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Men's Swimming

February 10, 2009 Mary Washington Swimmers Will Aim To Extend Streaks At 2009 CAC Swim Championships This Weekend At St. Mary's College (Md.)

The University of Mary Washington women's swim team has won all 18 Capital Athletic Conference championships since the inception of the conference in 1991.  The UMW men's swim team has won 14 championships in the 18-year history of the CAC, including eight straight. The Eagles are the favorite to extend those streaks when the 2009 CAC Championship is held Feb. 13-15 at St. Mary's College, Md. 

Sophomores Sarah Crockett and Stephen Clendenin, the 2008 CAC Rookies of the Year, return to lead their respective lineups for Mary Washington. The two most recent CAC Women's Swimmers of the Year - St. Mary's senior Brie McDowell (2007) and Marymount's Ashley Smith (2008) - also return to pick up more gold at the 2009 CAC Championship.

Trials will begin each day at 10 a.m. with the evening sessions, including the consolation and championship races, begin at 6 p.m.  Prior to Sunday's final evening of competition, the annual Senior Recognition ceremony will begin at 5:30 p.m.

Ticket prices are $15 for the six-session weekend package, $8 for a single-day pass (morning and evening sessions) and $5 for any of the six single-sessions.

Complete information, including directions, parking, ticket prices, hotels and restaurants in the area of St. Mary's City, Md., are available at the CAC Swim Championship website:
http://www.cacsports.com/sports/mswim/2008-09/news/09CACChampionshipSite

Here is a brief look at each team heading into the 2009 CAC Swim Championships.

GALLAUDET

Sophomore Carlisle Robinson leads a 19 person (10 women, 9 men) Bison contingent into the CAC Championships.  Robinson is ranked among the conference leaders in both butterfly events and anchors most of the Bison lady relays.  Joining Robinson will be seniors Marissa Larson, Cloe Canela and Collen Doyle; junior Katie Day; sophomores Misella Tomita, Elizabeth Steyer, Rachel Steingieser and Kira Roberts; and freshman Katie Johnson.

GU sophomore star James McGowan has recovered from a shoulder separation at the York meet earlier in the season and is joined by Scott Cohen, sophomore Daniel DiDonna and freshman Zsolt Plasko.   The Bison men will also bring six swimmers experiencing their first CAC Championships:  Grady Gallagher, Kyle Dacus, Josh Feldman, Kyle Sexton and Trey Balding.  In addition to a slew of personal best times, the Gallaudet squad is looking to avenge their narrow losses to Hood College in the regular season and break as many team records as possible (some of which date from the 1980s and could finally fall this year). 

HOOD

Junior Erica Hamor has been Hood's most consistent and versatile swimmer this season and has a chance to score for the Blazers in a variety of events. Senior captain Ashley Garyn earned a spot in the consolation final of three individual events at last year's meet and looks to improve on that effort this season.

Senior captain Matt Haynes looks to put an exclamation mark on a stellar four-year career for the Hood men's swim team. Haynes, who currently holds both sprint free school records and swam on all five record-setting relay squads during his career, will be one of Hood's top contenders for a spot in the finals. Freshman Chris Nemecek has also turned in some solid butterfly swims, and with four 100 fly wins under his belt in the regular season, should be in the mix at either the 100 or 200 distances.

MARYMOUNT

Marymount looks to improve on its third-place finish last season and returns 2008 CAC Swimmer of the Year in Ashley Smith, who should contend in the breaststroke events.  The Saints look for Angie Tinsman, Emily Campbell and Amanda Sperling to also peak at the championships.

The Marymount men's team returns Greg Murtha, who was all-CAC in three events last year - the 100 fly, 100 free and 50 free.  The Saints also have Chris Watson returning to form in the distance events. 

MARY WASHINGTON

The only team champion in the history of the CAC, Mary Washington enters the CAC Championship looking for its 19th straight league crown. Sophomore Sarah Crockett, the 2008 CAC Rookie of the Year and NCAA Championship swimmer, heads a talented group that features senior Mallory Cruise, juniors Bridget Travers and Nina Sawyer, sophomores Adriana Lesiuk, Ashley Green, Leslie Holt, Missy Kobiela, and Rachel Wallace, and freshmen Megan DeSmit, Chelsie Adams, Meg Anderson, Allie Beckenstein, Virginia Page, and Kelly Scott.

Looking for its ninth consecutive Capital Athletic Conference championship, Mary Washington brings a talented squad to the meet in 2009. Reigning CAC Rookie of the Year Stephen Clendenin, the only CAC swimmer to advance to the NCAA Championships a year ago, leads a group that includes junior Justin Anderson and sophomores Tyler Henderson, Michael Dickerson, and Brad Dunn. Second year head coach Matt Sellman also looks for top performances from sophomore Enser Cole, junior Jason McCormack, sophomore Ian McCormick, and freshmen Cesare Zannoni and Brian O'Donnell.

SALISBURY

The Salisbury women's swim team enters the CAC championships on a tear as the Sea Gulls have won five out of their last six meets. This season SU has posted impressive victories over Rowan (134-128) and Catholic (114-91). SU had been led by senior Raienne South, junior Angie Hammond, sophomore Katy Turner and freshman Katie Fitzenreiter. Turner broke the school and pool-record in the 200-meter fly on January 24 vs. St. Mary's (Md.) and then set the school-record in the 100-meter fly against Catholic on January 31. South, Hammond and senior Lauren Kordzikowski each received All-CAC honors last season.

The Salisbury men's swim team heads into the CAC championships with a lot of momentum as the Sea Gulls have won three out of their past four meets.  This season SU has big CAC wins over Marymount (115-90) and St. Mary's (116-89). SU has been led by seniors Benjamin S. Overholt and Brad Buckley, junior Mike Ferrari and sophomore Drew Robichaud.  Last year, Ferrari became the first Salisbury swimmer in seven years to win an event at the CAC championships. Ferrari won the 200-yard breaststroke in a school record time of 2:12.37. Buckley, Ferrari, and Overholt each received All-CAC honors last year.

ST. MARY'S

After a second-place finish a year ago, the St. Mary's women are looking to challenge the University of Mary Washington for the top spot in 2009.  The Seahawks are expected to defend its conference titles in the 200 free, 200 medley, and 400 medley relays as the Seahawks return all their league all-stars.  Brie McDowell, Eleanor Koerner, and Rachel Hotchko are all back to defend their respective titles.  McDowell is the defending champion in the 100 back, while Koerner looks to capture the 50 free once again.  Hotchko, who represented SMCM at the NCAAs, is expected to repeat as the CAC Champion in the 100 fly.

The St. Mary's men will look to improve upon last year's fifth-place finish.  After a third-place finish in 2007, Michael Preston went on to capture the 200 free last year and Preston is hoping for a repeat as he looks to close out his career on a high note.

YORK

The York women's swim team enters the 2009 CAC looking to end the season on a high note. Junior Molly Wasik headlines the Spartan squad after performing exceptionally well in the backstroke events throughout the season. Freshman Michaela Guild and Liz Grey lead an infusion of young talent, and could post quality times in their first championships. Guild has the ability to record high finishes in several freestyle races in just her rookie season as does Grey, who will look to perform well in several events including the butterfly. With their mix of talent and youth, the Spartans could prove to be a surprise come the CAC championships.

The York men's swim team embarks on the 2009 CAC Championships with high hopes following their 10-1 campaign. The Spartans, who finished second overall at last year's conference meet, sport several outstanding swimmers as they vie for another strong finish. Jack Gottschalk seeks to continue his torrid freshman season as he has performed well all year in several events including distance freestyle and IM races. Matt Jennings' will look to cap his senior campaign with a strong showing at the championships in the sprint freestyle races, while senior Garrett Higgins will look to do the same in his freestyle events. Sophomore Steve Tobin has an opportunity to place high in breaststroke races after an extremely successful year. York's relay teams also sport the ability to record quality times as they have posted strong performances throughout the 2008-09 season.