INDIANAPOLIS – UMBC freshman swimmer Emily Escobedo (New Rochelle, N.Y./Maria Regina) has become the third UMBC female swimmer, and fourth overall, to advance to the NCAA Championships, the NCAA announced on Wednesday evening.
Escobedo becomes the first member of the women's swimming and diving program to reach the national meet since Lindsey Prather also did so as a freshman in 2002. Escobedo, coincidentally, broke Prather's school record (2:15.84) in the 200-yd. breaststroke this season, with her top time of 2:10.05 propelling her to the NCAA meet in Minnesota.
Jacque Wisnauskas was the first female swimmer in school history to qualify, competing at the 1990 NCAA Championships in the 200-yd. butterfly.
"We're extremely proud of Emily," said UMBC head coach Chad Cradock. "All of her hard work and dedication has truly paid off. She is one of those student-athletes that holds no excuses and it has showed in her results this year.
"We're excited to be sending our third female athlete to NCAAs and that Emily gets to represent UMBC on the national stage."
Last season, Mohamed Hussein (Cairo, Egypt/Victory College) became the first male in school history, and third overall, to reach the NCAA Championships. Hussein put together another strong season in 2013-14, bettering his times in each event and will hear on Wednesday, March 12 to see if he will become the first Retriever to ever advance to two national meets.
Escobedo will travel to Minnesota to compete in the 100- (1:01.58) and 200-yd. breaststroke events, as well as the 200-yd. IM (2:00.63), all events in which she holds the UMBC school record time.
In just her first season at UMBC, Escobedo has claimed the three individual school records, in addition to helping set two new relay marks. She led the Retrievers to a second-place finish at the 2014 America East Championships, where she garnered two individual gold medals and one bronze medal. At the conclusion of the meet, Escobedo was named Most Outstanding Female Swimmer and the Most Outstanding Rookie.
In an effort to clip her time down even further from the America East meet, Escobedo competed this past weekend at the ECAC Championships at Navy, and did just that. Sitting at 2:12.11 entering the weekend, the freshman cut her time to 2:11.23 in the morning prelims and then touched in over a second ahead of that at night (2:10.05) to win a gold medal.
The 2014 NCAA Women's Swimming and Diving Championships will be held March 20-22 at the University of Minnesota's University Aquatic Center in Minneapolis, Minn.