NCAA Div. I: Beleagured James Madison Sweeps Colonial Titles

FAIRFAX, VA, February, 24. THE JAMES MADISON UNIVERSITY men won their ninth CAA Swimming and Diving Championship and third in a row, while the Dukes’ women’s team captured its fifth conference title at the George Mason Aquatic and Fitness Center Saturday night. The James Madison team is under attack from the school's athletic director, who is seeking to kill the team under the guise of complying with Title IX.

The JMU men finished with 721 points, and UNC Wilmington took second with 666 points. William & Mary (623) finished third, and Old Dominion (433) placed fourth. George Mason (395) and Davidson (321) rounded out the group.

On the women’s side, Madison totaled 840.5 points, compared to 550 for second-place William & Mary. Old Dominion (531) finished third, and UNCW (481) placed fourth. George Mason (406) was fifth, and Davidson (365) placed sixth.

American freshman Dominick Szabo was named the Men’s Outstanding Performer. He won the 200 individual medley (1:49.91), the 100 breast (54.98) and the 200 breast (1:59.16) and set CAA records in all three events. Szabo also met the NCAA “B” qualifying standard in all three events.

Kara Fichthorn of Old Dominion was named the Women’s Outstanding Performer. The sophomore won the 200 butterfly (2:04.16), the 200 IM (2:05.90) and the 400 IM (4:23.41). Her 400 IM time set a CAA meet record and met the NCAA “B” qualifying standard.

James Madison coach Gwynn Evans was named the Women’s Coach of the Year for the second straight season. American coach Mark Davin was named Men’s Coach of the Year for the second straight season.

The battle was for second place as three points separated the William & Mary (2nd) and UNCW (3rd) men going into the final two events, and 7.5 points separated the Tribe (2nd) and ODU (3rd) women.

Seahawk male diver Will Humphries won on the three-meter board, and the UNCW 400 free relay team placed second, vaulting Wilmington to the second-place men’s finish. The Tribe women’s 400 free relay team placed fourth, and William & Mary was able to hold off ODU on the women’s side.

Old Dominion’s Jamie D’Agostino won the women’s 1650 free (17:09.03), and American’s Junkal Irigoien won the 200 back (2:01.68). JMU’s Meghan Fenn shared the 100 free title with William & Mary’s Alyssa Lengle (52.67) the second tie of the meet. The Dukes’ Samantha Smith won the 200 breast (2:19.40), and Lady Monarch Ashley Kirchner won the one-meter diving (251.05), giving her the sweep on both boards.

American swept both the men’s and women’s 400 free relay. In other men’s action, American’s Frank Byskov won the 1650 free (15:37.52), and teammate Mark Liscinsky won the 200 back (1:48.07). The sophomore’s time of 1:47.28 in the prelims set a meet record and CAA top performance.

UNCW’s Dan Gallagher won the 100 free (45.11), and American senior Johan Setterberg won the 200 fly (1:49.99).

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