BY CARTER WALLER
Following last weekend’s NCAA Division III Swimming and Diving Championships, the University of Mary Washington’s swim team’s season ended but not before the team could gain two All-American honors and break multiple records and a majority of All-Capital Athletic Conference selections.
Senior Jessica Singer and junior Alex Anderson both earned their first All-Americans last weekend following their record-breaking performances.
Singer competed in the 1,650 free finals and received a 16th place finish in the final heat with a time of 17:12.06, a new school and CAC record.
“Setting a new record for both the school and the CAC means a lot. Plus, it’s exciting to know that over my four years here I have gone from being a few seconds slower than the previous record holder to being 26 seconds faster. I hope this means that my record will stay around after I leave,” Singer said.
Singer went into the meet seeded in 20th place, and to earn honors in her final swim was unexpected, she said.
All-American honors go to the top 16 swimmers in each event.
“I had already exceeded my expectations in order to qualify for the meet, and repeating that seemed like a daunting task,” Singer added.
Anderson, the reigning UMW Male Athlete of the Year, won two individual championships in the 400 IM and 200-yard butterfly last weekend, as well as a second-place finish in the 200-yard IM.
He now holds three individual national championships, more than any athlete in UMW history.
Anderson finished the 400 IM with a national record time of 3:49.25, which was more than a second faster than his previous mark.
“They say that trying to win from the front is hard to do, but that is wrong,” Anderson said. “This was a lot of fun to do in front of a great crowd.”
Anderson’s second championship of the weekend was not done in record-setting fashion, but it was thrilling nonetheless, as Anderson won by just over 2/100ths.
“I was very focused on this race this year,” Anderson said following the race. “I was motivated to be faster than my conference time. I am happy to come out with the win.”
Senior Amber Kerico, an All-American selection for the 2012-2013 season, swam her final event in the 200 breaststroke, finishing with a time of 2:23.54 that gave her a 27th place after the preliminary runs.
Junior Maddie Carinci, a second team All-CAC swimmer, spoke highly of Kerico.
“[Kerico] had this ‘I’m not settling for anything’ attitude; and it really shows her passion for the sport and her desire to be the best she can be,” said Carinci.
Fifth-year Swim Coach Abby Brethauer gained her first CAC Coach of the Year award but gave all of the credit to the team.
“The award was just a reflection of what the team was able to accomplish. The swimmers had much more to do with me getting the award than I did,” said Brethauer.
The UMW women’s swim team swept all the first team All-CAC honors for the first time in conference history this season, while the men’s team took all but three of the first team selections.
The team also saw freshmen Henry Bassett and Anna Corley earn 2014 CAC Rookie of the Year selections.
“I am so proud of all my swimmers for the way they competed here in Indianapolis this week,” said Brethauer. “They made me proud to be called their coach.”