ODU Women, Men Hold Onto Second, Fourth at CAA Swimming and Diving Championships
FAIRFAX, Va. (Feb. 23) -- James Madison University opened the night session of the second day of the CAA Swimming and Diving Championships by winning the men's and women's 200 medley relay and didn't look back as the Dukes gripped their paws tightly on first place in both the men's and women's team standings.
The Madison women have 551 points, a commanding advantage over second-place Old Dominion with 359. William & Mary (342) is third, and UNC Wilmington (297). George Mason (269) and Davidson (237) round out the field.
On the men's side, Madison has 506 points, and UNC Wilmington moved to second with 421 points. William & Mary (414) is in third, and Old Dominion (321) sits in fourth. George Mason (254) and Davidson (201) round out the competition.
Melanie Stein, Karianna Langslet, Samantha Smith and Julie Lestyan picked up the win in the 200 medley relay (1:46.74) for the JMU women. Smith also had a great run in the 100 breaststroke, chasing down American's Stina Lindman on the last lap and touching at the same time to share the title. The time of 1:03.94 met the NCAA *B* qualifying standard for both swimmers. It was the second time in CAA history two swimmers shared the championship in an individual event. Rebecca Compton (UNCW) and Lottie Swanson tied in the 100 butterfly in 1991. Stein added a third-place swim in the 100 back, and the Dukes' 800 free relay squad placed second.
Old Dominion's Kara Fichthorn won her second event of the weekend, this time in the 400 individual medley. Her time of 4:23.41 set a CAA meet record and top performance and met the NCAA *B* qualifying standard. Richmond's Kristin Newkirk won the 100 fly (57.04), and William & Mary junior Alyssa Lengle finished first in the 200 free (1:51.96). American junior Junkal Irigoien won the 100 back (57.56) and helped the Eagles to the 800 free relay title (7:36.28).
Jeffrey Hicks, Lee Shirkey, Brett Stone and John McLaren won the 200 medley relay for the JMU men and set a CAA meet record and top performance with a time of 1:32.32. Brendan Grant added a third-place swim in the 400 IM, and Stone finished second in the 100 fly. Shirkey and McLaren placed fifth and sixth in the 100 breast, and Hicks took second in the 100 back. The Dukes' 800 free relay team placed third.
American freshman Ethan Bassett won the 400 IM (3:57.29) and continues to duel with teammate Dominick Szabo for Rookie Swimmer of the Year honors. Szabo set a meet record in the 100 breast in the morning prelims and broke the mark in the night session, winning with a time of 54.98, which also met the NCAA *B* qualifying standard.
Bassett teamed with Frank Byskov, last year's CAA Swimmer of the Year, Mark Liscinsky and Will Maher to set a meet record and CAA top performance in the 800 free relay. The time of 6:40.77 crushed the old mark of 6:43.37 set by Old Dominion in 1996. Maher added a win in the 200 free, and his time of 1:38.93 met the NCAA *B* standard, while Byskov placed second. Teammate John Serrerberg won the 100 fly (49.17).
The final day of competition begins with trials at 10 a.m. at the George Mason Aquatic and Fitness center, and the 1650 free will begin at 3:50 p.m. Finals start at 6 p.m. All results can be found on the CAA website at www.caasports.com.
* Note: Swimmers and divers from American University and the University of Richmond are participating only as individuals in the meet. Team points for American and Richmond will not be accumulated.