The New Hampshire women won their first title since 2006 and their fifth all-time.
The New Hampshire women won their first title since 2006 and their fifth all-time.
Courtesy: America East Communications

UMBC Men, New Hampshire Women Claim Swimming & Diving Championships

Release: 02/17/2013

ORONO, Maine – UMBC celebrated its ninth title in 10 years at the 2013 America East swimming and diving championships while the New Hampshire women were atop the standings for the first time since 2006. For the Wildcats, it was their fifth title overall, all under head coach Josh Willman. The Retrievers’ nine titles have all come under head coach Chad Cradock, and they rank as the most titles in America East history. The Coaching Staff of the Year awards went to both winning schools.

UMBC took a commanding lead after day one and never looked back, racking up 1,075 points in the process, the most by any team in the conference championship. Binghamton had several exciting wins on the weekend and took second with a score of 856 points. Rounding out the men’s final was Maine with a score of 589 points.

In the women’s championship, New Hampshire turned a 1.5 point lead after day three into a 39.5 point victory over second-place UMBC. The Wildcats finished with 858 points while the Retrievers totaled 818.5 points. Coming in third-place was Vermont with a score of 548. Maine (454.5) and Binghamton (417) occupied the final two spots.

To clinch the win on the championship’s final day, UMBC captured five victories, including the third individual gold for both Mohamed Hussein (Cairo, Egypt) and Pierre De Waal (Pretoria, South Africa). Hussein, named the meet’s Most Outstanding Male Swimmer for the second-straight year, added the 200-yard backstroke to his medal count with a conference record time of 1:45.45. De Waal’s third victory came in the 200-yard butterfly, with a time of 1:46.93 that earned him NCAA Consideration.

UMBC’s Andrew Eckhoff (Chelmsford, Mass.) was also named the meet’s Most Oustanding Male Diver for the second year in a row after his efforts on the one and three-meter boards. Teammate Sandy Haibel was honored with the Coaches’ Award after racking up more championship points than any other athlete during his four-year career. The senior had a pair of second-place finishes in the 100 and 200-yard butterfly events this year.

Binghamton’s second-place finish on the men’s side was fueled by the Most Oustanding Rookie of the meet, Brian McKenna (Flushing, N.Y.). The freshman made his mark on the freestyle events, winning the 100-yard event and tying for second in the 50-yard variation.

For the New Hampshire women, Jenni Roberts (Springvale, Maine) and her three victories drove the championship run. The junior won the 200-yard butterfly with a meet record time of 1:58.60 to cap off a week in which she was also named the Most Outstanding Swimmer. Last year’s Most Outstanding Swimmer Katie Mann (Prince George, B.C.) was also excellent on the meet’s final night, posting a win in the 200-yard breaststroke. Junior Lauren McCandless (Macungie, Pa.) won the 1650-yard freestyle for the third year in a row while setting a new pool record and classmate Jenna Bull (Woodstock, New Brunswick) had 54 individual points, including a win in the 200-yard backstroke on the final day.

Most Outstanding Diver Katie Bean (Mechanicsville, Va.) highlighted UMBC’s second-place finish. The sophomore took gold on the one-meter boards while placing second in the three-meter dive. Talor Tadena (Orangevale, Calif.) also had a pair of victories for the Retrievers in the 100-yard variations of the breaststroke and freestyle events. Senior Tara Morrissette (Somersworth, N.H.) wrapped up a stellar four-year career by winning the Coaches' Award. Morrissette highlighted this year's championship with a fourth-place finish in the 200-yard butterfly.

Vermont freshman Christa Weaver (South Burlington, Vt.) took second in the 50-yard freestyle and third in the 100-yard freestyle en route to being named the meet’s Most Outstanding Rookie. Weaver’s individual point total of 47 also ranked 11th in the women’s championship.