The University of Mary Washington enters the 2014 Capital Athletic Conference Men’s and Women’s Swimming Championships as a favorite to repeat - again. The Eagles have been dominant since the conference began competing in 1991 and look to continue their streak of conference championships in this year.
The CAC Championship will begin with trials on Friday (2/21) at 10 a.m., and have six competitive sessions over three days. Sunday, following the annual Senior Recognition celebration, the final six events will lead to the crowning of the 2014 championship teams.
The Eagles have won 13-straight CAC men’s swimming championships (19 of 23 since 1991) and all 23 women’s titles. Last year, UMW scored more than 1,000 points in both men’s and women’s team standings for the first time in CAC history and won both championships by more than 350 points over second-place finisher St. Mary’s.
In 2013, the Eagles advanced five men to the NCAA Championship meet and finished 19th overall with 47 team points, including All-America honors for junior Alex Anderson and the 400 medley relay team. The UMW women’s team also took a handful of swimmers to nationals and finished 38th in the team standings, including a pair of top-15 finishes by senior Amber Kerico.
CAC Championship host St. Mary’s, along with York (Pa.) and Marymount (Va.), have given Mary Washington the most competition at the championship meet over the past few years. All three teams have some quality individuals to challenge for medalist honors as well as improved depth throughout the lineup compared to previous seasons.
Salisbury and Frostburg State will also impact the final order of standings with some strong individual and relay performances.
Here is a quick look at each team heading into the 2014 championship:
FROSTBURG STATE first-year head coach Justin Anderson has guided his Frostburg State men’s swimming team to a pair of wins and will be led at the league championships by the squad’s only two seniors. Jesse Gregory has captured eight individual wins this season and is currently 15th in the CAC in the 400 IM (4:42.69), while Vincent Faiella has two wins and is 12th in the league in the 1,650 freestyle (21:31.35).
The Mary Washington women’s team will look to continue their dominance in the CAC Championships. Senior All-American Amber Kerico will lead a veteran group of Eagle seniors, who are looking to leave their mark in their final CAC Championships. Sophomores Hannah Hagy, Steph Hallock, and freshman Shannon Coryell look to make an impact at this year’s championships.
SALISBURY enters the men’s conference championships with a record of 2-8, 2-3 CAC. Looking to improve on their fourth place finish last season, the Sea Gulls bring in competitive talent at all ages. Freshman Okan Eyigor leads SU into the championships with 15 gold medals in freestyle, butterfly and backstroke events. Swimming at St. Mary’s in the final meet of the regular season, sophomore Will Gough claimed first in the 50- and 100-yard freestyle. Seniors Chris Franklin and James Gough head into their final conference championship after recording first-place finishes three times in individual events this season. The men also claimed five top finishes in freestyle relays through 10 meets this year.
Salisbury’s women’s team enters the conference championships with a record of 1-8, 1-4 CAC. Placing fifth last season, SU will look to improve this year with young, up-and-coming talent. Freshman Victoria Radcliffe paced the Sea Gulls in their 2013-14 campaign, claiming 12 top finishes in a wide array of events. Sophomore Nicki Schult enters the championship improving on her seven gold medals in the regular season last year, racing for nine thus far in various strokes. Freshmen Maggie Deering and Layne Gable arrive at St. Mary’s City, Md., with two and three top finishes, respectively. Deering claimed both first-place finishes in the 100 backstroke, while Gable recorded her three in the freestyle, butterfly and individual medley.
The YORK men’s team enters the 2014 CAC Championships coming off a successful 8-4-1 regular season campaign including a 4-1 mark in the CAC. Sophomore Kyle Walthall leads the Spartans charge as one of the conference's top breaststroker. Juniors Shane Bonner, Cody Latchford, and Bryant Hughes, and sophomore David Altobelli are four more of York's top performers. A strong freshman crew consisting of Russell Stoll, Tim McCullough, and Tim DeCoursey provide York with improved depth as they look to improve on their third-place finish from last year.
York’s women’s team heads into the 2014 Capital Athletic Conference championships looking to improve on last year's fourth-place finish. The Spartans are powered by seniors Megan Murphy and Kelsie Pike, juniors Lindsay Buglino, Courtney Dacheux, Sammy Greenwald and Casenya Stone. The Spartans finished the 2013-14 regular season with a mark of 5-8 including a 2-3 record in the conference.