February 19, 2014

Record-Setting Relays Propel UMBC on First Night of CCSA Championships

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Both the 800 free and 200 medley relay teams broke UMBC school record, with the 800 team taking gold, as the Retriever men's swimming and diving team opened competition on day one of the Coastal Collegiate Swimming Association (CCSA) Championships, Wednesday evening at the University of Tennessee's Jones Intercollegiate Aquatic Center. 

After the first evening of competition, UMBC is tied with the University of the Incarnate Word (UIW) with 74.0 points.  Davidson and Gardner-Webb sit tied for third with 62.0 points with NJIT and VMI knotted at 54.0 points for fifth.

In addition to both relay teams breaking school records, each UMBC relay pushed past the previous CCSA conference and meet records.

In the opening men's event of the night, senior Mohamed Hussein (Cairo, Egpyt/Victory College), junior Rob Breen (Danvers, Mass./St. John's Prep), senior Johan Rohtla (Tallinn, Estonia/Tallinn Secondary Science), and freshman Gregor Sporelin (Bamberg, Germany/Clavius-Gymnasium) combined to touch the wall first with a time of 6:30.37, ahead of UIW (6:34.10), and Davidson (6:34.58).  The Retrievers' mark bests the previous school record time of 6:34.28 set by Brad Reitz, Keilan Freeman, Pierre De Waal, and Eric Jones in 2011.

The UMBC 200 medley relay also clocked a school record time (1:28.99), but could not beat out UIW (1:27.52).  Hussein worked with sophomore Leo Endres (Bamberg, Germany/Kaiser Heinrich Gymnasium), junior Lauri Kaei (Harjumaa, Estonia/Tallinn Secondary Science), and classmate Evan Carey (Ponte Vedra, Fla./Grand Island) to snag the UMBC mark, ahead of the previous time, 1:29.81, set by Sandy Haibel, Steve Gallagher, Reitz, and Freeman also in 2011.

The CCSA Championships continue on Thursday morning in Knoxville, beginning with the prelims for the 500-yd. free at 10:00 a.m.  Diving also kicks off on Thursday with the men competing on the 3-meter board, starting at 1:00 p.m.