BALTIMORE – Following second-place finishes at their respective conference championships, the UMBC swimming and diving teams will send select athletes to Annapolis, Md. this weekend for the 2014 ECAC Championships at Navy. The meet will be held at the U.S. Naval Academy's Lejeune Hall and will run from Friday, Feb. 28 through Sunday, March 2.
The UMBC men finished second at the team's first-ever CCSA Championships last weekend in Knoxville, Tenn. and earned the No. 23 ranking in the latest CollegeSwimming.com Top-25 poll. Retriever head coach Chad Cradock was named the conference's Male Swimming Coach of the Year and diving coach Petar Trifonov earned Male Diving Coach of the Year accolades.
Senior Mohamed Hussein (Cairo, Egypt/Victory College) added CCSA Male Most Outstanding Swimmer of the Meet to his resume after breaking three individual school records and meeting six NCAA "B" cuts all while garnering two individual gold medals and one silver. This weekend in Annapolis, Hussein will compete in the 200 IM (1:44.50), 100 back (47.67), and 200 back (1:44.35) events as he looks to qualify for his second straight NCAA Championships. Last season, he became the first Retriever male, and third UMBC athlete overall, to reach the national meet.
Freshman Gregor Sporlein (Bamberg, Germany/Clavius-Gymnasium) will also make the short trip down I-97 after a record-breaking weekend in Tennessee. At his first career conference meet, Sporlein broke the school record in the 50 free (20.29) while earning a silver in the event. He also won gold in the 100 free (44.44) and took bronze in the 200 free (1:38.08).
Senior Brian Keane (Hanson, Mass./Boston College HS/Arizona), junior Mark Tracy (Chelmsford, Mass./Chelmsford), and freshmen Austin Moore (Takoma Park, Md./Northwood) and Steven Rigby (Bowie, Md./Bowie) will also compete for the Black and Gold.
The women, meanwhile, placed second for the second straight year behind New Hampshire at the America East Championships in Worcester, Mass. Freshman Emily Escobedo (New Rochelle, N.Y./Maria Regina) will take to the pool at Navy two weeks removed from being named the conference's Most Outstanding Swimmer and Most Outstanding Rookie. At the conference meet, Escobedo broke three school records and achieved three NCAA "B" cuts while sweeping the breaststroke events and taking third in the 200-yd. IM. In the Maryland state capital, Escobedo will focus on the 200 breaststroke in an attempt to push her time lower than her already-school record mark of 2:12.11.
Senior Klara Pavelkova (Prague, Czech, Republic/Gymnasium Pripotocni) won the gold medal in the 100 back at the America East meet for the third straight year and will race in the event in Annapolis. Pavelkova is the school record holder in the event with her time of 55.28 from last season and will try to better her 2013-14 season-best of 55.51 at Navy.
Freshman Amanda Day (Kingwood, Texas/Kingwood) will also travel with the Retrievers to compete in the 100- and 200-yd. butterfly events.