CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—The league’s seven head coaches chose the Boston University women’s swimming & diving team as the favorite to win the 2010-11 America East Championship. The Terriers, who are gunning for their third-straight championship, received all six possible first-place votes, earning 36 points and the top spot in the conference preseason. Head coaches were not permitted to vote for their own team.
The Terriers are followed in second place by UMBC, which received the remaining first-place vote and 31 points overall. The University of New Hampshire grabbed the third spot, with 26 points, followed by University of Vermont in fourth, with 20 points. Binghamton University (15), Stony Brook University (12) and University of Maine (7) took fifth, sixth and seventh, respectively.
Boston University, which finished first at last year’s championship, returns three of its top performers from the championship meet in 2010. Senior Maria McIntyre (Herndon, Va./Chantilly) won the 50-yard freestyle at the 2010 meet, covering the sprint in 23.17 seconds. Junior Amanda Schmitz (Pleasanton, Calif./Foothill), who holds the championship meet record in the 400-yard individual medley, which she won in 2010, also is the defending champion in the 200-yard butterfly and the 500-yard freestyle. Sophomore diver Melinda Matyas (Budapest, Hungary/Eotvos Jozsef Gimnazium) won both the one-meter and three-meter dives in her freshman campaign as she was named Outstanding Diver of the Meet. Matyas was just part of a group of Terrier divers that went one, two, three in both events. Seniors Sarah Colton (Wheatfield, N.Y./Niagara Wheatfield) and Bailey O’Brien (Putnam Valley, N.Y./Putnam Valley) also return for Boston U.
UMBC, which finished second at last season’s America East Championship, is looking to win its first conference crown since 2008. The Retrievers will bring back junior Abbey McKenney (Wilmington, Del./Brandywine) to lead the charge. McKenney won the 100-yard freestyle in 2010. She is joined on the Retriever team by senior Rebecca Godwin (Catonsville, Md./Notre Dame Prep) and sophomore Tara Morrissette (Somersworth, N.H./Saint Thomas Aquinas). Godwin finished third in both the 1650-yard and the 500-yard freestyle. Morrissette grabbed third place in both the 200-yard and 400-yard individual medley and took home fourth place in the 200-yard butterfly as she earned Most Outstanding Rookie of the Meet honors.
New Hampshire came in third at the 2010 America East Championship meet. The Wildcats are led by last year’s Most Outstanding Swimmer of the championship meet, senior Amy Perrault (Kirkland Lake, Ontario/Ecole Catholique). Perrault is the three-time defending conference champion in the 100-yard backstroke, the two-time champion in the 200-yard backstroke and the reigning champion in the 200-yard individual medley. New Hampshire also returns three of the four members of its champion 200-yard and 400-yard medley relay teams, including Perrault, senior Allison Nahin (Hartland, Wisc./Arrowhead High School), sophomore Shelli Reed (Hollister, Cali./San Benito).
Vermont looks to improve on its fourth-place finish in last year’s America East Championship meet. To do that, the Catamounts will need to fill the void left by the three-time champion in the 1650-yard freestyle, Molly MacMillan. The Catamounts do bring back two members of its second-place 800-yard freestyle relay team in senior Kate Weaver (South Burlington, Vt./South Burlington) and sophomore Kailey Gardner (Ithaca, N.Y./Ithaca).
Binghamton is looking this season to improve on a sixth-place finish at last year’s America East Championship meet. The Bearcats will look for leadership from senior Amanda Ciccone (Suffern, N.Y./Suffern). Ciccone finished fifth in the 200-yard intermediate medley. Binghamton also returns a trio of divers in senior Liz Esposito (Brooklyn, N.Y./Midwood), and juniors Jenna Easton (Churchville, N.Y./Churchville-Chili) and Morgan Neal (Rochester, N.Y./Pittsford Sutherland) who will look to compete in both diving events.
Stony Brook finished fifth at last year’s America East Championship meet. The Seawolves will look to senior Anastasia Kiryushkina (Moscow, Russia/Korolev Secondary) to be a leader for a squad with only three seniors. The Seawolves do bring back sophomores Christie Bodden (Panama City, Panama/Instituto Panamericano) and Julie Policht (Mississauga, Ontario/Michael Power H.S.), members of the 200-yard medley relay team that finished fourth at the championship meet. Stony Brook adds thirteen freshmen to this year’s roster.
Maine finished seventh at the 2010 America East Championship meet. Now that head coach Susan Lizzotte has dropped the interim tag from her title, she will look to build the Maine program. To do that, she will look to senior Caitlin Shelley (Charlottesville, Va./Western Albemarie) and sophomore Jen Trodden (Reading, Mass./Reading Memorial). The pair swam in the 100-yard breaststroke consolation final at the championship meet. Trodden won the race, finishing ninth overall in the event.
The season begins Friday, October 8, with UMBC facing Bucknell in an exhibition meet, and Stony Brook and Vermont heading to West Point, N.Y., for a quad meet at Army. Binghamton begins its schedule October 9 at Buffalo. Boston U., Maine and New Hampshire open competition October 16. The 2011 America East Conference Swimming & Diving Championships will be held on February 17-20 at the Germantown Indoor Swim Center, hosted by UMBC. For more information on America East women’s swimming & diving log on to www.AmericaEast.com
2010-11 Preseason Poll
Rank Team (1st-place votes) Total
1. Boston University (6) 36
2. UMBC (1) 31
3. New Hampshire 26
4. Vermont 20
5. Binghamton 15
6. Stony Brook 12
7. Maine 7