BALTIMORE – The UMBC men's swimming and diving team is ranked no. 13 and the women's team is ranked no. 17 in the second collegeswimming.com poll, the website announced on Thursday. Princeton takes the top spot in the men's poll, while San Jose State claims first for the women.
In the fall portion of their seasons, both teams won the Patriot Invitational, while going 2-2 in dual meets. The wins at the Patriot Invitational marked the sixth straight year that the men have won the event, while the women claimed their fourth title in the past five years.
At the meet held by George Mason, junior Pierre De Waal (Pretoria, South Africa/Tuks Sport/Cleveland State) won three individual events while also anchoring the 800-yard freestyle relay to victory. After winning both the 500 (4:31.63) and 200 free (1:39.87) events, De Waal finished the weekend by setting a meet record in the 200 fly (1:48.15).
Meanwhile, senior Abbey McKenney (Wilmington, Del./Brandywine) swam at a record-setting pace to lead the women to victory. Winning each of her three individual events, McKenney broke the UMBC school records and Patriot Invitational meet records in the 100 (56.17) and 200 back (2:00.39) events, while also leading the 400 and 800 freestyle relay teams to victory. In addition, the senior led the 200 free relay to second-place and a new UMBC school record.
During the dual meets, junior Jennifer Kotonias (Burtonsville, Md./Academy of Holy Cross) and sophomore Johan Rohtla (Tallinn, Estonia/Tallinn Secondary Science) have been key to the Retrievers' success, claiming five and six event wins, respectively.
On the boards, junior Andrew Eckhoff (Chelmsford, Mass./Chelmsford) has had a brilliant fall, already qualifying for NCAA Zones in both the 1-meter and 3-meter competitions. In an unscored meet against Towson on Oct. 30, Eckhoff broke the UMBC school record in the 3-meter by scoring a 354.30.
UMBC returns to competition on Jan. 14 when the Retrievers travel to Washington, D.C. to take on Howard, beginning at 12 p.m.