Swimming & Diving Kicks Off Season at UNC-Wilmington

October 07, 2011
By ODU Athletics
ODU Sports

Oct. 7, 2011

WILMINGTON, N.C. -- The Old Dominion men's and women's swimming and diving squads kick off the 2011-2012 season this weekend traveling to Wilmington, North Carolina to face host UNC-Wilmington and Richmond.

The Monarch men's swimming and diving squad returns a host of last year's talent to the pool including two-time CAA Swimmer of the year senior Arni Arnason (Mosfellsbaer, Iceland) as well as Co-CAA Rookie of the Year sophomore Sidni Hoxha (Tirane, Albania).

Arnason captured three events and set a pair of records at last year's CAA Swimming Championship. He broke the conference record in winning the 200 individual medley and also set a new meet record in the 200 breaststroke while also emerging as the victor in the 100 breaststroke. Last spring, Arnason also won the Icelandic Championship in the 100 freestyle, 200 individual medley, and 200 breaststroke.

Hoxha, who competed at this summer's World Championship in Shanghai, China for his native Albania, earned All-CAA as the CAA champion in the 50 meter freestyle w and as the conference champion in the 100 freestyle. He also placed eighth in the 200 freestyle.

Also returning for the Monarchs is sophomore Daniel Camozzo (Herndon, Va.), who earned two All-CAA honors in the 200 and 500 free and junior Jason Brame (Lynchburg, Va.), who set a new Monarch benchmark in the 400 IM en-route to all-conference honors in the event.

The Monarchs finished fifth at last year's CAA championships while the host Seahawks won their 10th straight title. However, ODU topped UNC-Wilmington, 166-129, in Norfolk last season.

One the women's side, the Lady Monarchs return First Team Mid-Major All-American Erla Haraldsdottir (Njardvik, Iceland), who made an appearance at the 2011 NCAA Championships and earned four All-CAA honors for her performance with the 400 medley relay squad in addition her three NCAA "B" cut times in the 100 and 200 breaststroke and 200 individual medley last season. Haraldsdottir also won the Icelandic Championship in the 50 breaststroke, 200 IM, and 200 butterfly and represented her native Iceland at this summer's World Championships in Shanghai, China.

Also returning to the water for ODU is junior Kimberley Rashleigh (Sydney, Australia), who earned All-CAA status by taking second in the 200 backstroke with a NCAA "B" cut time and new ODU Lady Monarch record. Rashleigh is the only Lady Monarch to swim the 200 back in under two minutes.

The Lady Monarchs also return three members of the All-CAA 400 medley team including Haraldsdottir, as well as junior Jessica Hubert (Newport News, Va.), and sophomore Malin Ekstrand (Halmstad, Sweden). Along with former Lady Monarch April Barrientos, they combined to take third place at the CAA Championships and put their names second in the ODU record books, only .06 seconds behind the all-time record.

The ODU women's swimming and diving squad placed fifth at last year's CAA Championships. Last season they fell to the Seahawks, 161-138, but did earn a 177-118 win over the University of Richmond.