By MIKEY BARNES
Winning. That’s all the members of the UMW swimming programs seem to know. Whether it is a home meet against a conference foe or they are traveling to demonstrate their talents, it is rare for UMW swimming to not come away with a victory. That success continued this weekend as the men and women teams traveled to St. Mary’s, MD., to compete for the Capital Athletic Conference championships.
The Eagles departed from Fredericksburg on Thursday, Feb. 16, ready to bring the title back to UMW. The women’s team was competing for their 27th straight CAC title, as the men’s team was competing for its 17th straight and 23rd overall.
The Mary Washington women’s swim team is the only program to ever win the CAC championships, which they have done so since its formation in 1990. The men’s team was the first team to win the CAC championship for men’s swimming, which they did in that 1990-91 season, but lost to former member Catholic University of America in 1993-94, ‘94-95, ‘98-’99 and in ‘99-’00. The men’s team has won every year besides those four.
Winning isn’t only something very familiar to the swimmers, but also familiar to seventh year head coach, Abby Brethauer. During her tenure as the head coach for both the men and women teams, she has won a combined 14 CAC titles between the two, has a total of 17 All-Americans, sent 25 swimmers to compete for national championships and has coached four national championships, all won by 2015 graduate Alex Anderson.
On Friday, the men’s 200-yard freestyle relay of Dallas Tarkenton, Garrett Ross,Dylan Gore and Jake Schroth finished in first place with a time of 1:23.84. Tarkenton also won the 200 IM with a time of 1:52.94. Freshman Austin Farrar took second place in the 500 free and senior Tyler Gimple took third. In that same day, for the women’s team, senior Anna Corley kicked the action off with taking first place in the 200 IM. Junior Maddy Rymer took third in the event.
The 200-yard relay team of Carley Vaughn,Lauren Wood, Shannon Coryell and Corley finished in first at time of 1:36.95. The Eagles finished off the night with a 400 medley relay win by the foursome of Julia Geskey, Corley, Megan Murphy and Coryell at 3:53.13.
On Saturday, the Eagles and the rest of the CAC continued the action. The 200 medley relay team of Carsen Mumford, Mark Dye, Tarkenton and Ross grabbed with first place with a time at 1:33.70. Farrar finished in first at the 400 IM at 4:05.03. Fellow freshman Noah Carpenter finished in second in the 400 IM. Tarkenton grabbed another first place finish in the 100 butterfly at a time of 49:00. Junior Jake Schroth won the 200 freestyle at a time of 1:42.51.
The 800 free relay team finished with a time of 6:56:53, the team consisted of Farrar, Kenyon Huber-Wilker, Gore and Gimple. The women’s swim team opened up Saturday in a quick fashion with a victory in the 200 medley relay, swam by Rymer, Murphy, Corley and Sara Dye. Corley won the 400 IM with a time of 4:28.74. Freshman Julia Geskey finished in second with a time of 4:36:63 and Murphy in third. In the 100 yard butterfly, the Eagles finished in 2-3-4-5-6. Dye won the 100 breaststroke at a time of 1:07.65. Geskey won the 100 backstroke at a time of 58:09, Rymer took second. The relay team of Wood, Miller, Coryell, and Geskey won the 800 yard breastroke.
The action concluded on Sunday, with the Eagles ahead by a very large margin. Gimple began the winning ways with a victory in the 1650 freestyle. The Eagles went 1-2-3 in the 100 IM with Christian Berardo taking first, Jeffrey Leckrone taking second and Mark Dye finishing in third. The Eagles also went 2-3-4-5 in the 200 breastroke, with the places going; Huber-Wilker, Leckrone, Dye and Kleigh Koupal.
The 400 free relay of Schroth, Gimple, Gore and Tarkenton finished in first with a time of 3:06.87. Murphy began the day with the women strong, taking second in the 1650 freestyle. Corley won the 100 IM and Rymer won the 200 breastroke, with Geskey grabbing second. Carley Vaughn won the 200 butterfly with Murphy finishing right behind her in second. The 400 free relay of Geskey, Wood, Coryell, and Corley finished first at 3:31.77.
Freshmen Austin Farrar and Julia Geskey were each named CAC Rookie of the Year.
With their strong performances, Tarkenton and Corley will both advance to the NCAA Division III Championships in Shenandoah, TX. on March 15. Tarkenton will swim the 200 yard IM, 100 fly and 200 fly at NCAAs. Corley will be swimming the 100 free, 200 IM and the 400 IM. Both Tarkenton and Corley competed at NCAAs last year.
When asked how it felt to have won a fourth CAC championship, Tarkenton said, “It’s a standard and tradition that this team strives for excellence and winning the CAC Championship is a part of that standard. It always feels great to succeed as a group in achieving that goal.”