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The Blue & Gray Press | November 19, 2017

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Swim Closes NCAA Championships — Six UMW Swimmers Garner All-American Honors

With All-American performances from junior Sarah Crockett and the women’s relay team, the University of Mary Washington swim team finished the NCAA Championships in Minneapolis, Minn. on March 19 in impressive fashion, with six All-American swimmers.

Crockett had an impressive individual performance, finishing 11th in the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 2:04.64. The women finished 12th in the 400 relay with a time of 3:30.95, and joined senior Nina Sawyer, junior Adriana Lesiuk, sophomore Megan DeSmit and freshman Cameron Figuers as the women’s representation in the competition. The men’s team sent junior Stephen Clendenin and freshman Nick Eckhoff to the Championships.

Other swimmers also had impressive individual showings, with Lesiuk finishing 30th in the 100-yard freestyle with a 52.76 time, Clendenin finishing 21st in the 200-yard backstroke at 1:51.91, and DeSmit taking 25th in the 200-yard breaststroke with  a 2:25.38 time.

Overall, the women finished the Championships in 20th place with 62 points, while the men placed 52nd, with two competitors, at five points.

The six All-Americans were Crockett, Sawyer, Lesiuk, Figuers, Clendenin, and DeSmit. This was DeSmit’s first All-American award, while it was Crockett’s sixth, Sawyer’s fifth, Lesiuk’s fourth, Figuers’ third and Clendenin’s second.

Coach Matt Sellman was impressed by the performances of his teams at the championships.

“We’re all excited that we swam as well as we did,” Sellman said. “We came out with six new All-Americans. Everybody’s going to be able to put a feather in their cap.”

Coming off of both teams’ success at the Capital Athletic Conference championships, both squads were able to sweep to victory, and Crockett and Clendenin both won swimmer of the year awards. Sellman was also awarded Coach of the Year honors for both the men’s and women’s teams at the CAC championships. Eckhoff came home with this year’s Rookie of the Year award.

Crockett had also won the 2008 Rookie of the Year award. Clendenin’s trophy was his third in a row, having also won Rookie of the Year in 2008 as well as Swimmer of the Year in 2009.

Having completed the season, Sellman is now looking to focus on preparation for next year as well as off-season training.

“We’re hoping to decompress and get away from the everyday rigors of the regular season,” Sellman said. “They can condition in a way you can’t in-season. We had a fantastic year with incredible attitude and great work ethic. We’re hoping to carry over that momentum and be consistent with training and conditioning.”

With all of this success, Sellman is confident in his team, but he knows there will be pressure heading into the 2010-2011 season.

“Overall, we had a great year, top to bottom. Our fans and our boosters expect us to put together a strong, competitive team, a top-to-bottom program,” Sellman said. “We expect to win the [Capital Athletic Conference championships] and improve on the national level. We all have very high expectations.”

These high expectations come on the strength of the men’s 10th straight CAC title and 16th overall, and the women’s 20th straight. The women have won the Conference every year since their inclusion, and the squad has produced All-American swimmers 14 of the last 16 years.