James Madison Closes Out Fourth Straight CAA Women’s Championships

Photo Courtesy: CAA Athletics

Led by a distance 1-2 in the 1,650 on the final day of the CAA Women’s Championships, James Madison powered its way to a fourth straight title Wednesday night.

James Madison won two events plus the concluding 400 freestyle relay to close out the title, scoring 829 points to comfortably outdistance William & Mary and Towson.

“Proud doesn’t even begin to describe how I feel about this team,” said JMU coach Dane Pedersen, who split Coach of the Year honors with William & Mary’s Nate Kellogg, in a team statement. “I am so happy and thrilled for them. We all understand the challenges of this season with the pandemic and have faced it in our own ways. These girls have done everything the coaches and sports medicine staff have asked of them and in doing so, they accomplish something that’s never been accomplished in our program’s history: four championships in a row.”

CAA Women’s Championships

  1. James Madison 829
  2. William & Mary 663
  3. Towson 605
  4. Delaware 578
  5. UNC Wilmington 359
  6. Drexel 158

The final day of the CAA Women’s Championships started with a boost for the runner-up William & Mary, with the CAA adjudicating that the Tribe won the 800 free relay, which had finished in controversial fashion the night prior.

The Dukes took the initiative to start finals, though. Julianna Jones won the 1,650 in comfortable fashion, clocking in at 16:39.17, 11 seconds quicker than her teammate Bailey Butler. Third was W&M’s Elizabeth Intihar, the 500 free champ. For Jones, it’s the third straight year she’s won the mile.

Freshman Madison Cottrell earned his second event win of the championships, on the way to being crowned the Swimmer of the Meet. Cottrell won the 200 backstroke in 1:57.10, 3.5 seconds faster than the was in prelims. That relegated the top seed, Anna Kenna of William & Mary, to second in 1:57.51. The Dukes jammed four into the A final, with Lauren Aylmer third and Cameron Gring fourth.

Sprinter Evan Arsenault did the sprint double, complementing the win in the 50 free with the 100 free title, the first of three consecutive double-winners. She was the only swimmer under 50 seconds, going 49.57 in finals. Towson’s Katie Nunez was second with Nicole Chiappa of Delaware and William & Mary’s Missy Cundiff fourth.

Annie Tuttle added her name to the ranks of the double champions, going 2:14:25 to win the 200 breast by nearly two seconds. Tuttle also won the 100 breast. Delaware’s Audrey Duvall was the runner-up, .13 seconds ahead of Mack Lawson of JMU.

Delaware’s Mira Selling cracked two minutes in the 200 butterfly, her time of 1:59.61 capturing gold to augment her 200 free title. Her fellow Blue Hen Julia Cichowska was third, with James Madison’s Morgan Whaley in the middle.

James Madison picked up a symbolic win in the final event, outdueling William & Mary thanks to Jordyn Schnell on the anchor leg. The Dukes were a second back after 300 yards, but Schnell split a 49.70 on the anchor to get JMU to the wall in 3:21.72, .23 ticks ahead of the Tribe. Paige Assaid, Karen Siddoway and Gring set up the James Madison triumph.

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2 years ago

It should be noted that William and Mary does not have a diving team and therefore did not start this meet with any points. JMU came in with 175 points from diving. William and Mary out swam the Dukes by 9 points.

2 years ago
Reply to  George

Adding on to George’s comment there was no mention the entire weekend that W&M’s team had been previously cut this year and both teams were only reinstated definitively mere weeks ago. So proud of what the Tribe was able to accomplish amidst added adversity on top of the pandemic.

2 years ago
Reply to  George

Considering is it the Swimming AND Diving Championships…way to throw diving under the bus as not a valid sport George.

2 years ago
Reply to  Elvin

Did not say diving wasn’t a valid sport. Only noted that the William and Mary swimmers out swam the Dukes.