2013 CAA Swimming & Diving Championships Preview
RICHMOND, Va. (Feb. 26, 2013) - The 2013 CAA Swimming and Diving Championships are set to begin Wednesday afternoon at the Jim McKay Natatorium on the campus of George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. The four-day conference meet will conclude on Saturday evening.
The UNCW men's team will be attempting to capture an unprecedented 12th straight CAA championship this weekend, while the James Madison women will be looking to defend their 2012 title.
Leading the Seahawks' men's team will be the trio of junior Joe Gallene, sophomore Valtteri Halonen, and sophomore Nick Lowe. Gallene will look to secure points for UNCW in the freestyle events after posting the second-best times in the 50 and 100 free this season. He is defending champion in the 100 free. Halonen will be called on for the backstroke events as he set the top mark in the 200 back this season with a 1:48.25. Lowe will be looking to make his mark in the butterfly events as the defending 100 fly champion. He posted the second-best time this season in the CAA in that event. UNCW will be looking to capitalize on its relay performances this week after setting new meet records last season in the 200 and 400 freestyle relay, and the 200 medley relay.
George Mason will be looking to knock off UNCW in its home waters after finishing as the runner-up for the last three years. The Patriots will be led by defending 200 fly champion senior David Kiss, who set a new meet record in the event last season and has posted the top time in the CAA this season (1:50.25). He also recorded the second-fastest time in the 200 free. Mason will be looking to senior diver John Schmitz to secure points on the boards. The two-time CAA Diver of the Week holds the third-best score this season on the thee-meter board.
William & Mary will be looking to end UNCW's decade-long reign after earning third-place honors last season. The Tribe will be led by junior Andrew Strait who holds top times this season in the 100 back (54.85) and the 200 IM (1:52.15). Freshman Andrew Nyce has also made his mark this season for W&M after posting the second-fastest time in the CAA in the 400 IM, while defending CAA Rookie of the Year Kemp Pettyjohn will look to capitalize on last year's success.
Other notable entrants in this year's event include Old Dominion junior Sidni Hoxha, Delaware senior Ryan Roberts, and Drexel freshman David Sanchez. Hoxha, the defending 50 free champion, posted the top times in the CAA this season in the 50 (19.83), 100 (45.43), and 200 (1:37.55) free. Roberts will look to defend his title in 200 back, and posted the second-best time this season in the event while also recording the top time in the 500 free (4:34.57). Sanchez has made his presence felt for the Dragons, and enters the meet with the top scores in the one (294.05) and three meter (313.50) dives this season.
On the women's side, James Madison will look to sophomore Sin Hye Won and junior Kelsey Holmgaard in the pool, while senior Kimberly Helfrich will look to secure points on the diving boards. Won, the 2012 CAA Co-Rookie of the Year, enters the meet with the second-fastest time in the 200 breast this season, while Holmgaard holds top-five times in the 200 free, 200 breast, and the 200 IM. Helfrich, the defending champion on the 3-meter board, will look to make a splash after tallying the top scores on the one (327.85) and three meter (322.50) dives this season. The Dukes will also be looking for repeat success in the relay competitions as defending champions in the 200 and 800 freestyle relays, and the 400 medley relay.
Towson has claimed four of the last five CAA championships, and will be looking to win back the title after finishing second to the Dukes last season. Leading the Tigers will be defending 500 and 1650 free champion Kaitlin Burke. The junior freestyle swimmer also holds the top times this season in the 200 (1:50.45), 500 (4:49.31), and 1650 (16:32.95) freestyle events. Sophomore diver Lyndsey Dickson will look to secure points on the boards for Towson. She enters the meet with the second best score on the three-meter board, and fourth best on the one-meter board.
UNCW will be looking to win its first CAA championship since 2006 after finishing third in 2012. The Seahawks will look to defending 50 free champion Carly Tanner for points after posting the top time in the 50 free this season (23.06), and holding top five times in the 100 free and the 100 breast. Also looking to make a splash for UNCW will be defending Co-Rookie Swimmer of the Year Hannah Stephenson, who will look to defend her title in the 100 back, and enters the meet with the second fastest time recorded in the event this season. The Seahawks will also enter the meet as defending champions in the 400 freestyle relay after setting a new meet record last season.
Other notable entrants on the women's side include Old Dominion seniors Kimberly Rashleigh and Jessica Hubert, and Northeastern senior Keary McClernan. Rashleigh enters the meet with top times in the 200 (2:01.45) and 400 (4:14.26) IM, while Hubert holds the top times in the 100 (55.49) and 200 (1:58.86) fly. McClernan holds the top time in the 200 breast (2:18.06) this season.For more information on the 2013 CAA Swimming and Diving championships including daily recaps, highlights, live results, and official program please visit the Championship Central page. Fans not in attendance at the championship can watch all the finals of all the events live and for free on CAA.TV.