Last weekend in St. Mary’s City, Md. the UMW women’s swim team did something they have done since their senior swimmers were born. Dominated. The women’s swim team won the Capital Athletic Conference tournament for the 22nd straight year. The Eagles’ overall score was 924.5 with their closest competition, St. Mary’s College, 246 points back.
“It feels amazing to be champions again,” said senior Megan DeSmit.
After 22 years of swimming supremacy, one would think Mary Washington has the championship in the bag every year.
“In reality it’s not that easy,” said DeSmit. “We still have competition from the other teams and we still have to work hard to come home with the win.”
On the first day of competition, the Eagles took first and second in the 500 freestyle with, DeSmit and sophomore Jessica Singer whose times were 5:09.30 and 5:10.93 respectively. They also took the 400 medley relay with a time of 3:57, with individual performances by senior Kelly Scott, DeSmit, freshman Amber Kerico and freshman Robin Brazier. They led 238-179 over St. Mary’s, who actually beat the Eagles in the regular season.
On day two of competition, the Eagles looked to increase their lead while St. Mary’s nipped at their heels. The women emerged victorious in the 200 free relay with at time of 1:49.50 with efforts from Lindsay Ancellotti, DeSmit, Scott and Singer. DeSmit also won the 100 breaststroke with a CAC record 1:05.28. Kerico won the 100 butterfly with time of 57.45 and Brazier won the 200 freestyle with the time of 1:57.37. Another impressive victory was in the 800 freestyle relay which featured DeSmit, Brazier, Kerico and freshman Alex Parrisih. The four finished in 7:52.87. The women’s squad moved into the final day up 662.5 to St. Mary’s 446.
On the final day of the competition, Scott won the 200 backstroke with a time of 2:09.69, DeSmit won the 200 breaststroke with at time of 2:20.61. Kerico was named CAC Rookie of the Year.
The men have only won the CAC 12 years in a row.
They weren’t in the water for long the first time. Junior Nick Eckhoff won the 500 freestyle with a time of 4:38.98 and freshman Alex Anderson won the 50 freestyle with a time of 20.97. In the 200 freestyle relay the team of freshman Matt Arnold, junior Andrew Cole, freshman Mike Hudgins and senior Austin Clark came in first with a time of 1:25.86 and in the 400 medley relay, Eckhoff, Peter Slattery, Billy Norfolk and Anderson finished first with a conference record 3:26. The men already had the upper-hand on St. Mary’s by 109 points.
The second day of competition saw wins from Norfolk in the 100 butterfly with a time of 50.82, Eckhoff in the 200 freestyle with a CAC record 1:41:47, Slattery in the 100 breaststroke with the time of 58:38 and Tom Rinaldi in the 100 backstroke at 52:80. The relay teams were also on point with the team of Anderson, Eckhoff, Slattery and Norfolk winning the 200 freestyle relay with a time of 1:25.86 and the 800 free relay at 6:54.44. Their lead rose to 292.
On the last day of competition Andrew Garafolo won the 1650 freestyle with a time of 16:50.59, Eckhoff win the 200 backstroke with a time of 1:53.09, Clark won the 100 freestyle with a time of 46.98 and Anderson won the 200 breast stroke with a CAC record 2:05.87. Norfolk won the 200 butterfly with a time of 1:52.09. In the 400 freestyle relay, Jack McHugh, Andrew Cole, Brian O’Donnell and Clark took first with a time of 3:10.02.
Anderson was named CAC rookie of the year while Eckhoff was named the CAC swimmer of the year.
Despite All-Americans Stephen Clendenin and Sarah Crocket leaving for graduation, their big swim caps were filled by the a handful of quick freshman and veteran seniors who look to put their names on the record board at Goolrick next season.