BALTIMORE – Both the UMBC men's and women's swimming and diving teams were ranked among the top-25 mid-major teams in the first poll released by Collegeswimming.com, the website announced on Thursday. After four dual meets, the men (2-2) are ranked no. 10 and the women (2-2) start at no. 21.
So far this season both programs have faced two opponents named in the poll, with both of Navy's squads earning a ranking (Men-3, Women-14) and both of George Washington's programs earning consideration. In addition both of UMBC's squads faced off against nationally ranked University of Maryland teams last weekend.
Early in the season, the men have been led by Pierre De Waal (Pretoria, South Africa/Tuks Sport/Cleveland State) and Johan Rohtla (Tallinn, Estonia/Tallinn Secondary Science) who have already claimed seven and six individual wins, respectively.
Meanwhile, on the diving boards junior Andrew Eckhoff (Chelmsford, Mass./Chelmsford) is off to a stellar start having already qualified for NCAA Zones in both the 1-mtr and 3-mtr competitions. In an unscored meet against Towson, Eckhoff broke the UMBC record in the 3-mtr by scoring a 354.30.
For the women, senior Abbey McKenney (Wilmington, Del./Brandywine) has started the season strong winning four individual events and ten overall. At Rider, McKenney broke the pool record in the 50-yard free, and then helping the 400 free relay do the same.
Junior Jennifer Kotonias (Burtonsville, Md./Academy of Holy Cross) has dominated the 200 fly, going three for three in the event so far this year. Sophomore Talor Tadena (Orangevale, Calif./Bella Vista) already has four individuals victories this season.
The Retrievers are in the pool this weekend at the Patriot Invitational in Fairfax, Va. The men's team has won the event six consecutive years while the women are trying to win the invitational for the fourth time in five years.