BALTIMORE—UMBC men’s and women’s swimming and diving head coach Chad Cradock recently announced that he will welcome 22 student-athletes to the Retrievers in 2009-10. The group is the second largest in school history, only behind the incoming class of 2007-08, who had 24.
“We are very excited about this group of freshmen because they bring great versatility and more options to our program,” Cradock said. “We also have a large diving class that will help our teams’ progress.”
The women’s class will include nine out-of-state student athletes and one in-state. On the boards,Jacquelyn Menchaca (Mcallen, Texas/Nikki Rowe), Carson Taylor (Owensboro, Ky./Owensboro) and Victoria Monetta (Lawrenceville, Ga./Central Gwinnett) will look to create a formidable team of divers.
In the freestyle events, Jennifer Kotanias (Burtonsville, Md./Academy of Holy Cross), Anna Plunkett (Orchard Park, N.Y./Nardin Academy) and Elise Blaschke (Sewell, N.J. Bishop Eustace Prep/) will see time in the mid-distance, while Amy Fay (Haverhill, Mass./Haverhill) and Katie Powlen (Southborough, Mass./Algonquin Regional) will add depth in all of the free events.
Kotonias can also help out in the backstroke, butterfly and individual medley events, while Blaschke and Plunkett will also swim the breaststroke and fly events, repectively.
Tara Morrissette (Somersworth, N.H./Saint Thomas Aquinas) will look to make an immediate impact in the fly and IM events, while Renice Kenny (Brownsburg, In./Covenant Christian) comes to UMBC with a background in the breast and free events.
The men’s class includes eight out-of-state student athletes, three Marylanders and two international students. With the loss of Justin Bronson, who went undefeated in the 200 free last year, the Retrievers look to a group of incoming freshmen to help fill the gap in the free events, including Enrico Bado (Gerogetown, Texas/Georgetown), Patrick Bryan (Marlton, N.J./Cherokee),Herol Marjak (Harjumaa, Estonia/Tallinn Sec Science School), Alex Moothart (Hopkinton, Mass./Hopkinton) and Nate Savage (Platte City, Mo./Platte County R-III).
Eric Surkovich (Ellicott City, Md./Wilde Lake) and Preston Donovan (Ellicott City, Md./Mt. Hebron) join current Retrievers Julie Cantwell, Kathryn Moorby, Kelsey Fitzpatrick, Brad Reitz andJason Mattingly on the list of those who have come to UMBC following their older siblings.
Helping out in the breast events will be Steve Gallagher (Sinking Spring, Pa./Wilson) and Dylan Kent (Oakville, Ontario, Canada/Oakville Trafalgar), while Sandy Haibel (Rockville, Md./Richard Montgomery) and Mike McGee (Chalfont, Pa./La Salle College HS) will add depth in the IM’s.Andrew Eckhoff (Chelmsford, Mass./Chelmsford) will add depth in the diving events.
“In the past few weeks, they’ve all adapted really well to becoming a student-athlete and I look forward to seeing them progress not just as swimmers and divers, but as adults too,” Cradock said.
The Retrievers open the 2009-10 season Oct. 4 at Bucknell at 1 p.m. The first home meet for UMBC is Oct. 24 when Navy comes to town. The men’s meet start at noon, while the women’s meet starts at 2 p.m.