The UMBC Retrievers have been picked to win the 2009 America East Swimming and
Diving Championship for the third consecutive year, according to the preseason coaches’
poll, but not without a little competition.
Coaches are projecting a dog fight with the Boston University Terriers
(32 points, two first-place votes) nipping at the heels of the defending Retrievers
(35 points, four first place votes), trailing them by only three points in the
HampshireVermont (23) in
fourth, with Maine (15), Binghamton
(11) and Stony Brook (7) rounding out the league. (24) was picked to finish third, just
The Retrievers earned first place finishes in eight of last
year’s 20 championship events and will be looking for senior Daniele Surkovich
to repeat her Gold performance in the 500 yard freestyle, the 400 yard medley
relay and the 200 yard freestyle relay. The
graduation of seven seniors, including five-time America East champion Lindsey
Engler who took home two individual golds and the two relay championships
alongside Surkovich last year, will be a big blow to the two-time defending
champs. UMBC will rely on its strong
leadership from captains Surkovich, fellow senior Tina Cantwell, junior Tereza
Kaplanova and junior Kate Chialastri.
Cantwell, last year’s America East scholar-athlete for the women, took
gold in the 200 yard backstroke and 100 yard breaststroke while contributing to
the first-place 400 yard medley relay team.
most lethal asset is its youth. While
capturing six gold medals during last year’s Championship, the Terriers did not
graduate a single first-place finisher. Senior
Eve Kinsella, last year’s Most Outstanding Swimmer, and junior Bridgette
O’Shaughnessy, will return to defend their crowns in the 400 and 800 yard freestyle
relays. The duo will swim with returning
relay teammates junior Emily Munday and sophomore Maria McIntrye in the 400,
and junior Liisa Young and sophomore Clara Van Allen in the 800. Tess Waresmith, who finished last season with
a 24th-place finish at the NCAA Diving Championships and undefeated
in dual meets during her first season as a Terrier, will play a large role in
the team’s success this year.
finds itself seeded third in this year’s poll after falling just short of
second place Boston U.
in last year’s Championship. New
Hampshire will take a hit with the loss of Kary
Goodman, who earned last year’s Coaches’ Award for the most points scored by a
female over four years of competition, and will look for others to step up in
her absence. Sophomore Amy Perrault, the
America East Rookie of the Year, should come through in a big way for Wildcats
after last year’s gold in the 100 yard backstroke and the 200 yard medley
relays. Perrault is the only Wildcat
returning from the medley relay squad, and will be relying on sophomore Mattie
Fowler, the only other returning Wildcat to grab gold last year, to continue to
produce points for the team.
great strides as a program last year and will be looking to make a statement
this season. Breaking 18 school records
and winning three individual championships in the conference tournament, the
league can expect the young squad (made up of 25 underclassmen) to pick up
where they left off. The Catamount’s three gold medalists, sophomore Kate
Weaver and juniors Molly MacMillan and Colleen Clark, will be a dangerous trio
as they gain experience and continue to improve throughout the season.
The Black Bears will look to improve on their fifth-place
finish in the Championship last year as they return some of their strongest
swimmers. Senior captain Colleen Miller
has continued to make strides during her career and broke her own school record
during last year’s championship. With
the help of 13 incoming freshmen, the Black Bears will look to make some moves
in the standings.
Bearcat standout Heather Jennings will take on the role of
captain along with classmate Amanda Decker.
Jennings, who is the only Bearcat
to score points in the America East Championship during her freshman, sophomore
and junior year, will look to keep her streak alive in the 400 IM and the 500
A strong freshman class will be what powers the Seawolves
this season. Two major additions to the
team, Darcy Heuser and Christie Bodden, may be the difference-makers for Stony
Brook down the stretch. Bodden’s
specialty is the 100-yard backstroke, which she competed in during this
summer’s Olympics in Beijing for
the Panama National Team.