This past Friday, the UMW men’s and women’s swimming teams competed at the Potomac Valley Relays, hosted by American University, in Washington, D.C. Both teams finished the meet in fifth place. Mary Washington was the only non-Division I school in attendance, as they went up against George Mason, Georgetown, Howard, American, Towson and George Washington University.
After training for less than a month under the direction of new head coach Abby Brethauer, the teams were eager to see what kind of level they were at. With accomplishments such as 12 time
All-American honors and coaching experience at a list of schools, most recently Colombia University, Brethauer has a lot she brings to the pool.
“Abby has made an amazing transition into her new position. She is always positive and very easy to talk to,” junior Allie Beckenstein said.
Without a doubt, coach Brethauer’s communication has been recognized by team members as one of her best traits.
“While it was hard for many of us to adapt to a new leader, she has made it exceptionally easier by treating us all as adults and individuals. She listens to us and helps the practices fit each of our needs,” Beckenstein said.
The men’s 200-yard medley relay was a great result for the Eagles, as the UMW team comprised of senior Stephen Clendenin and juniors Austin Clark, Billy Norfolk and Brian O’Donnell claimed a second place finish with a time of 1:37.63. The UMW 300-yard butterfly relay team also did very well, finishing third with a time of 2:42.47. The relay consisted of Norfolk, Clendenin and senior Ian McCormick.
Meanwhile, during the women’s races, notable performances came from the 300 yard breaststroke relay. The team consisting of freshmen Kristin Callahan, sophomore Cameron Figuers and junior Megan DeSmit took fifth place with 3:35.29. The 1000 yard freestyle relay team, made up of senior Missy Kobiela and sophomore Lindsay Ancellotti, also took fifth place with a time of 11:24.12.
Going into the official CAC season, both teams are eager about the new crop of enthusiastic freshmen and goals which have been set. In addition to capturing an 11th straight CAC title, the squads see themselves being among the best in the country.
“This team is capable of being ranked top-5 in the nation again on both sides and sending multiple participants to the NCAA [nationals],” said senior Josh Rhodes.
“The team is capable of exceptional things and we want to break even more records,” senior Nina Jeronimo said.
UMW swimming will open their dual meet season at home on Saturday, Oct. 16 against the College of William and Mary and Howard University.