The UMBC men's swimming and diving program needed less than a year to win their first conference championship since switching from the Northeast Conference to the America East. The Retrievers came to the championships looking to assert themselves as the team to beat for years to come, and they did just that February 21, 2004 with Moment No. 23 on the #retriever50for50 countdown.
UMBC came into the championships having won the Northeast Conference championship in back-to-back years, looking to win their first America East crown, and third conference title overall. Head Coach Chad Cradock had a depth of talent from top to bottom, and it showed as the Retrievers took control of the meet from day one.
The Retrievers held a 134-point lead after day one thanks in part to a slew of top six finishes. Senior Brad Green led the charge with a win in the 50 free, setting a conference record of 20.68 in the preliminaries, going 20.81 in the finals.
Day two was much of the same as UMBC increased their lead to 224 points over Binghamton. Green won his second individual title in the 100 backstroke, as the Retrievers also earned second and fifth in the event. The 800 free relay team broke the America East record to earn gold, led by Josh Farley, Adam Blais, Carlos Canepa and Jakub Sroczynski.
Sroczynski and Canepa finished 1-2 in the 200 free to help propel UMBC to a comfortable lead.
No one would come closer than that, as UMBC broke the conference record for points scored with 901 points, surpassing the mark set by Drexel in 2001 (809.5), winning by 324 points.
Green, who was inducted into the UMBC Athletics Hall of Fame in 2012, earned Most Outstanding Swimmer honors after winning a trio of individual events. Head Coach Chad Cradock and staff were named Swimming Coaching Staff of the Year for their efforts.
UMBC won eight more America East titles until moving to the Coastal Collegiate Swimming Association in 2013-14, and have captured two more championships in three tries in the new conference alignment.