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2005-06 SWIMMING & DIVING SEASON OUTLOOK
Geza Szabo won the 200-fly at the America East Championships last season.
Adam Blais won the 200-IM at the America East Championships last season.
Rachel Lesslie won the 1,650-free at the America East Championships last season.
Agnes Stanislawska is the school record-holder in four events.
The UMBC men's and women's swimming and diving teams open their season at Rider Saturday, Oct. 22, at 1 p.m. In 2004-05, the men posted UMBC's first-ever perfect season in any sport, finishing with a 10-0 record and winning their eighth straight conference title, while the women went 8-3 and finished third in the America East.
2005-06 Men’s Season Outlook
Two years in the America East, two conference championship trophies on display in the
Add that to four Northeast Conference titles and six Eastern College Athletic Conference crowns, and you get a team that has dominated its competition for the last eight seasons.
Meet the UMBC men’s swimming and diving squad.
Last season, Head Coach Chad Cradock and his coaching staff – assistants Tom Himes and Chris Gibeau and diving coach Andrew Hastings – guided the Retrievers to the school’s first-ever undefeated season in any sport with a 10-0 dual meet record, as well as its eighth consecutive conference title, including its second straight in the America East. The team broke its own league record for most points in the championship meet with 920 after setting it the previous season, UMBC’s first in the AEC, at 901. The Retrievers produced conference champions in seven events, including six individual and one relay, and the four coaches as a unit were named America East Men’s Coaching Staff of the Year.
“Last year was a pretty successful year, obviously,” Cradock said. “We were well-rounded; we had some great individuals - some great senior standouts, all the way down to our freshmen - which contributed to the success of the team.”
Cradock expects more success in 2005-06, but the Retrievers will have to overcome the loss of several key swimmers, including Jakub Sroczynski, an eight-time conference champion who graduated in 2005. The coach hopes the veterans and incoming class will be able to step up and fill the voids left by Sroczynski and the others.
Sprint Freestyle: Junior Tim Conway was the Retrievers’ top sprinter in 2004-05, as he finished fifth in the 50-free at AEC’s. “Tim got a lot stronger last year and improved a lot in dual meets,” Cradock said. “It would be nice to see him take it to the next level this year.” Cradock also looks to freshmen Justin Bronson and Josh Nachman to make an immediate impact. Sophomore Scott Auchter and freshmen Milos Djukic, Peter Sterba and Kyle Wisor should also contribute in the sprints.
Mid Freestyle: Adam Blais returns for his senior season after taking bronze in the 200-free at the conference championships last season, and is expected to lead the Retrievers both in and out of the pool as a co-captain. “We’re going to rely heavily on Adam,” Cradock said. Senior co-captain Geza Szabo and freshmen Freddie Reitz and Evan Roseberry are expected to be factors in the 500-free, while Bronson and Reitz are also strong in the 200. Junior Cliff Schmardel finished sixth in the 500 at AEC’s last season and should step up as well. Wisor, senior Joe Raymond, sophomores Joey Sementelli and Adam Eiben and junior transfer Juan Ortiz are also expected to contribute.
Distance Freestyle: Junior Ryan Karrer returns after winning the 2005 America East title in the 1,650-free and taking silver in the 500-free, in addition to capturing gold in both events at the 2005 ECAC’s. A four-time medalist at the AEC championships, he should pick up where he left off. “Ryan has really led the team in the distance events,” Cradock said. “He has pulled through when we needed him most. This year we need him to do the same.” Schmardel placed fourth in the mile at AEC’s last season and is expected to make strong contributions. They will be helped out by Roseberry, Sementelli and Raymond.
Backstroke: Backstroke is where Sroczynski will be missed the most, and Cradock is looking for the swimmer who can step up and fill his shoes. Junior Nebojsa Zimonjic finished third and fourth in the 100- and 200-back, respectively, at the conference meet, while Conway took fourth in the 100 and junior co-captain Brian Jaeggi placed fifth in the 200, and Cradock hopes the trio can help fill the void. Cradock also expects big contributions from Djukic, while sophomore Eric Skrabacz came in fifth in the 100-back and sophomore Alejandro Lopez took sixth in the 200 at AEC’s and should help out as well.
Breaststroke: Cradock expects strong competition for the top breaststroke spot from Reitz, Auchter, senior Ian Carey, junior Pat Woodward and sophomore Andrew Cheung. “One of these guys has to really come out of his shell and take initiative for the breaststroke,” Cradock said. Carey placed fifth in the 200-breast and ninth in the 100 at AEC’s last season, while Cheung finished 11th in the 200.
Butterfly: Szabo, the school record-holder and two-time defending America East champion in the 200-fly, will again lead the butterfly unit. “Geza’s tremendous in the fly,” Cradock said. “He gives his all in the water and we will continue to count on him.” Skrabacz will also play a large role, as he placed fourth in both fly events at AEC’s last season. Cradock expects Nachman and Bronson to step up and be a factor here, as well. Lopez, Sterba and junior John Saums should also contribute.
Individual Medley: The IM will be anchored by Blais, who won the 200 at AEC’s last season. Eiben scored in the 400 at the conference meet, taking sixth place, and Cradock expects him and Ortiz to step up as well. Skrabacz, Woodward, Zimonjic, Cheung, Carey and Jaeggi should also help out.
Diving: Junior Jeff Salgado broke the school 3-meter record last season and was a two-time America East Diver of the Week honoree. He will receive assistance from sophomore Colin Weick, who makes the switch to the boards this season after a year as a freestyler for the Retrievers.
The season begins Oct. 22, when the Retrievers travel to Rider for their first dual meet. Other schedule highlights include Navy, which is always a close meet, at home on Oct. 29; America East foe
The UMBC women’s swimming and diving team concluded the 2004-05 season, its second in the America East, with an 8-3 record and a third-place finish in the conference championships.
But Head Coach Chad Cradock expects even more of his squad his year, despite losing six seniors, including school record-holder Lindsey Prather and the versatile Jessica Prosen.
“This is one of the best ladies’ teams that UMBC has ever seen,” Cradock said. “Our women’s program has definitely turned the corner from last year. This incoming class will have an immediate impact. We’re so much stronger at the top. The team now needs to have the heart and the drive to bring home a conference championship. I think this year we have some real bright spots.”
Some of those bright spots include newcomers Meghan Sackett and Daniele Surkovich. Cradock believes both Sackett, a sophomore transfer from the
Cradock is also excited about the potential on the freestyle relays. “Our women’s freestyle relay is going to be the best I’ve seen since I’ve been here. It’s going to have a lot of excitement to it,” he said.
The coaching staff enters its second year together as a four-person unit. While Cradock is in his fifth year at UMBC and assistant coach Tom Himes begins his fourth season, assistant coach Chris Gibeau and diving coach Andrew Hastings are both back for their second year.
“It is nice to have a stable coaching staff that the returning athletes already know and feel comfortable with,” Cradock said.
Sprint Freestyle: Cradock looks for Surkovich to anchor the sprints, with strong contributions from sophomore Lindsey Engler, who broke the school 50-free record last season, and senior Elyse Gibson. Sophomore Carly Fitzpatrick and freshman Robin Klein should step up and make an impact, while junior Kristen Moorby and freshmen Christina Ng and Anika Theus should contribute as well.
Mid Freestyle: Senior co-captain Amber Harris placed fifth in the 500-free at the America East Championships. Junior Agnes Stanislawska is an extremely versatile swimmer who holds school records in both the 100- and 200-free and placed sixth in the 200 at AEC’s. Freshman Elisha Peregino should also be a factor, while junior Jesse Rowton and sophomores Erin Mathews and co-captain Lisa Robinson should also contribute.
Distance Freestyle: The Retrievers are very strong in the distance events. Sackett should lead the way with sophomore co-captain Rachel Lesslie, who was named 2005 America East Most Outstanding Rookie after winning the mile and placing fourth in the 500-free at the conference championships. Sohpmore Katrina Hubbard took the bronze in the mile at AEC’s and should pick up where she left off. Cradock also looks for freshman Sarah Aichele to come in and make an impact. Mathews and Robinson will also help out in the distance events.
Backstroke: UMBC also has a very strong backstroke unit, anchored by Stanislawska, Lesslie and Harris. Cradock also looks for strong contributions in the backstroke events from Moorby, Fitzpatrick, sophomore Mary Scott and freshman Brittany Bertoli.
Breaststroke: Despite graduating Prather, the school record-holder in both the 100- and 200-breast, the Retrievers have a lot of depth in the breaststroke events, but Cradock is looking for someone to stand out from the rest of the group. Some potential candidates include Stanislawska, who took bronze in the 200-breast at AEC’s last season, Klein and freshmen Tina Cantwell, Joy Wilde and Courtney White. Rowton will continue to contribute here as well.
Butterfly: Butterfly is another stroke where Cradock hopes someone can step up and take charge. Surkovich, Gibson, Engler, Scott and Peregino all could do so. Moorby, Bertoli and junior Amy Mensch will also contribute.
Individual Medley: Cradock believes the Retrievers will have a lot of depth in the IM events. The versatile Stansilawska took silver in the 200-IM at AEC’s last season and should pick up where she left off. Surkovich should also stand out in the IM’s. Hubbard, Cantwell and Wilde will also help out in these events.
Diving: The divers will be strong this year, as junior Ashley Houghton, a transfer from
“We’re excited about this year,” Himes said. “We brought in another big freshman class, one that appears to be pretty good. If they reach their full potential, we should have a tremendous year.”
The season begins Oct. 22, when the Retrievers travel to Rider for their first dual meet. Other schedule highlights include defending America East champion New Hampshire, which is new to UMBC’s dual meet schedule; local rival Towson on Nov. 12; the George Mason Invitational Nov. 18-20; and