Towson, William & Mary Split Season Opener

TOWSON, Maryland, October 6. JUNIOR Kaitlin Burke won the 200-yard, 500-yard and 1,000-yard freestyle events to lead the Towson women's swimming and diving team to a 197-95 season-opening victory over William & Mary Saturday afternoon at Burdick Pool.

The Tigers (1-0, 1-0 CAA) started off the season strong behind the three-time Colonial Athletic Association champion Burke. Her time of 9:59.87 in the 1,000-yard freestyle paced the Tigers. Teammates Shelby Witham and Cassie Sorna were not far behind, finishing in second and third, respectively.

“It was kind of surprising,” Towson head coach Pat Mead said. “I was caught off guard a little bit with how fast we swam, but I give them all the credit in the world. They started the season off on a high note.”

The trio also finished the 500-yard freestyle occupying the top three spots. With Burke at the top, recording a time of 4:55.04, this time Sorna finished in second (timing 5:03.11) and Witham (5:03.53) third.

“Kaitlin was phenomenal,” Mead said. “That is pretty remarkable. She was extremely impressive and had an amazing day.”

Freshmen Jenna Van Camp and Charlotte Holz were also impressive in their first collegiate meet. Van Camp won the 100 and 200-yard breaststroke events, while Holz chalked up three top-five finishes for the day. She finished second in the 200-yard backstroke, recording a time of 2:07.65, third in the 100-yard backstroke (58.62) and fifth in the 200-yard individual medley.

In the diving events, Lyndsey Dickson followed up a strong finish to her freshman year with a solid sophomore debut, winning the one-meter event with 272.00 points and the three-meter dive with 301.50 points.

Freshman Matt McKenney won the 100-yard butterfly as part of an impressive collegiate debut, but the Towson men's swimming team was defeated by the William & Mary Tribe Saturday 191-89 as its season opened at Burdick Pool Saturday.

“Looking at William & Mary's team, they will vie for the conference championship this year,” Mead said. “They have the studs and the depth and a very good coach. I anticipate they will be in the hunt.”

McKenney established a new Towson freshman record in the 100-butterfly, finishing with a time of 50.26 and winning the event. But McKenney also set a school freshman record in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 21.42 in addition to finishing third in the 100-yard freestyle.

“He tore it up,” Towson head coach Pat Mead said of the freshman. “He's a legitimate contributor for us.”

The team also received a solid contributions from sophomores Jon Burr and Matt Lowe in the meet. Both Burr and Lowe had three top three finishes.

“It was a breakout day for Jon and Matt Lowe,” Mead commented. “For them to be going that fast this early, it's great.”

In particular, Burr was impressive in the 500-yard freestyle and 200-yard butterfly events. He finished second in the 500-freestyle with a time of 4:41.05.

The Tigers will have a few weeks off before returning to action on October 20 against Georgetown at Burdick Pool.

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