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Men Hold Lead, Women Trail UNH by 1.5 Points Heading to Final Day of America East Championships
Junior Talor Tadena
ORONO, Maine Ė UMBC senior Andrew Eckhoff (Chelmsford, Mass./Chelmsford) completed his sweep of the diving events by winning the 3-meter competition and juniors Klara Pavelkova (Prague Czech Republic, Gymnasium Pripotocni) and Talor Tadena (Orangevale, Calif./Bella Vista) each reset school record during victories on Day Three of the America East Championships, Saturday at the Stanley M. Wallace Pool.
Heading to the fourth and final day, the UMBC men top the standings with 763.5 points, ahead of Binghamton (619.5 pts.) and host Maine (383 pts.). Meanwhile, the women trail leader New Hampshire (571 pts.) by just 1.5 points after accumulating 569.5 points through the first three days. Vermont (374 pts.), Maine (324.5 pts.), and Binghamton (321 pts.) round out the standings.
Eckhoff earned the first points of the day for UMBC by completing his second-straight sweep of the diving events at the conference meet. The reigning Most Outstanding Male Diver, Eckhoff topped the field in both the prelims and finals, scoring a meet record 346.85 in the final round to earn the gold. Sophomore Carson Wong (Hong Kong/Kowloon Technical School) claimed the bronze medal while classmate Ryan Green (Ellicott City, Md./Centennial), senior Enrique Labourdeth (Rochester, Mich./Stoney Creek), and junior Tim Perkins (Frederick, Md./Tuscarora) placed fifth, sixth, and seventh, respectively.
As the swimmers entered the water, a veteran group picked up points for the Retrievers in the 400 IM. Seniors Jennifer Kotonias (Burtonsville, Md./Academy of Holy Cross) and Tara Morrissette (Somersworth, N.H./Saint Thomas Aquainas) finished the event in fourth and fifth, with junior Patty Hallberg (Severna Park, Md./Broadneck) and freshman Carly Deeter (Langhorne, Pa./Pennington School) just back in sixth and seventh.
The men then entered the water and junior Reed Neuendorf (Blauvelt, N.Y./Tappan Zee) led a pack of four UMBC swimmers by finishing second with a career-best time of 4:00.96 to move up to seventh all-time in school history. Senior Mike McGee (Chalfont, Pa./LaSalle College HS), freshman Doug McCord (Ewing, N.J./Pennington School) and junior Patrick Husson (Camp Springs, Md./DeMatha) also scored for the Retrievers in the finals.
Tadena then got her night started by lowering her career-best in the 100 butterfly to 55.32 to pick up a silver medal and record the second-fastest time in school history. Freshman Catherine Frediani (Ellicott City, Md./Howard) placed eighth with a time of 58.17.
Senior Sandy Haibel (Rockville, Md./Richard Montgomery) paced the Black and Gold in the menís event earning a silver medal while sophomore Lauri Kaei (Harjumaa, Estonia/Tallinn Secondary Science) won a bronze medal with a career-best 49.97. Senior Herol Marjak (Harjumaa, Estonia/Tallinn Secondary Science) placed seventh in the event.
In the 200 free, senior Amy Fay (Haverhill, Mass./Haverhill) finished third, leading a trio of Retrievers in the finals as sophomore Erika Ronning (Western Springs, Ill./Lyons Township) took fourth-place and freshman Kristie Langford (Port Hope, Ontario/CDCI West) took eighth.
The men made it a clean sweep of the top medals with senior Pierre De Waal (Pretoria, South Africa/Tuks Sport/Cleveland State) winning his second event of the championships with a time of 1:39.09. Junior Evan Carey (Grand Island, N.Y./Grand Island) and Rob Breen (Danvers, Mass./St. Johnís Prep) each set career-bests while garnering the silver and bronze medals.
Tadena then topped her previous effort by taking top honors in the 100 breaststroke with a school record time of 1:02.90. The junior had previously bested Tina Cantwellís record of 1:03.58 with her time of 1:03.33 in the event prelims. Senior Claire Barron (Lowestoft, England/Benjamin Britten/New Orleans) and sophomores Lexi Coon (Camden, Del./Milford) and Rebecca Pindral (Land OíLakes, Fla./Wiregrass Ranch) also set a career-bests, placing fifth, sixth, and seventh.
Freshman transfer Daniel Cano (Madrid, Spain/IES Ortega y Gasset) earned his first career medal, a silver, in the 100 breaststroke as classmate Leo Endres (Bamberg, Germany/Kaiser Heinrich) and senior Steve Gallagher (Sinking Spring, Pa./Wilson) followed in third and fourth-place. Husson finished sixth in his second event final of the night.
In the final individual event of the night, Pavelkova continued the record-breaking performances by lowering her school record even further. The junior set a new mark with a time of 55.35 in the morning prelims and then went even faster at night while winning gold, completing her swim in 55.28. Senior Elise Blaschke (Washington Township, N.J./Bishop Eustace Prep) gave UMBC a one-two finish by winning the silver medal.
Junior Mohamed Hussein (Cairo, Egypt/Victory College) earned his second individual gold medal of the meet, claiming the honor in the 100-yd. back. After breaking the pool record in the prelims (49.18), Hussein went even faster in the evening session, pushing past his own conference and school record which he set last year, with a time of 48.53. Kaei picked up his second medal of the evening by finishing second with a career-best time 49.81. Junior Johan Rohtla (Tallinn, Estonia/Tallinn Secondary Science) and Haibel also scored for the Retrievers in the final.
In the final events of the night, both the men and women finished second in the 400 medley relay behind New Hampshire and Binghamton, respectively.
The final day of the 2013 America East Swimming and Diving Championships begins Sunday morning at 10:00 a.m. The last day of competition includes the 1,650 freestyle, 200 backstroke, 100 freestyle, 200 breaststroke, and 200 butterfly before concluding with the 400 freestyle relay during the night finals.