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Feb. 27, 2012

PITTSBURGH - After several days of competition held at Joe C. Trees Pool, Pitt reflects on its accomplishments during the 2012 Big East Swimming and Diving Championship, including a third-place finish for the men and fourth overall on the women's side. In addition, 11 Panthers earned All-Big East honors.

The Big East Championship began on Friday, Feb. 10 with the diving events. Sophomore Aaron Snyder earned his first-ever All-Big East honor, leading the team with a second-place finish on the 1M board. Last season, Snyder placed eighth in the finals of the 1M event.

Freshman Harris Bergman turned in an exciting performance in the platform diving event, finishing third in an exhibition final. Had platform diving been a scored event, Bergman would have earned All-Big East honors. Harris was also a finalist on the 3M board, while junior Erik Moore advanced to the finals in both the 1M (sixth) and 3M (fifth) diving events.

On the women's side, freshman Angelika McGhee and sophomore Leigh Waltz rounded out the top eight in the finals on the 1M board. Waltz claimed a top-15 finish in the 3M event, as well.

In the men's swimming events, three relays earned All-Big East honors and set school records while achieving an NCAA provisional finish - the men's 200 medley (1:27.82), 400 medley (3:13.41) and 800 free (6:30.50) relay teams. The 200 medley team consisted of freshman Kourosh Ahani, junior Adam Maczewski and seniors Benjamin Solari and Jake Van Roekel. Ahani and Maczewski were later members of the 400 medley relay team along with junior Hussein Medhat and senior Pierre-Antoine Meunier. Medhat, junior Otto Pagel, Van Roekel and sophomore Alexander Rodenkirk madeup the 800 free squad.

Two other relay teams captured NCAA provisional times, including the 400 free relay (freshman Austin Caldwell, junior Otto Pagel, Medhat and Van Roekel) and the 200 free relay (sophomore Alexander Rodenkirk, Ahani, Caldwell and Van Roekel).

Individually, Maczewski garnered All-Big East honors in two events-100 and 200 back. He set a program standard in the 50 (22.09) and 100 (47.36) back, while touching the wall under NCAA B cuts in the 100 and 200 back.

Ahani garnered an individual All-Big East honor in the 100 fly with a NCAA provisional time of 47.44. That mark bested his previous Pitt freshman record.

Senior Morne Boshoff joined the list of all-conference awardees with an NCAA provisional third-place finish of 4:24.36 in the 500 free.

Additionally, freshman Jon Lierley set both the school and Pitt rookie records in the 200 fly, leading the Panthers with an NCAA provisional and fourth-place time of 1:46.40.

Senior Rousseau Kluever (200 fly, 400 IM), Medhat (100 free, 400 medley relay, 400 free relay, 800 free relay) and Solari (100 and 200 breast, 200 medley relay) also turned in NCAA provisional times in their respective events.

Pitt's women's squad improved from a fifth-place overall finish last year to fourth this season. Competing in her first Big East Championship, freshman Cam Dixon garnered All-Big East honors for a third-place NCAA B cut of 2:01.42 in the 200 IM. She also shattered the program and freshman records in the 100 and 200 breast, including an NCAA provisional time in the 200 breast.

Juniors Joanna Budzis (400 IM - 4:18.30) and Kelsey Herbst (500 free - 4:46.86) eclipsed school records as well. Similarly, freshman Dani des Tombe broke the rookie standard in the 50 free (23.13).

In addition, six Panthers recorded NCAA provisional times in their respective events: Budzis (200 back, 200 IM, 400 IM, 800 free relay), des Tombe (800 free relay), Herbst (500 free, 800 free relay) and sophomores Renee Deschenes (100 back), Kate Dunseith (800 free relay) and Veronica Lee (200 breast).

As the championship season continues, Pitt awaits its berths in the NCAA Championships. Diving zones will be held March 9-10 in Buffalo, N.Y. The women's NCAA tournament begins on March 15 in Auburn, Ala., while the men will travel to Federal Way, Wash. on March 22.

Pitt's All-Big East Selections
Kourosh Ahani (200 medley relay, 100 fly, 400 medley relay)
Morne Boshoff (500 free)
Cam Dixon (200 IM)
Adam Maczewski (200 medley relay, 100 back, 400 medley relay, 200 back)
Hussein Medhat-Mohamed (800 free relay, 400 medley relay)
Pierre-Antoine Meunier (400 medley relay)
Otto Pagel (800 free relay)
Alexander Rodenkirk (800 free relay)
Benjamin Solari (200 medley relay)
Aaron Snyder (1M diving)
Jacob Van Roekel (800 free relay, 200 medley relay)

Eleven Panthers Earned All-Big East Honors This Season

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