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Boston University's Melinda Matyas picks up her second consecutive Female Diver of the Week nod.
Courtesy: America East Communications

Repeat Award Winners Capture Swimming and Diving Honors

Release: 02/07/2012
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CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The swimming and diving regular season is winding down as the America East Championship is just three weeks away. All seven schools competed this weekend and four student-athletes had standout performances in the pool en route to winning weekly awards.

A pair of Boston University Terriers sweep the women’s weekly awards as Kendra Cheng (Franklin, Mass./Bishop Feehan) and Melinda Matyas (Budapest, Hungary/Eotvos Josef Gimnazium) earn Female Swimmer and Diver of the Week honors. For the men, UMBC’s Mohamed Hussein (Cairo, Egypt/Victory College) gets the Male Swimmer of the Week nod and Binghamton’s Devin Zdanowski (Rochester, N.Y./Brighton) picks up the Male Diver of the Week award.

Cheng collects Swimmer of the Week accolades after leading the Terriers to a win over Boston College. The sophomore picked up two individual wins in the 100 (58.36) and the 200 (2:04.87) backstroke events while also swimming a leg for the victories 200 medley relay team (1:49.69).

Matyas earns her second consecutive Female Diver of the Week award after sweeping the diving events against Boston College. She scored 259.65 off the one-meter board and 263.25 off the three-meter board for the Terriers.

This is Hussein’s second weekly honor in just three weeks of swimming for the Retrievers. He claimed three individual victories setting a new personal-best in the 100 backstroke (51.32) before winning the 1000 freestyle (46.19) and finishing with a win in the 200 IM (1:53.95). Hussein has at least two wins in each of his first three meets at UMBC.

Zdanowski helped the Bearcats close the regular season with a win over Stony Brook. The freshman won the one-meter dive with a score of 277.65 and the three-meter with a score of 290.48. This is his second weekly award this season.

The Binghamton swimming and diving program sent it’s seniors out in style sweeping conference for Stony Brook over the weekend. The men defeated their SUNY counterparts for the 11th straight time while the women earned their third victory of the season. Senior Nolan Slesnick (Austin, Texas/LBJ-LASA) won the 1650 free, the first of his three individual wins, in a new pool record time of 16:00.27. He also won the 500 free (4:38.88) and the 200 IM (1:57.56). For the women, Corinne Zotter (Vestal, N.Y./Vestal) touched first twice, sweeping the breaststroke events for the third time this season. She won the 100 breast in a time of 1:06.43 and the 200 with a time of 2:26.15. The Bearcats now begin to prepare for the conference championship meet in Boston.

The Boston University swimming and diving teams competed against Boston College this weekend, earning wins on the men’s (169-128) and the women’s side (196-102). The women picked up 13 victories against the Eagles. Kendra Cheng collected two individual wins and swam a leg in the first-place 200 medley relay. She took first in the 100 backstroke (1:55.44) and the 200 backstroke (2:04.87). Melinda Matyas swept the diving events scoring 259.65 in the one-meter and 263.25 on the three-meter. Six Terriers picked up at least one first place finish in the individual events. The Terrier men posted 11 first-place finishes in their victory over Boston College including three by Jeff Thomas (Foxboro, Mass./Bishop Feehan). Thomas won the 200 (1:44.31) and 500 (4:39.71) freestyle events and the 200 fly (1:55.77). The wins against Boston College wrap up the regular season for the Terriers who now look ahead to hosting the America East Championship.

The Maine women’s swimming and diving squad fell to New Hampshire on Friday, 185.5-109.5. Carmen Linden (Ottawa, Ontario) and Naja Harvey (Orono, Minn.) each picked up wins for the Black Bears. Harvey continues to have a strong rookie campaign as she won the 100 breaststroke in 1:06.27 and placed second in the 200 breaststroke (2:27.50). Linden scored her victory in the 200 IM with a time of 2:18.06 and added a fourth-place finish in the 200 freestyle (1:59.03). On the boards, Kara Capossela (Greenwich, Conn.) recorded a pair of runner-up finishes scoring 236.03 in the one-meter event and 239.55 in the three-meter. Maine is now off until the America East Championship starting on Feb. 23.

Competing at a tri-meet in Philadelphia, both UMBC men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams defeated La Salle, but fell to Penn. Junior Mohamed Hussein (Cairo, Egypt/Victory College) continued the strong start to his career by picking up three more individual wins. He now has 8 victories in just three meets with Retrievers. Pierre De Waal (Pretoria, South Africa/Tuks Sports/Cleveland State) and Lauri Kaei (Hirjumma, Estonia/Tallinn Secondary Science) also picked up victories for UMBC. On the women’s side, Jennifer Kotonias (Burtonsville, Md./Academy of Holy Cross) picked up multiple wins for the second time this season. The junior won the 200 fly for the fifth time (2:05.03) before winning the 200 IM (2:10.11). This weekend, the UMBC swimmers will take part in t he two-day Terrapin Invitational in College Park, Md. Meanwhile, the UMBC divers will head back to Philadelphia to compete against Drexel.

New Hampshire snapped a two-meet skid with a 185.5-109.5 victory over Maine on Friday in Orono. Shelli Reed (Hollister, Calif./San Benito) finished in first place in both the 50 (24.57) and 200 (1:54.20) freestyle events. Jenna Bull (Woodstock, New Brunswick/Harbord Collegiate Institute) also nabbed a pair of first-place finishes, taking the top spot in the 100 backstroke (1:00.85) and 100 freestyle (53.52). Lauren McCandless (Macungie, Pa./Emmaus) was equally as impressive, finishing first in the 200 fly and 500 freestyle with times of 2:06.87 and 5:11.17.New Hampshire was just as stellar in the diving events  on the afternoon, as Ellen Pelletier (West Hartford, Conn./Conard) swept the one-and three meter dives, notching scores of 259.32 and 253.05. The Wildcats will begin the America East Championship on Thursday, Feb. 23 at Boston University.

The Stony Brook swimming and diving teams wrapped up the regular season on Saturday at Binghamton, falling 173-127 on the women’s side and 172.5-108.5 on the men’s side. Senior Darcy Heuser (Centerville, Ohio/Centerville) produced a standout effort with three individual wins in the 100 free (52.87), 500 free (5:15.08) and 1,000 free (10:28.98). Allison Zelnick turned in a season-best effort in the 200 backstroke, touching first with a mark of 2:07.88. On the men’s side freshman Cole Underwood (Collegeville, Pa./ Perkiomen Valley) had a pair of second-place finishes in the 200 free (1:47.21) and 500 fee (4:53.25). The Seawolves now have three weeks to prepare for the America East Championship meet in Boston.

Vermont took part in the non-scoring Middlebury Invitational this past weekend. Nine different Catamounts participated in the final meet before the conference championship. Senior Jordan Schweizer (Evanston, Ill./Evanston Township) won the 300 breaststroke in a time of 2:29.39 and Meghan O’Connor (Hopewell Junction, N.Y./John Jay) took the top spot in the 1,000 freestyle in 10:56.48. UVM will next take part in the America East Championship on Feb. 23-26 in Boston, Mass.
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