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Three compete in NCAA Championship

23 March 2014 By Matt Hamilton, Associate Sports Editor No Comments

While students were on spring break, three Towson swimmers – Kaitlin Burke, Melanie Rowland and Cassie Sorna –  made a trip to Minneapolis, Minn. for the NCAA Championships from Thursday to Saturday.

Burke, Rowland and Sorna swam their last races for the Tigers, under Head Coach Pat Mead, on Friday.

“It was a great experience for all three of them. For them to go to the meet and do as well as they did, as seniors, was a tremendous accomplishment,” Mead said. “It was a great way to end their career and I am very proud of them.”

Burke, who leaves Towson as a two-time Colonial Athletic Association Swimmer of the Year, finished 11th in the 1,650-yard freestyle Saturday, earning All-America honors for the second straight year.

“Kaitlin did a great job [in the 1,650-freestyle] of just getting in and attacking the race and swimming in front right from the beginning,” Mead said. “When you’re in front, you tend to be able to perform a lot better.”

Her time, 16:04:30, was a career best. Burke ends her career with the Tigers with four relay school records, as well as nine Top-5 all-time finishes in different events. She finished in 40th place in the 500-yardfreestyle and 37th place in the 200-yard freestyle during the three-day event.

Joining Burke in the 1,650-yard freestyle was Sorna, who finished 23rd overall with a time of 16:13:82. Sorna also recorded a 54th place finish in the 500-yard freestyle Thursday morning.

In her four years at Towson, Sorna swam two Top 5 all-time times in the 1,000- and 1,650-yard freestyle. Rowland did much of her work on Thursday, competing in the 100-yard butterfly and turning in a 48th place finish in 53.77. The time was her lifetime best and second in school history.

On Saturday, Rowland wrapped up her career with a 22nd place finish in the 200-yard butterfly. In her career, Rowland took part in three relay school record and owns five Top 5 all-time finishes.

“Melanie had a great second day,” Mead said. “She was definitely the highlight [of the day} and maybe that took some pressure off everyone. It was ‘Wow, I can swim fast because Melanie had a great 100-fly.’”

The group of seniors leaving the women’s team put together a four-year span that included three CAA Championships and a 47-5 meet record.

“[The three seniors] have had a tremendous impact on our success not only this year but over the course of their time here,” Mead said. “That will be some big shoes to try to fill next year.”

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