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Can Mary Washington Extend CAC Swimming Title Streaks At This Weekend's Championship Meet

The University of Mary Washington women's swim team has won all 21 Capital Athletic Conference championships since the inception of the conference in 1991.  The UMW men's swim team has won 17 championships, including 11 straight.  The Eagles won 28 of 36 first-place awards at the 2011 CAC Championship meet.

But can the Eagles extend those streaks at the 2012 CAC Championship, which will be this weekend (Feb. 17-19) at St. Mary's College, Md.?

The UMW women’s team was defeated by St. Mary’s in a CAC dual meet for the first time on Jan. 13, snapping a 21-meet streak that dated back to the first year of the conference.  SMC finished the dual meet season 6-0 against CAC competition while UMW was 5-1 and Marymount was third at 4-2.

On the men’s side, the Eagles dropped a dual meet at York on Nov. 4, 2011, and finished in a three-way tie for first place in the dual meet standings with the Spartans and SMC – all with 5-1 records.  The Seahawks topped YCP in a dual meet a week later, setting up the three-team tie for the top spot.

Among the top women’s swimmers slated to compete in this year’s championship are 2011 CAC Swimmer of the Year Anna Macedonia of Marymount University and the last three CAC Rookies of the Year – Mary Washington’s Jessica Singer (2011), St. Mary’s Kelly Heyde (2010) and UMW’s Megan DeSmit (2009).  Macedonia, Heyde and DeSmit have earned All-America recognition during their collegiate careers.

Frostburg State’s Hannah Edler, Hood’s Arielle Harding, Salisbury’s Danielle Dunn and York’s Michaela Guild also look to post top performances for their respective teams.

UMW won the women’s title last year with 982 points, followed by St. Mary’s (628), Salisbury (386), Marymount (372), York (334), Hood (183) and Frostburg State (151).

The men’s competition will be missing former UMW standout Stephen Clendenin, the only three-time CAC Men’s Swimmer of the Year (2009-11) who was also the 2008 Rookie of the Year and multiple-year All-American.

However, there will be plenty of competition for this year’s Men’s Swimmer of the Year award, including 2011 Rookie of the Year Cameron Hedquist of St. Mary’s and 2010 Rookie of the Year Nick Eckhoff of UMW are among the men’s leaders along with returning UMW’s All-American Billy Norfolk  and SMC’s Billy DeBoissiere.and Cameron Hedquist.

Frostburg State’s Caleb Stair, brothers Alex and Andrew Bodine of Hood, Rett Neiman of Marymount, Salisbury’s Joe Wisda and York’s Richard Janowski and Cody Latchford hope to move their respective teams up in the final standings.

Mary Washington reached four digits (1,013 points) to win last year’s men’s crown, nearly double the total of second-place York (553.5).  St. Mary’s (499), Salisbury (430.5), Marymount (284), Frostburg State (156) and Hood (148) completed the 2011 team standings.

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 $20 for the six-session weekend package, $10 for a single-day pass (morning and evening sessions) and $6 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/2011-12/2012_Championship_Site

Here is a quick look at each team heading into the 2012 CAC Championship Meet:

FROSTBURG STATE

Freshman Hannah Edler leads a young, but talented group of swimmers for Frostburg State as the women’s team prepares for its second CAC Championship meet. Edler has posted 18 wins this season and has swept the 50 and 100 freestyles in each of the last four meets. Edler, the two-time CAC Swimmer of the Week, currently holds the fourth fastest time in the 50 freestyle in the CAC this season. Senior Erica Minor is ready for her final league championship as she enters with three wins and 16 top-five finishes.

Junior Caleb Stair will lead the Frostburg State men’s swimming team into the CAC Championships. Stair has collected eight wins on the season, including three in the CAC and he currently holds the CAC’s 12th and 14th fastest times in the 200 and 400 butterfly events, respectively. Sophomore Jesse Gregory has come on strong in the second half of the season with four wins in the last four weeks. He is second on the men’s team with a total of six victories this year.

HOOD

Hood was sixth at the 2011 CAC meet but has a bit more depth heading into this year's championship ... Senior Arielle Harding swam in three individual finals last year in the 100 breast (fifth), 200 breast (sixth) and 200 IM (eighth) ... She is seventh in the 100 breast and 14th in the 200 breast heading into this weekend's meet while newcomer Hayley Rogers posted the conference's third-best 50 free time back on Dec. 3 against Greensboro, only 0.48 seconds off the school record.

Hood looks to improve on its seventh-place finish from 2011 as the Blazers compete in their last CAC championship ... Freshman Alex Bodine comes into the conference meet ranked sixth in 100 backstroke, having posted a school-record clocking in his second collegiate meet back in October ... At last year's championship meet, junior Andrew Bodine swam in a pair of consolation finals in the 50 and 100 free, as did sophomore Connor Eliff in the 200 and 400 IM ... Additionally, junior Lucas Netter earned a spot in the consolation final of the 200 free.

MARYMOUNT

Marymount looks to move back into the top tier of the league after placing fourth in last year’s CAC Championships. Reigning CAC Swimmer of the Year Anna Macedonia has shown no signs of slowing down as she ranks in the top-10 of 10 different events including holding the best time of the year in six of them. Macedonia is the top individual finisher in the 50 freestyle, 100 freestyle, 100 backstroke and 200 backstroke as well as fifth in the 200 IM and eighth in both the 100 and 200 breaststroke events. In relays, Macedonia has teamed with Casey Thomas, Katie Moran and Meghan Morch for the top times in the 200 and 400 freestyle relays and is second in the 200 medley relay with Moran, Bridget Wunderly and Emily Wagner.  Three other Saints also lay claim to top-five times including Moran placing second in 50 freestyles, Thomas fifth in the 100 freestyle and Wunderly fourth in the 200 butterfly.

Marymount looks to improve on its fifth-place finish at last year’s CAC Championships behind a well-rounded squad. Four different Saints hold top-10 league times in three different events this season. Rett Neiman has posted the seventh best time in the 1650 freestyle while Tom Baroz is also seventh in the 200 butterfly. Marymount has two top-10 times in the 200 breaststroke, led by Joseph Gardner with the ninth-best and Greg Shumaker with the 10th-best time.

MARY WASHINGTON

Mary Washington has won 22 consecutive CAC Championships, and will rely on a talented senior class to look for championship #23. All-American Megan DeSmit and Allie Beckenstein head a talented class of eight seniors, and underclassmen Lindsay Ancellotti, Tara Banks, Robin Brazier, and reigning CAC Rookie of the Year Jessica Singer will look to keep the Eagles' championship streak alive and send multiple swimmers to the NCAA Championships.

Mary Washington will look to claim its 12th straight CAC Championship, led by senior All-American Billy Norfolk and two-time CAC swimmer of the week Alex Anderson. Norfolk continues to be one of the top butterfliers in the nation, while Anderson recently broke the CAC record in the 200 breastsroke, which had been the oldest active record in the conference. The Eagles will rely on battle-tested Austin Clark, Nick Eckhoff, Jack McHugh, and a large senior class of eight members in all in hopes of bringing yet another title back to Fredericksburg.

SALISBURY

Salisbury’s women’s team enters the 2012 Capital Athletic Conference Championships with a plethora of veteran talent that will only be benefitted by the additional newcomers. The Sea Gulls hope to improve upon last season’s third-place finish and will look to sophomore Danielle Dunn to lead the charge. Dunn’s times in the 50 freestyle (25.75) and 200 breaststroke (2:36.63) are among the top 10 in the conference but most notably is her 100 breaststroke time of 1:10.26, third overall in the conference. Seniors Robin Stone and Jenna Petrella along with junior Sarah Ault will add depth to the relay teams while freshman Taylor Merget brings speed to the freestyle.

The Sea Gulls have one goal entering the 2012 Capital Athletic Conference Championships: to improve. Promising newcomers Rich Ambrose and Jesse Cunningham joined the team at the start of the spring semester and will contribute speed to a multitude of events. Cunningham has the sixth-best time in the conference in the 100 breaststroke (1:02.81) and the 200 IM (2:02.33). Throughout the season, sophomore James Gough consistently put up top times in the CAC in the backstroke and will have an opportunity to shine at the championships along with junior Paul Zoli specializing in the breaststroke. Senior Joe Wisda has been among the top finishers in freestyle events as he holds top 10 finishes in both the 50 and 100 freestyle with times of 22.61 seconds and 49.28 seconds, respectively.

ST. MARY’S

St. Mary’s has finished second at the CAC Championships the past four seasons but former CAC Rookie of the Year, junior captain Kelly Heyde, returns to help the Seahawks dethrone Mary Washington.  Heyde is the two-time defending champion in the 200 butterfly, the 200 individual medley and the 400 individual medley.  Junior Chelsea Gulliver looks to claim the 100 breaststroke event after finishing third a year ago.

The Seahawk men are hoping to finish in the top two this year after finishing third for the last three seasons.  Juniors Billy DeBoissiere and Cameron Hedquist look to aide St. Mary’s in achieving those goals as both returning CAC champions.  Hedquist is the reigning CAC Rookie of the Year and captured the 200 freestyle event while earning All-CAC honors in the 200 individual medley and 100 freestyle.  DeBoissiere is the defending champion in the 200 breaststroke and a second team All-CAC honoree in the 100 breaststroke.

YORK

YORK enters the CAC Championships looking for a quality end to the 2011-2012 campaign. Senior Michaela Guild has put together a strong season in the distance freestyle events while junior Chelsea Ross has been stupendous in freestyle and backstroke events. Freshman Courtney Dacheux is primed to make a splash in her first CAC Championships after a strong rookie campaign while senior Kathy Murphy looks to close out her career with a quality showing.

The YORK men’s swimming squad embarks on the 2012 CAC Championships sporting several strong performers this season. Senior Richard Janosky has put together an outstanding campaign in the sprint freestyle events and will look for a great close to his career. On the other end of the spectrum, freestyle and backstroke freshman Cody Latchford has made a tremendous splash in just his rookie campaign and will look to continue that trend into his first CAC Championships. Jamie Hicks and Steven Mercer should post quality performances in the breaststroke and IM, respectively, while rookie Shane Bonner has the opportunity to show well in his first league championships. Junior Andy Woods will look for a strong close to the 2011-2012 campaign in the backstroke and butterfly.