2022 CAA Championships: Reinstated William & Mary Women, UNC-Wilmington Men Win Titles

William & Mary's Missy Cundiff -- Photo Courtesy: William & Mary Athletics

2022 CAA Championships: Reinstated William & Mary Women, UNC-Wilmington Men Win Titles

Last weekend, at the Colonial Athletic Association Championships in Christiansburg, Va., the William & Mary women’s team and UNC-Wilmington men’s program walked away with conference title victories. The William & Mary women scored 663.5 points to edge out UNC-Wilmington (621), while Towson (551.5) placed third. On the men’s side, UNCW crushed the competition with 886.5 points, followed by Delaware (643) and Towson (639.5).

It was an especially significant victory for a William & Mary program that was set to be cut after the 2021 season. The announcement about the program’s elimination was made in September 2020, but the women’s team was reinstated six weeks later, followed by the men’s team less than a month after that.

“I’m so proud of the way our women handled themselves throughout the entire season,” William & Mary coach Nate Kellogg said in a release provided by the school. They established their identity as touch, fearless, relentless, and resilient. This group displayed this throughout the meet. We also owe a ton of gratitude to our alumni, who paved the way for this group.”

William & Mary captured the championship behind four individual first-place finishes and a pair of relay victories. Missy Cundiff took first in the 50 free in 22.26, and teammate Katie Stevenson won the 100 free (49.89). The 100 back went to Anna Kenna (54.50), and Annie Tuttle was first in the 200 breast (2:14.44). Kenna, Tuttle, Corrinne Davenport and Cundiff captured the 200 medley relay in 1:30.34, while Stevenson, Grace Tramack, Ellie Henry and Elizabeth Intihar were first in the 800 free relay (7:16.64).

The top individual performer of the meet was Delaware’s Mira Selling, who picked up individual wins in the 200 IM (2:00.60), 200 free (1:47.67) and 200 fly (2:00.00). Also winning multiple events were the UNC-Wilmington pair of Brooke Knisely, who won the 500 free (4:44.66) and 1650 free (16:14.31), and Courtney Klausen, who topped the field in 1-meter (276.40) and 3-meter diving (302.10). UNCW’s Kathryn Knorr was first in the 400 IM (4:19.72).

Drexel had a big meet with Federica Nocera winning the 200 back (1:56.56), and Drexel also won the other three relays. Nocera, Megan Sicinski, Chelsea Graveraux and Lera Nasedkina won the 400 medley relay (3:40.05), and the team of Nasedkina, Ryann Styer, Victoria Palochik and Graveraux took the 200 free relay in 1:31.46. Nasedkina, Palochik, Paige Powell and Graveraux won the 400 free relay (3:21.64).

Other individual winners included Northeastern’s Jamie Koo in the 100 fly (53.47) and Delaware’s Mania Tasakou in the 100 breast (1:01.67).

Meanwhile, the UNC-Wilmington men won their first conference title since 2014, and it was the first title for the program since UNCW alum and former NC State assistant coach Bobby Guntoro took over the program. UNCW was led by Henderson Louviere, who won individual titles in the 200 IM (1:46.24) and 100 fly (46.99), and Sam O’Brien, who took the 500 free (4:23.83) and 1650 free (15:27.16). Diver Nic Newis chipped in a pair of wins on 1-meter (308.20) and 3-meter (310.45).

Additional UNCW victories came from Aidan Duffy in the 400 IM (3:50.01) and William Barker in the 100 back (48.04), and the Seahawks won three out of five relays. Barker, Gianmichel D’Alessandro, Louviere and E’Likai English-Crompton won the 200 medley relay (1:26.43), and the team of Louviere, Jacob Duracinsky, O’Brien and Kenneth Lowe took first in the 800 free relay (6:39.40). Barker, D’Alessandro, Louviere and Lowe placed first in the 400 medley relay in 3:11.17.

Second-place Delaware was led by Gavin Currie, who won the 200 back in 1:45.38, while third-place Towson had four individual wins and two relay wins. Michael Fazio won the 50 free (19.82), and Brian Benzing posted an elite time of 52.34 to win the 100 breast. Ryan Baldino took first in the 100 free (43.98), and Nick McClure won the 200 fly (1:45.13). Benzing, Fazio, Luke Schwar and Baldino combined to win both the 200 free relay (1:19.03) and 400 free relay (2:54.80).

Two Drexel swimmers earned individual wins as well: Alessio Gianni in the 200 free (1:37.34) and Kacper Karnik in the 200 breast (1:54.69).

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