BALTIMORE – After more than a month break from competition, the UMBC swimming and diving teams travel to Washington, D.C. Saturday to begin 2012 with a meet at Howard. Both the men and women are 2-2 in dual meets this season with wins over Rider and George Washington, but falling to in-state rivals Navy and Maryland. Last year, both teams defeated Howard during a tri-meet held at Drexel.
Going in to the New Year, the men are led by junior Pierre De Waal (Pretoria, South Africa/Tuks Sport/Cleveland State) and sophomore Johan Rohtla (Tallinn, Estonia/Tallinn Secondary Science) who have combined to claim 13 dual meet wins this season. In addition, De Waal picked up three individual wins at the Patriot Invitational in November.
On the diving boards, junior Andrew Eckhoff had a great fall, qualifying for the NCAA Zones in both the 1-mtr and 3-mtr competition during an unscored meet with Towson. During that meet, Eckhoff broke the UMBC school record in the 3-mtr competition, recording a score of 354.30.
For the women, UMBC will rely on a mix of senior leadership and youth to lead the way. Senior Abbey McKenney (Wilmington, Del./Brandywine) has already claimed four dual meet wins, while also helping to win six relays so far. McKenney also claimed gold in the 100 (56.17) and 200-yard back (2:00.39) at the Patriot Invitational while in the process setting new school records.
Meanwhile, junior Jennifer Kotonias (Burtonsville, Md./Academy of Holy Cross) and sophomore Talor Tadena (Orangevale, Calif./Bella Vista) have been strong for the Retrievers, picking up five wins and four wins, respectively, in the dual meet season so far.
Saturday's meet will at Howard's Burr Gymnasium in Washington, D.C. beginning at 12 p.m.