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DeWaal, Eckhoff, and Hussein Victorious on First Day of Patriot Invitational
Senior Andrew Eckhoff
FAIRFAX, Va. Ė The UMBC menís swimming and diving team received victories from three seniors, Pierre DeWaal (Pretoria, South Africa/Tuks Sport/Cleveland State), Andrew Eckhoff (Chelmsford, Mass./Chelmsford), and Mohamed Hussein (Cairo, Egypt/Victory College) as the Retrievers sit in third place after the first day of the Patriot Invitational at George Mason. The womenís squad currently resides in seventh place in the ten-team invitational.
After aiding the menís team to a fourth place finish in the 200 free relay, DeWaal claimed victory in the 500-yd. freestyle with a season-best time of 4:31.62 in the event finals. His time tops his previous season-best of 4:40.90 set against Navy on Oct. 19.
Hussein made it back-to-back event wins for the Retrievers by claiming the 200 IM in 1:50.83, nearly three seconds ahead of second place finisher Rya OíShaughnessy of Seton Hall. Husseinís time eclipses his season-best of 1:51.92 which he set last week against Howard in a pool record breaking performance at the UMBC Aquatic Complex.
A year after finishing third in the competition, Eckhoff claimed top honors in the 1-meter diving event, finishing with a score of 275.85 in the finals after scoring 299.55 in the prelims. UMBC also received points from sophomores Carson Wong (Hong Kong/Kowloon Technical School) and Ryan Green (Ellicott City, Md./Centennial), as well as junior Tim Perkins (Frederick, Md./Tuscorora), who placed fourth, fifth, and sixth in the competition. Sophomore Katie Bean (Mechanicsville, Va./Atlee) finished in seventh place in the 3-meter competition for the women.
On the womenís side, senior Jennifer Kotonias (Burtonsville, Md./Academy of Holy Cross) turned in the top performance, finishing fourth in the 200 IM with a season-best time of 2:06.33. Senior Amy Fay (Haverhill, Mass./Haverhill) also picked up a top-ten finish, placing fifth overall in the 500 free (5:04.08) with a season-best time.
In the 50 free, junior Talor Tadena (Orangevale, Calif/Bella Vista) and Erika Ronning (Western Springs, Ill./Lyons Township) finished sixth and seventh, respectively, to earn points for UMBC. In the menís race, senior Steve Gallagher (Sinking Spring, Pa./Wilson) earned a three-way tie for third with a time of 21.31, a season-best.
In the final event of the day, the 400-yd. medley relay, sophomore Lauri Kaei (Harjumaa, Estonia/Tallinn Secondary Science) swam lead-off with Gallagher, De Waal, and Hussein following, to earn a third place finish.
The Retrievers pick up the competition tomorrow with the prelims of the 400 IM, 100 fly, 200 free, 100 breast, and 100 back starting at 10:00 a.m. The finals for these events, in addition to the womenís 1-meter and menís 3-meter, as well as the 200 medley relay and 800 free relay, with take place beginning at 6:00 p.m.