TU unseated at CAA Championships
For the first time since 2008, the CAA has a new women’s swimming and diving champion. The James Madison Dukes knocked off the Tigers this weekend at George Mason.
The Tigers, who have won four consecutive CAA titles, finished second in the CAA Championship with 625 points, while the Dukes finished with 771 points.
“There were some people that were sincerely disappointed,” Head Coach Pat Mead said. “There were some people that it was just another meet to.”
Senior Cari Czarnecki and sophomore Kaitlin Burke led the team’s effort.
Czarnecki won the 200-yard butterfly by posting an NCAA ‘B’ cut time of 1:57.40 for her second title of the meet. She also won the 400-yard individual medley on Friday night with a time of 4:13.98. She also finished second in the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 2:00.06.
Burke won the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 4:44.92, more than six seconds better than the second place finisher. She also won the 1650-yard freestyle by posting an NCAA ‘B’ cut time of 16:22.88.
Freshmen Amanda Barber and Victoria Oslund broke Towson records during the championship. Barber set a Towson freshman record in the preliminaries of the 50-yard freestyle event with a time of 23.54, while Oslund broke her own record in the 200-yard individual medley in the preliminaries. Oslund swam a 2:05.00, breaking her record by more than a second and a half. Then, after qualifying for the consolation round, she broke the record again with a 2:03.19 time.
“Amanda Barber was probably the surprise of the meet for our women,” Mead said. “She has a bright future with our program. Victoria did what we were expecting her to do. Both of them have some very fast swimming left in them if they can stay motivated.”
The divers also performed well. Jeanne Ball placed third in the women’s three-meter dive final with 290.85 points. Lyndsey Dickson and Lauren Ray finished fifth and sixth, respectively, in the finals.
“Jeanne Ball did a great job,” Mead said. “Lauren Ray, across the board, did phenomenal. For her to score on both one-meter and three-meter, that was a little unexpected.”
The men’s team finished seventh in the championship with 269 points.
Freshman Andy Disco led the Tigers, breaking two school records.
Disco broke the 200-yard individual medley freshman record in the preliminaries with a time of 1:52.80. After earning a spot in the consolation heat, Disco broke his own record set earlier in the day by finishing with a time of 1:51.60.
“Andy Disco was hands down our top performer,” Mead said. “Across the board he had the best meet for us.”
Freshman Jon Burr also broke a school record by posting a time of 1:52.96 in the 200-yard butterfly.
Another freshman, Matt Lowe, finished the 1,650-yard event in 15:47.43 after qualifying for the finals. His final time exceeded his preliminary time by more than 20 seconds. He broke the 1,000 split record in the 1,650, a record not beaten since 1980.
Diver Alex Cohen had a standout performance in the championship, as he won the consolation of the men’s one-meter dive, scoring 262.30 points. Cohen also placed fourth in the three-meter diving event by scoring 285.35 points in the finals.
“That’s the highest placed finished we’ve ever had in the CAA for a male diver. He did an outstanding job,” Mead said of Cohen.
The women’s team finished the dual meet season with an overall record of 10-1 and a perfect record of 5-0 in conference meets.
The men’s team finished the dual meet season with an overall record of 3-8, the team’s most wins since 2006-2007.