08 Dec 2021 | 17:38 | Swimming & Diving
MORGANTOWN, W. Va. – The opening day of the WVU Invitational brought seven top-five performances for Villanova, highlighted by a 200 IM victory for Kelly Montesi (Greenwich, Conn.) on Thursday at the Aquatic Center at Mylan Park.
Montesi’s victory marks her second 200 IM win of the season, the first coming in the win over Georgetown on Oct. 30. She swam a 2:00.72 in the A-Final, nearly beating her personal best of 2:00.24 set at the 2019 BIG EAST Championships.
Villanova sent nine individual Wildcats into the nightcap’s finals after the morning prelims with four of those advancements garnering top-five showings.
Nicole Welch (Beverly, Mass.) recorded a bronze swim in the 500 free (4:53.90). Molly Benson (Kensington, Md.) and Brenna McLaughlin (Milford, Conn.) went sixth and seventh, respectively, at 4:59.54 and 4:59.82. In the 200 IM, Montesi was joined by Kaitlin Gravell (Ashton, Md.) in the top-five after a fourth-place swim (2:04. 89). That A-Final group held the most Wildcats of any other other top flight final with four in the race. Audrey Pastorek (Savannah, Ga.) landed at sixth (2:05.91) with Elizabeth Bailey (Brookhaven, Ga.) at eighth (2:06.95).
Milly Routledge (North Ascot, U.K.) also earned bronze in the 50 free (23.34) after turning in a nearly identical swim from her third-place prelim outing (23.31).
In relay action, Villanova’s grouping of Pastorek, Perri Stahl (La Grange, Ill.), Montesi and Routledge landed fourth at 3:46.38. Montesi, Abbey Berloco (Cranbury, N.J.), Stahl and Routledge teamed up for a 1:32.69 swim in the 200 free that was good enough for second-place.
Andrea Holtz (Rosemount, Minn.) was the only Wildcat diver in the 3-meter prelims, earning a 10th-place showing with a 211.25 score.
The Wildcats scored 600 points through the first of the three-day event. The next closest squad was the hosting Mountaineers at 464.
Friday’s events are set to start at 10 a.m. Live results from the Invitational are available at WVUsports.com/swimresults and Meet Mobile. Diving results can be found throughout the week on DiveMeets.com.