciative of them. Just a really, really great thing they’re doing.”

The team woke up very early and arrived at the beach before everyone else to help set up.

“It’s one thing to walk across campus and watch a game, but it’s a whole different story when they’re waking up at five in the morning to come and help us.” It’s the definition of Friars helping Friars, and Coach O’Neill couldn’t be more grateful for their support.

The event this past Saturday was blessed with beautiful weather and a perfect atmosphere to raise money for a great cause.

PC Men’s Swimming and Diving See First Big East Champions Since 1985

by Joshua Lopes on April 22, 2021

Friar Sports

Justin Viotto ’22 and Kevin Hood ’23 Secure Thrilling Victories

By Cam Smith ’21

Sports Co-Editor

At the Big East championships in early April, the Providence College Men’s Swimming and Diving Team did something that has not been done since 1985: have swimmers bring home individual championships. After a 36-year wait, the Friars had two swimmers bring home titles in just two days.

In the 200-yard butterfly, Justin Viotto ’22 pulled off a thrilling comeback victory. Trailing after the final turn, Viotto accelerated over the last 50 yards, hunting down Seton Hall University’s Justin Oosterwyk to claim the title. He won by a finger length, finishing just one one-hundredth of a second in front of Oosterwyk.

Photo Courtesy of PC Athletics

“I really had no idea,” said Viotto when asked about if he thought he had won when his fingers hit the wall. “The funny thing is that I didn’t know I had won by one one-hundredth until my friend told me about 45 minutes later in the locker room.”

One thing Viotto did know was his game plan going into the race. “With the way that I race, I’m more of a back-half swimmer,” he said. “I knew from the beginning I was probably going to be behind, but after the first 100 I knew that I had a chance.”

In the 100-yard breaststroke, Kevin Hood ’23 captured an impressive championship. Hood never looked back after leading the race at the 50-yard mark, perhaps motivated by the raucous cheers of his teammates.

“I had a good feeling that I could hold on,” said Hood when speaking of his stretch run. “I trusted my training that I would be able to at least stay with the [nearest] guy, or hold on for it, so once I heard the crowd I just tried to get to that wall as fast as I could.”

Photo Courtesy of PC Athletics

“When I looked up and saw number one…it was just indescribable,” continued Hood. “Then to hear everyone on the team screaming and going crazy in the stands, it was just an unbelievable feeling.”

Viotto and Hood will return next year to a team that produced strong results in a season shortened by the pandemic. They each spoke to how their team goals center around continuing the squad’s upward trajectory next season, focusing on producing more points across the board at meets.

As far as individual goals, Hood looks forward to defending his 100-yard breaststroke title. “To win it again. That’s the main goal I have personally,” said the sophomore swimmer.

Viotto, in his senior year next year, plans on going out on a high note. “I just want to be able to say I had no regrets in my last season, to be able to give it my all, and hopefully defend the 200-fly title as well.”

Sports Shorts

by Joshua Lopes on April 15, 2021


Sports Shorts Week of 4/8-4/15

By Liam Tormey ’22

Sports Assistant Editor

Men’s Lacrosse:

Over the weekend, the Providence College Men’s Lacrosse Team hosted St. John’s University at Chapey Field at Anderson Stadium in a Big East matchup. The Friars dominated the contest, winning by a score of 19-9. Matt Grillo ’22 and John Hoffman ’23 led the way for the Friars. Grillo finished the evening with five goals, putting his tally up to 20 for the year, while Hoffman was right behind him with four. Toby Burgdorf ’21 recorded 15 saves in the contest. The Friars are now 4-6 on the year and 3-5 in Big East play.

Men’s and Women’s Track and Field:

Last Friday, the PC Men’s and Women’s Track and Field Teams competed at the Ocean State Invitational. For the men, AJ Ernst ’24 won the mile run with a time of 4:00.64, a facility record. Marcelo Rocha ’21 also set a facility record, in the 5,000-meter contest. Rocha won the race and finished with a time of 13:55.98. For the women, Abbey Wheeler ’21GS and Lilly Tuck ’23 won their respective races. Wheeler set a personal best and won the mile with a 4:41.93. Tuck set a personal best in the 3,000-meter with a time of 9:24.11.

Swimming and Diving: 

The PC Swimming and Diving Teams competed in the Big East Championships in Geneva, Ohio. On the men’s side, Justin Viotto ’22 won the 200-yard butterfly event to secure the conference title. After being in third for the first 150 yards of the event, Viotto used the last 50 yards to claim a victory by one one-hundredth of a second with a time of 1:48.23. Kevin Hood ’23 also won a title, winning the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 55.52. On the women’s side, Sally Alrutz ’23 recorded a personal record in the 100-yard backstroke at 55.91, finishing fifth. Overall, the women’s team came in fifth while the men secured fourth to wrap up the season.

Women’s Soccer:

To finish out the regular season of Big East play, the PC Women’s Soccer Team traveled to Queens, New York to face St. John’s University. After being down 1-0 going into halftime, the Friars were awarded a penalty shot with just 10 minutes left to play. Christina Rodgers ’21 stepped up to the spot and recorded her first goal of the season to level the Friars at one. The game went into overtime, during which neither team would score, and the game concluded in a 1-1 draw. The Friars finish the regular season 7-2-3 overall and 5-2-3 in Big East play.

Season Finally Arrives for Swim and Dive

by Joshua Lopes on February 25, 2021

Friar Sports

Men and Women Swim First Races of the Year

By Jack Belanger ’21

Sports Co-Editor

One week after their opening race of the season was canceled, the Providence College Swimming and Diving Teams each had their first meet of the 2021 season. The men’s team fell to Bryant University, 169-119, and the women’s team lost to the University of Rhode Island, 165-108.

Out of the four first-place finishes for the men, three of those came from Justin Viotto ’22 in the 800- and 400-meter freestyle races as well as the 200-meter individual medley. The women were able to win five races during their meet. Katie Winklowski ’24 won two individual races, while the 200-yard freestyle team of Katie Thornton ’21, Sami Martin ’24, Lauren Zawacki ’21, and Jennifer Bankes ’22 also took first place.

Women's Relay Team cheers on fellow swimmers
Photo Courtesy of PC Athletics

Even though PC did not get the outcomes they were hoping to see, the teams are excited to be back in the pool after an extended break. On top of getting their season pushed back, the teams were not able to practice as an entire group, forcing swimmers to train on their own time.

“Typically, we have a practice week where most training groups lift twice a week,” said assistant coach Margaret Howe. “We really have not been able to lift at all this year.”

With the reduced number of team activities, several athletes have had to schedule gym sessions in the Concannon Fitness Center or run outside on their own. Howe also pointed out that the loss of full team activities has hurt the process of building team chemistry.

While every sport has had to make scheduling adjustments, the swimming and diving teams had to cut down some of their usual travel due to the varying COVID-19 protocols across different states and college campuses. The Friars were fortunate enough to schedule several dual meets with teams around New England that were within driving distance, including their annual rivalry meet against the College of the Holy Cross Crusaders.

Some of the notable returning swimmers include Viotto and captain Andrew Ferrell ’21 on the men’s side. Howe noted that Ferrell’s versatility to compete in a variety of events will be big for the team. Viotto currently holds four school records while Ferrell holds three.

As for the women, Zawacki and Sally Alrutz ’23 should help carry the team. Zawacki currently holds the school record for the 50-yard freestyle and is hoping to get a chance to break the 100-yard freestyle record at the Big East Swimming and Diving Championships. Alrutz currently holds the school record in the 100- and 200-yard backstroke events.

Howe also expressed her excitement for a recruiting class that brought 22 new swimmers to PC. “It’s crazy that we haven’t gotten to see any of them race [before the season],” she said. “But I’m looking forward to working with every single one of them.”

While uncertainty and  adjustments due to COVID-19 can be sources of distraction, the coaches have made sure players are focused when it comes to practice and training.

“We are trying to create an environment where you are cheering for your teammates at practice or you are really going after the set you have on the board [during workouts]. We want to create that team atmosphere during practice. We want the sport to be a bright spot in all of the craziness that’s going on.”

COVID-19 has made it harder for the teams to practice together, but the coaches have made the best situation for their swimmers. Both Howe and head coach John O’Neill have committed to creating a program that provides all their athletes with a chance to improve and compete at a high level.

Sport Shorts Jan.31- Feb. 6

by The Cowl Editor on February 6, 2020


Sport Shorts for Jan. 31-Feb. 6

by Joseph Quirk ’23

Sports Staff

Men’s Basketball:

The men’s basketball team had a big week on the hardwood this week. They played one game, Saturday, February 1, and started the month off with an away win at Butler University. Butler was ranked 16th in the nation, and the Friars were coming off a three-game losing streak that some believed killed their bid for the NCAA tournament. After a close loss to Villanova University last week, the Friars finished this time, winning 65-61. The Friars rolled out a larger lineup this week that involved bringing Luwane Pipkins ’20G and Alpha Diallo ’20 off the bench. The Friars offense operated much smoother, with better ball movement and more pick-and-roll and post plays. It also helped that Butler shot just 7.1 percent from three. The Friars’ leading scorers were Pipkins (22-3-2 with a steal) and David Duke ’22 (10-4-1). 

The Friars extended their win streak to two games after beating Creighton University 73-56 on Wednesday, February 5. A.J. Reeves ’22 led the Friars with 22 points. The Friars’s defense held the Blue Jays to 37 percent shooting from the field. The team’s next game will be this upcoming Saturday, February 8 at Xavier University. 

Women’s Basketball: 

The Providence College Women’s Basketball Team had a rough week with two road losses on Friday, January 31 and Sunday, February 2. The first of the losses came at Marquette University, with a final score of 55-85. The teams started the game close, both shooting poorly in the first quarter. Both teams dramatically improved their shooting (for the most part) each quarter thereafter. However, poor defense from the Friars and good shooting from Marquette allowed for the Golden Eagles’ efficiency to rise above that of the Friars. Marquette had more rebounds and fewer turnovers. The leading scorers for the Friars in this contest were Mary Baskerville ’22 (11-2-1 with 2 blocks), Kyra Spiwak ’21 (10-2-3 with a steal), and Chanell Williams ’21 (10-1-1 with a steal). 

The Friars then traveled to DePaul University and suffered another tough loss 71-93. The Friars found themselves struggling behind the arc, shooting worse than the Blue Demons. On the bright side, they shot significantly better than DePaul at the charity stripe, shooting 80 percent as opposed to 60 percent. The Friars were once again outrebounded and responsible for more turnovers. The leading scorers for this game were Williams (15-3-3) and Spiwak (13-3-2). Next up for the Friars is a home game Saturday, February 8 against Creighton University.

Swimming and Diving:

This past Friday through Saturday (January 31- February 1) the Providence College men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams traveled down to Berkeley Aquatic Club in New Jersey for a Tri-Meet with the Seton Hall University Pirates and Georgetown University Hoyas. Both the men’s and women’s teams lost to the both Seton Hall and Georgetown in a disappointing fashion. The men’s team lost by a total score of 553 to 122 while the women’s team lost by a total score of 503 to 193. It’s been an up-and-down season for sure in the pool for both Friars squads, and they came into this meet riding a bit of a hot streak. The men’s team came in off a two-meet win streak while the women’s team was coming in off a tie. Both squads will next compete in the BIG EAST championships in East Meadow, New York from February 26-29


Sports Shorts Weeks of Jan. 18-Jan. 26

by Meaghan P Cahill on January 30, 2020

Friar Sports

By Meaghan Cahill ’20 and Jack Belanger ’21

Sports Co-Editors

Women’s Basketball:

On Jan. 26, the Providence College Women’s Basketball Team snapped an eight-game losing streak and earned their first Big East win of the year, beating Xavier University 60-48. The Friars only scored 15 points in the first half before finding their groove after halftime. Three players finished in double-figures for points, led by Earlette Scott ’22 who finished with a career high 20, including 11 made free throws. Kaela Webb ’22 scored 10 of her 12 points in the fourth quarter. As a team, PC shot 41.3 percent from the field while holding the Musketeers to 27 percent. The Friars are now 10-11 in the season.

Indoor Track and Field:

On Jan. 18, the Providence College Men’s and Women’s Indoor Track Teams competed at the Boston University Multi-Team Meet, which featured six additional schools from throughout New England and Ireland. During the meet, four women runners qualified for the ECAC Championships: Maria Coffin ’21, Abbey Wheeler ’20, Lilly Tuck ’23, and Bridget Mitchell ’22; and four men qualified for the IC4A Championships: Michael O’Leary ’19GS, Jack Carleo ’21, Marcelo Rocha ’21, and Ryan Gallagher ’21. Coffin ran a personal best in the 3,000-meter event which she placed first in, and Wheeler finished first in the mile run. On the men’s side, O’Leary finished first in the 3,000-meter run and Carleo finished first in the 800-meter sprint. 

The following weekend, the Friars returned to Boston to compete in the John Thomas Terrier Classic where multiple Friars, including Wheeler, Coffin, and Carleo finished top-ten in their respective events. Ryan Jendzejec’s ’21 2:28.04 time in the 1,000-meter dash qualified him to compete in the IC4 Championships.

Swim and Dive:

 On Saturday, January 25, the Providence College Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving Teams hosted the University of Maine. It was the Friars’ senior meets and the men’s team gained their second consecutive win with a score of 195-99; the women’s team tied 150-150. Four different swimmers on the men’s team set new school records: Kevin Hood ’23 in the 100-meter breaststroke, Justin Viotto ’22 in the 200-meter butterfly, and both the 200-meter medley and 200-meter freestyle relay teams. The women’s team had six first place finishes: Sally Alrutz ’23 in the 100-meter backstroke, 100-meter butterfly, and the 200-meter backstroke; Elizabeth Murray ’23 in the 800-meter freestyle; Jennifer Banks ’22 in the 400-meter freestyle; and Taylor Loud ’23 in the 200-meter freestyle. The team’s final regular season meet will take place this upcoming weekend against Seton Hall University and Georgetown University in New Providence, NJ.

Earthquake Shakes Swim Team

by Meaghan P Cahill on January 16, 2020

Friar Sports

Major Quake Rocks Puerto Rico During Team’s Winter Training Trip

By Jack Belanger ’21

Sports Co-Editor

On Jan. 2, the Providence College Men’s and Women’s Swimming Teams made their annual trip down to Ponce, Puerto Rico for their winter training trip. While the team was looking forward to spending time together and enjoying the warm weather, Puerto Rico was dealing with some of its own issues. In the days leading up to their arrival, there had been several smaller earthquakes on the south side of the island. Even though the team was not staying at the epicenter of the shakes, they felt the effects of some of the tremors during their first day on the island.

Swim Team poses for team photo
Photo Courtesy of PC Swim and Dive

Co-captain Erin Boyle ’20 and her roommates first noticed the effects when they felt their beds shaking after they had arrived at their hotel room. Boyle added that she has never experienced something like this before. Throughout the next few days the team felt some of the tremors periodically—luckily none were a serious threat.

It was not until Tuesday, January 7 when they felt an earthquake with a magnitude of 6.4. The shaking occurred early in the morning, waking up the entire team.

“The entire room was shaking,” said Boyle. “The curtains looked like they were swaying like they were on a boat. The walls looked like they were moving. I thought the T.V. was going to fall down.”

After the earthquake had finished, the team gathered in the lobby of the hotel. Head coach John O’Neill canceled practice that day and had the athletes go back to their rooms until a plan of action was decided.

Later that day, the team got a bus to the north side of the island where they would finish the rest of their training camp in Dorado, far enough away to avoid the major effects of the earthquake.

Outside of the earthquake, the team had a successful time in Puerto Rico. The trip served as a great opportunity for the team to bond while practicing twice a day for the majority of the trip.

After the trip ended, the women’s team came back to campus for the meet against Assumption College while the men flew to Pennsylvania to face Villanova University. The men did not fare well against the Wildcats, loosing 75-130. Justin Viotto ’22 paced the team with two first place finishes in the 1000-yard freestyle and 200-yard butterfly. His performance at the meet earned him Big East Swimming and Diving Male Athlete of the Week.

The women on the other hand won their meet against the Greyhounds 113-92. Lauren Zawacki ’21 led the team with two individual first-place finishes in the 50-meter and 100-meter freestyle events. The team also won two relay events in the 400-meter medley and 400-meter freestyle. Katie Thornton ’21 also stood out, making both her cut times for the Big East Championships at the end of February.

Both teams will travel to the College of the Holy Cross this Saturday to face the Crusaders in their annual meet.

Swim Team Wins Key Meet

by The Cowl Editor on December 5, 2019

Friar Sports

Freshmen Shine in Victory

By CJ McCartin ’20

Guest Writer

providence college swimming and diving team
Photo Courtesy of PC Swim and Dive

From Friday, November 22 to Sunday, November 24, the Providence College Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving Teams competed in the annual Harold Anderson Invitational, a three-day, six-session meet held at the University of Rhode Island. The meet was full of tough competition, featuring notable New England teams such as University of Maine, College of the Holy Cross, University of Vermont, Assumption College, and University of Rhode Island. The Friar men placed first out of four men’s teams, while the women placed sixth out of seven women’s teams.

Freshmen standouts Aidan Hughes ’23 and Sally Alrutz ’23 dominated the backstroke events, both breaking program records. Hughes set records in the men’s 100-yard and 200-yard backstrokes, finishing first in both events with the times 0:50.84 and 1:50.91 respectively.

Alrutz shaved off nearly a second from the previous women’s 100-yard backstroke record, touching the wall first in a time of 0:56.31. Reflecting on her first collegiate invitational, Alrutz said, “It was really cool to see the whole team come together and support one another throughout the weekend. Swimming is so much more fun when you have a family, like our team, to support you during practices and meets as well as off the pool deck.” 

Other top finishers on the men’s side included Andrew Ferrell ’21 and  Justin Viotto ’22.  Ferrell swept his individual events with first place finishes in the 200-yard individual medley, the 100-yard butterfly, and the 200-yard butterfly. Viotto swept the distance events, placing first in the 500-yard freestyle, 400-yard individual medley, and 1650-yard freestyle. 

Top female finishers were Lauren Zawacki ’21 and Maddy O’Connor ’23. Zawacki placed third in the 100-yard freestyle, competing in a final full of tough talent. Murray also had a solid performance, placing fourth in the 1650-yard freestyle.

Reflecting on the meet, co-captain Chris Centrella ’20 said, “Harold is the flagship meet of our first semester. Typically, kids hunt down Big East cuts or season bests to set the bar for the rest of the season. The team had an excellent performance, and I am proud of everyone, top to bottom, for stepping up and competing with heart.”

The Friars will return to campus on Dec. 28 to prepare for their training trip to San Juan, Puerto Rico in January. The next home meet will be Jan. 11, when the women host Assumption College.

Swim and Dive Host Weekend Meets

by The Cowl Editor on November 7, 2019

Friar Sports

Women’s Team Pulls off First Win of the Season

By Marc DeMartis ’21

Sports Staff

providence college swimming and diving teams
Laura Chadbourne ’20/The Cowl

This weekend the Providence College Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving Teams had two meets against two different opponents. The first was on Friday against Iona College. Unfortunately, the Friars did not come away with the win, but it was a hard-fought meet. 

The team seemed to lack energy in the first half, losing the majority of their events. However, the Friars came back in the second half looking alive and shifting the momentum in their favor. 

Andrew Ferrell ’21 said, “We were deflated in the first half of the meet, which allowed them to take advantage and keep their momentum going. But we picked up the energy in the second half of the meet and although we performed much better in the second half, it doesn’t matter at the end of the day since we still lost.”

The Friars’ loss in their meet against Iona could have been due to the number of swimmers missing due to injury or sickness. Parker Cramer ’21 explained, “We’ve had a lot of injuries and illnesses plaguing our team this past week, which did not help us when it came to training for these meets. We weren’t as prepared as we could’ve been against Iona but we made those adjustments against Fairfield and it made it a much better meet.”

The Friars woke up Saturday morning ready to take on Fairfield University. Determined to avoid two consecutive losses, the team rose to the occasion, and the fans were extremely engaged in each and every event because of how close it was the entire time. 

The men’s team lost 154-137, but the women’s team saved the day on their end, winning 151-149. It was an exhilarating meet to say the least; the final event decided whether or not the meet would end in a loss or split for the Friars. 

Jamie Eigner ’21 described the meet as “definitely one of our most competitive and exhilarating meets that we’ve had considering it came down to the last relay.” Luckily, the women’s team came up clutch and got the job done to avoid back-to-back losses this weekend.

Despite the men’s team losing the majority of their events, they set a new school record for the 800 meter freestyle relay with a time of 8:01.19. 

Eigner also mentioned, “All of our guys were there for each other the entire meet and I think we all did great. Looking ahead, we look forward to what’s to come in the future and are ready to remain positive and train hard every day for the rest of the season.” 

With newcomers like Taylor Loud ’23 on the women’s team, the Friars seem to be in good hands going forward. Loud impressed after placing first in the 100 meter freestyle event against both Iona and Fairfield.

The women’s swim and dive team participated in a tri-meet this Wednesday, November 6 against the University of Rhode Island and Sacred Heart University at 6 p.m.