UNCW Men, JMU Women Top Leaderboard Heading Into Final Day of CAA Championships
FAIRFAX, Va. (Feb. 24, 2012) - UNCW remains comfortably in front of host George Mason in the men's standings, while James Madison continued to pull away from four-time defending champions Towson on the women's side following Friday's third day of action at the 2012 Virginia 529 CAA Swimming & Diving Championships at Mason's Jim McKay Natatorium in Fairfax, Va. Two men's CAA meet records fell on day three.
The Seahawks, who increased their lead to 48 points over second-place Mason, opened the championship finals with a relay win in record fashion. Sophomore Michael Baric, junior Ray McGorry, junior Stephen Conrad and sophomore Joe Gallene combined for a CAA meet record time of 1:28.77, breaking Delaware's 2010 record to take top honors in the 200 medley relay. UNCW freshman Nick Lowe posted a NCAA 'B' cut time of 48.04 to take first in the 100 fly, with Conrad just behind in 48.13 for a one-two finish. Freshman C.J. Fiala finished a strong second in the 100 breast for the Seahawks.
Junior Preston Wolter had another big day for the Patriots, racing to his fourth straight conference title in the 400 IM, claiming gold with a 'B' cut time of 3:52.45 in the evening session. Sophomore Austin Witherow was also in top form tonight, pacing the field in the 100 back, touching the wall in a top time of 48.97. The Patriots finished the night strong, finishing second in the final event of the day in the 800 free relay. Wolter teamed up with sophomores Joey Kelly and Fernando Rubio along with junior David Kiss to touch the wall in 6:37.27.
William & Mary took first in the 800 free relay in a mark of 6:36.23. Freshman Kemp Pettyjohn, junior Hunter Perrot, seniors Luke Robbins and Stephen Fay teamed up for the Tribe victory. Sophomore Andrew Strait posted a strong finish in the 400 IM, taking second with a 'B' cut time of 3:53.00. Fay placed third in the 200 free with a mark of 1:38.45 to cap off a strong day for the Tribe.
Old Dominion's Arni Arnason turned in a CAA meet record in the 100 breast, clocking a 'B' cut time of 53.02 to top his own 2009 record of 53.48. Another outstanding performance was set by Drexel freshman Alex Galinskiy took gold in the 200 free with a 'B' cut mark of 1:37.96.
James Madison opened up a whopping 142 point lead into Saturday's fourth and final day of action at this year's conference meet. The Dukes earned top individual finishes in three events as well as finishing off the night taking gold in the 800 free relay. In the 100 fly senior Catalina Mendieta placed first in the 100 fly with a 'B' cut time of 54.21, while senior Eva Hannesdottir also clocked a NCAA worthy time of 1:47.28 to win the 200 free. JMU again dominated the diving board, claiming first and second in the 1-meter with senior Nicole Jotso (306.65) and freshman Alex Savage (304.50). The impressive day was capped off in the 800 free relay as Hannesdottir teamed up with fellow senior Melissa Helock, sophomore Kelsey Holmgaard and junior Anna Susko to claim first with a 'B' cut time of 7:19.29.
Four-time defending champions Towson remains a distance second, as senior Cari Czarnecki took home the only first place finish of the day for the Tigers in the 400 IM. Czarnecki recorded a 'B' cut time of 4:13.98 to earn gold. Sophomore Kaitlin Burke finished a strong second place in the 200 free in a 'B' cut mark of 1:48.24 and freshman Victoria Oslund also notched second in the 100 fly with a NCAA worthy time of 54.45.
UNCW, currently third in the women's standings, had two victories on Friday evening, opening the session off with a win in the 200 medley relay. Freshman Hannah Stephenson, junior Carly Tanner, seniors Anna Munger and Mattie Riley posted a 'B' cut mark of 1:40.72. Stephenson returned to claim gold in the 100 back in 55.46. Tanner finished a strong second in the 100 breast in a 'B' cut time of 1:01.05.
George Mason senior Ashley Danner took her fourth 100 breast title in as many years with an NCAA worthy time of 59.82.
The men's and women's championships are set to resume on Saturday at 10:00 a.m. with prelims in the 200 back, 100 free, 200 breast and 200 fly. Men's 3-meter diving prelims begin at 1:00 p.m. and the 1650 free finals commence two hours later. Finals in the morning's prelim events get underway at 6:00 p.m.
Stay tuned to CAASports.com for all the latest news and results from this week's conference meet.
Men's Team Scores
1. UNC Wilmington (456)
2. George Mason (408)
3. William & Mary (382)
4. Old Dominion (364)
5. Delaware (247)
6. Drexel (200)
7. Towson (160)
Women's Team Scores
1. James Madison (572)
2. Towson (430)
3. UNC Wilmington (338)
4. William & Mary (325)
5. Old Dominion (225)
6. Northeastern (203)
7.George Mason (190)
8. Delaware (174)
9. Drexel (109)