Swimming and Diving Opens 2015-16 at Bucknell on Saturday

Swimming and Diving Opens 2015-16 at Bucknell on Saturday

2014-15 Swimming Preview

The UMBC swimming and diving team opens the 2015-16 campaign after successful seasons by both the men and women last season  The Retriever men took home the CCSA (Coastal Collegiate Swimming Association) Championship, never trailing throughout the four day meet. The women had similar success, winning the America East Championship for the first time since 2011, but coming from behind on the final day to win. The Retrievers look to defend their respective championships starting with an exhibition meet at Bucknell on October 3.

Look Ahead at 2015-16

The Retrievers will compete in eight meets, including four home meets against Navy, George Washington, Penn, and Howard.

Following the meet with the Bison, UMBC will travel to Lawrenceville, N.J. for the first scored meet of the year against Rider. The meet with the Broncs is set for October 10. After that, the Retrievers will have back-to-back competitions in Baltimore against Navy (Oct. 16) and George Washington (Oct. 24). The month of October will end with a tri-meet against fellow CCSA foe Gardner-Webb and host Virginia Tech on Halloween.

November will feature two  tests for the Dawgs, as UMBC will welcome Ivy League opponent Penn on November 7 to Charm City. The Retrievers will close out the fall semester at the Patriot Invitational, hosted by George Mason on Nov. 19-21.

After the team's training trip to Florida in December, the teams will return to Baltimore for Senior/Alumni Day against local and CCSA rival Howard on Jan. 9. UMBC will close out the regular season at East Carolina on Jan. 23. Last year, the Retrievers and Pirates went down to the wire, with the Pirates winning the meet on the final relay.

Championship season begins with the America East Championships on February 11-14 at WPI. The men will defend their CCSA Championship once again at the University of Georgia on February 17-20. Following the conference championships, both the men and women will head down the road to the ECAC Championships in Annapolis on February 26-28. The divers will then take the stage at the NCAA Zone Diving Championships, Feb. 7-9, also in Annapolis. Finally, the NCAA Championships will commence on March 17-19 for the women and March 24-26 for the men.

Newcomers

The 2015-16 edition will feature a slew of newcomers on both the men's and women's sides. For the women, nine freshmen will descend upon Baltimore for Head Coach Chad Cradock. The men will have 11 rookies looking to make immediate impacts for the Dawgs.

Six of the nine women hail from the United States, while the other three have international roots. Each of the six domestic swimmers; Hannah Campbell (Port Orange, Fla./Spurce Creek), Kylie Danin (West Islip, N.Y./St. Anthony's), Natalie Davis (Austin, Texas/Westwood), Kelly Lajoie (East Longmeadow, Mass./East Longmeadow), Maddy Popalis (East Petersburg, Pa./Hempfield) and Cassandra Willie (Stony Brook, N.Y./Ward Melville) hail from different states. Aleasha Knight (Ottawa, Ontatrio/John McRae) and Laura Masicotte (Quebec City, Quebec) come from Canada, while Hania Moro (New Cairo, Egypt/Ramsen College) comes from Egypt.

The men have five newcomers from the state of Maryland in Connor Ganley (Ellicott City, Md./Mount St. Joseph's), Alexander Gliese (Columbia, Md./Long Reach), Andrew Sanchez (Catonsville, Md./Mount St. Joseph's), Thomas Shorter (Mount Airy, Md.) and Elijah Wright (Baltimore, Md.). Three freshman come from the northeast in Leo Buoye (Spencerport, N.Y./Spencerport), Garrett Mazziotti (Killingworth, Conn./Haddam Killingworth) and Ross Welsch (White House Station, N.J./Hunterdon Central Regional). A trio of international talent comes to Maryland in Ali Lambert (Edinburgh, Scotland/Stewart's Melville College), Felix Reichsfield (Mainburg, Germany/Aventinus Gymnasium) and Ahmed Wahby (Maadi, Egypt/Victory American College), looking to make a splash for the Retrievers.

Key Returners

The women will return reigning conference swimmer of the year, junior Emily Escobedo (New Rochelle, N.Y./Maria Regina), as well as seniors Catherine Frediani (Ellicott City, Md./Howard) and diver Coco Darelius (Rye, N.Y./Rye). All three had a big hand in the Retrievers reclaiming the top spot in the conference a season ago. Escobedo had another stellar year for UMBC, taking gold in three events at the America East Championships, while also getting back to the NCAA Championships for the second straight year. She became the first Retriever and America East competitor to score at the national meet, placing 14 th overall in the 200 breast.

Frediani helped turned the tide at the America East Championships, winning the 200 back, helping UMBC take the lead on the final day. Darelius had another strong season on the boards, setting a school record on the three meter board with a score of 300.60.

The men will return a quartet of swimmers who had a big impact on the team winning the CCSA Championship last year. Senior Leo Endres (Bamberg, Germany/Kaiser Heinrich Gymnasium), junior Gregor Sporlein (Bamberg, Germany/Clavius Gymnasium)  and sophomore Nikola Trajkovic (Zrenjanin, Serbia/Zrenjaninska Gimnazija) will look to repeat the success he had in 2014-15 in hopes of repeating as CCSA champion.

2014-15 in Review

The UMBC women posted a 5-2 record in dual meets and then capped the season with an America East Championship.

During the year, the Retrievers earned wins against Rider, George Washington, Howard, Gardner-Webb, and VMI.

The Retriever women broke numerous school records during the season, and ended the year on a high note. UMBC won the America East Championship for the first time since 2011, after trailing defending champion New Hampshire the entire meet. On the last day, the Retrievers got a big victory from Catherine Frediani in the 100 backstroke to push ahead for good. 

Escobedo went on to advance to the NCAA Championships for the second consecutive year, making her the first Retriever female to do so. At the national meet in Greensboro, N.C., Escobedo became the first swimmer in UMBC and America East history to score at the meet. She finished seventh in her heat and , 14th overall in the 200 breaststroke.

Escobedo  earned CSCAA All-American Honorable Mention honors for her performance this year. The honor makes her the first Retriever in program history to earn the award.

After a successful 6-2 dual meet season, the UMBC men took gold at the 2015 CCSA Championships in Athens, Ga.

During the year, the Retrievers earned wins against Rider, NJIT, Gardner-Webb, VMI, George Washington, and Howard.

Multiple Retrievers broke school records, including Leo Endres (100/200 breast), Nikola Trajkovic (400 IM), Jonas Gutzat (500 free), and Gregor Sporlein (50 free).

At the CCSA Championships, the UMBC Retrievers were in the lead from day one to take the title. On the first day, UMBC took both relays to lead heading into day two.

The last three days saw a couple of school records being broken, as the Retrievers finished with 996 points, 218 points ahead of second place Incarnate Word. A trio of Retrievers earned awards following the meet.

Trajkovic won the 200 IM at the ECAC Championships in Pittsburgh the very next week, finishing just hundreths of a second ahead of the second place finisher.

After the meet, UMBC was ranked  26th in the nation by CollegeSwimming.com.

Ryan Green, and Pak Lam Wong competed at the NCAA Zone Diving Meet.

Escobedo Takes Retrievers, America East to New Heights

Junior Emily Escobedo continued to etch her name not only in the history books of UMBC, but also the America East. Escobedo won three individual events at the America East Championships this past spring in the 100 breast (1:01.01), 200 breast (2:10.54) and 200 IM (1:59.10) to earn her second straight Most Outstanding Swimmer award. Back in 2014, Escobedo earn the same award, in addition to earning Rookie of the Year honors.

After her performance at the America East Championships,  Escobedo earned a spot at the NCAA Championships for the second straight year, making her just the third female in school history to make the national meet. At the championships, she broke three school records, and earned a spot in the "B" finals of the 200 breaststroke. Her 14th place overall finish made her the first Retriever and America East competitor to score points at the meet.

The Retriever junior would not stop there, as she became the first Retriever to earn CSCAA (College Swimming Coaches Association of America) Honorable All-American status.