By JOSEPH YEAGER
This weekend the University of Mary Washington’s swim teams will head to the Capital Athletic Conference Championship. The meet will include five other schools: Saint Mary’s College of Maryland, Salisbury University, Frostburg State University, Marymount University and York College of Pennsylvania.
The UMW women went 9-0 this season and are looking to win the championship for the 26th time. The men went 7-1 this season and are looking to win their 22nd overall CAC championship. The women have won every single CAC championship since the conference’s formation in 1989, and are looking to continue their streak this weekend.
Both the men and women teams are excited for conferences. “I’m super excited for the chance to race fully tapered and shaved. I can’t wait to see what both teams will accomplish at CACs,” said sophomore Kenyon Huber-Wilker.
Senior Stephanie Hallock will look to defend her titles in the 50, 100, and 200-yard freestyles, as well as her Swimmer of the Meet award. Seniors Hannah Haggy, Katie Fargo and Abby Cox also will be defending relay and individual titles. Junior Anna Corley is building off a positive Gettysburg Invite in December and looking to defend her conference 200-yard individual medley and 200-yard backstroke titles. Sophomore Megan Murphy looks to recapture the 400-yard individual medley and 200-yard butterfly titles that she won last season. Finally, freshman Emily Adams will be making an appearance in the mid-distance freestyles.
The women look to repeat victories in all five relays, with seniors Hallock, Haggy and Fago all playing key roles to help win the championship and bring head coach Abby Brethauer yet another conference title.
On the men’s side, seniors Vance Solseth, Matt Garstka and Sean Mayer all look to complete their final year with strong relay and individual performances. Mayer is the defending the 100-yard freestyle champion, with Garstka and Solseth close behind.
In the junior class, dynamic swimmer Dallas Tarkenton is looking to repeat his 200-yard IM and 100-yard butterfly titles, while teammate Tyler Gimple looks to push his 500-yard free title-streak to three consecutive years while also defending his mile conference record against former record holder and teammate Zach Eisig.
In the sophomore class Anthony Stephens looks to fill the void left by national champion Alex Anderson in the 400-yard IM, while Kenyon Huber-Wilker will build off last year’s team record in the 200-yard breaststroke. This season’s freshman class is led by Ricardo Bonilla-Vazquez who has been one of the most versatile swimmers on the team this year and will try to upset Tarkenton in the 200-yard IM. The men look to defend all 5 relay titles and bring Coach Abby Brethauer her sixth consecutive conference title.
Many of the swimmers will be building off of personal best times they achieved during their mid-season meet, which include some NCAA B-cuts which qualified some swimmers for the NCAA championship in March. “This weekend we hope to improve on those mid-season times and put ourselves in a close races that we can hopefully win,” Brethauer said.