Five Bearcats Advance to Saturday Night's BIG EAST Championship Finals

March 2, 2013

INDIANAPOLIS - Five Bearcats advanced to Saturday night’s championship finals after the morning’s preliminary races at the BIG EAST Conference swimming and diving championships. The event is being held at the IUPUI Natatorium in Indianapolis.

Helena Pikhartova was UC’s top finisher Saturday morning, placing fifth in the women’s 200-yard breaststroke prelims (2:13.56). She improved her personal-best time – which is No. 2 on UC’s all-time top 10 list – by almost two-tenths of a second. Teammates Victoria Jacumski and Samantha Wheeler will swim in the consolation final race just ahead of Pikhartova’s.

Weronika Wasiakowska also had a personal-best performance in the women’s 100-yard freestyle prelims, jumping into the top 10 list at No. 5 in 50.37. She had the sixth-best time in the prelims and will be in tonight’s championship final.

Jessica Piper will be the third UC women’s swimmer to be in a championship final tonight after placing eighth in the 200-yard backstroke. Teammates Erin Frye and Amanda Hardewig will race in the event’s consolation final. The women’s team also placed two in the 200-yard butterfly consolation final – Iuliia Fedoreeva and Brittany Groene.

On the men’s side, four UC swimmers qualified for the finals of the 200-yard backstroke; two in the championship final (Joseph Scherpenberg and Awse Ma’aya) and two in the consolation final (Donovan Kearns and Alexander Chin). Scherpenberg’s prelims time of 1:48.13 jumped him from No. 6 on the UC all-time list to third. One of the spots he jumped was Ma’aya, who improved his personal best by nearly a second and bettered the previous No. 3 mark, only to find himself remaining at No. 4 behind Scherpenberg.



The men’s team also has consolation finalists in three other races: the 100-yard freestyle (Roberto Nevarez), the 200-yard breaststroke (Michael Craig) and the 200-yard butterfly (Hunter Pasek and Nathan Anderson).

Saturday’s finals will begin at 6 p.m. ET and will include competition in the men’s and women’s 1,650-yard freestyle and the men’s and women’s 400-yard freestyle relay. There will be a recognition of senior student-athletes at 5:35 p.m. Live results and live video streaming from the event are available at

UC Results:

Women’s 200-yard backstroke prelims – 8. Jessica Piper, 1:59.61; 11. Erin Frye, 2:00.28; 15. Amanda Hardewig, 2:02.30; 22. Kendra Bierman, 2:04.91; 28. Meghan Calvaruso, 2:07.55.

Men’s 200-yard backstroke prelims –6. Joseph Scherpenberg, 1:48.13; 7. Awse Ma’aya, 1:48.45; 12. Donovan Kearns, 1:49.43; 15. Alexander Chin, 1:50.71; ; 25. Benjamin Chappell, 1:53.9529. Timothy O’Brien, 1:55.51.

Women’s 100-yard freestyle prelims – 6. Weronica Wasiakowska, 50.37; 25. Alicia Berman, 51.99; 26. Bailey Laban, 52.28; 35. Valerie Borger, 53.40; Shannon Conners, 53.88; Kirsten Rissover, 54.16; Stacy Loushin, 55.08.

Men’s 100-yard freestyle prelims – 15. Roberto Nevarez, 45.49; 21. Brock Slavens, 46.38; 22. Michael Kaplan, 46.39; 24. Tommy Easley, 46.53; 28. Robert Walsh, 47.38; Andrew Albert, 47.71; Jay Guffey, 48.29; Alex Kenney, 48.66.

Women’s 200-yard breaststroke prelims – 5. Helena Pikhartova, 2:13.56; 13. Victoria Jacumski, 2:18.57; 16. Samantha Wheeler, 2:20.76; Madison Schmidt, 2:27.93.

Men’s 200-yard breaststroke prelims – 15. Michael Craig, 2:06.31; 17. Matthew Hargrove, 2:07.08; 18. Robert Caudy, 2:07.60.

Women’s 200-yard butterfly prelims – 11. Iuliia Fedoreeva, 2:03.12; 15. Brittany Groene, 2:05.38.

Men’s 200-yard butterfly prelims – 10. Hunter Pasek, 1:51.17; 16. Nathan Anderson, 1:54.49; Kyle Smith, 1:56.68; Adam Monk, 1:59.22.