FAIRFAX, Virginia, February 25. UNC Wilmington won its 11th-straight CAA Virginia 529 Men's Swimming & Diving Championship title on Saturday at George Mason's Jim McKay Natatorium in Fairfax, Va. The Seahawks scored 683 total points to capture the title, 57 points ahead of second-place Mason.
Old Dominion junior Arni Arnason was named Men's Most Outstanding Swimmer, while George Mason senior Derrick Butts was selected as the meet's Most Outstanding Diver. UNCW's Dave Allen earned his fifth-straight and seventh overall Men's Coach of the Year award and Mason's Dennis Ceppa garnered Men's Diving Coach of the Year honors.
UNCW claimed two wins on the evening, first by sophomore Joe Gallene in the 100 free in a NCAA 'B' cut time of 44.25, then to cap off the event in record fashion in the 400 free relay. Gallene joined freshman C.J. Fiala, sophomore Gabe Thran and junior Michael Williams to touch the wall in 2:47.34, a new CAA meet record.
Mason junior Preston Wolter came away with his fourth career conference title in the 1650 free on Saturday, which he claimed in a NCAA 'B' cut time of 15:16.04. Junior David Kiss claimed gold for the Patriots in the 200 fly in a 'B' cut time of 1:47.24. Senior diver Derrick Butts again dominated the diving board, winning the 3-meter with a score of 379.50. Butts joined Bryan Bahr (2009) as only the second Mason diver to win both CAA diving golds.
Arnason collected his fourth gold in as many years in the 200 breast, clocking a 1:56.24 to best his own meet record. Delaware junior Ryan Roberts bested the field in the 200 back for the second straight year with a time of 1:46.78. Classmate Matt McCarthy touched in third for the Blue Hens in 1:47.58.
James Madison captured its first CAA Virginia 529 Women's Swimming & Diving Championship in eleven years on Saturday at George Mason's Jim McKay Natatorium in Fairfax, Va. The Dukes tallied 771 total points to win the title, 146 points ahead of second-place Towson.
George Mason senior Ashley Danner was tabbed the Women's Most Outstanding Swimmer, while JMU senior Nicole Jotso was named the meet's Most Outstanding Diver. James Madison's Samantha Smith earned his first ever Women's Coach of the Year award and JMU's Becky Benson garnered Women's Diving Coach of the Year honors for the third consecutive season.
James Madison senior Eva Hannesdottir closed out her CAA career by claiming the 100 free in a NCAA 'B' cut time of 49.54. Sophomore Kelsey Holmgaard posted a strong second place finish in the 200 breast, in a mark of 2:12.87. Both Duke swimmers teamed up with senior Catalina Mendieta and freshman Susanne Gingher to take second in the 400 free relay in a NCAA worthy time of 3:21.18.
Towson sophomore Kaitlin Burke took down the first event of the day, clocking a 'B' cut time of 16:22.88 in the 1650 free. Senior Cari Czarnecki cruised to her second straight CAA 200 fly win, besting the field by over two seconds. Sophomore Melanie Rowland touched the wall in second for the Tigers in 1:59.97. Towson was looking to capture an unprecedented fifth consecutive women's crown.
Mason junior Ashley Danner raced to her fourth-consecutive title in the 200 breast with a lighting fast pace of 2:09.17. Other winners on the night were William & Mary senior Hailey Hewitt in the 200 back (1:58.22) and the UNCW women claimed the final event of the meet, the 400 free relay in a CAA meet record time of 3:20.81.
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