Swimming and Diving Teams Look to Repeat at Patriot Invitational

Pierre De Waal has seven individual wins this year
Pierre De Waal has seven individual wins this year

BALTIMORE – The UMBC swimming and diving teams head to Fairfax, Va. tomorrow looking to repeat as overall champions at the Patriot Invitational hosted by George Mason University.  The men's squad is looking to win their 6th straight invitational, while the women have won this event four times in the last five years.  The meet begins Thursday at 10 a.m. and runs through Saturday evening.  Daily results and recaps can be found on the UMBC athletics website at umbcretrievers.com

In the women's meet, the Retrievers will look to their veteran leaders to bring home another title.  Senior Abbey McKenney (Wilmington, Del./Brandywine) is off to a strong campaign already claiming four individual wins and ten victories overall.  Junior Jennifer Kotonias (Burtonsville, Md./Academy of Holy Cross) has also stepped up this season winning the 200-yard fly each of the three times she has competed in the event.  She has also won the 200 IM event twice this year.

UMBC looks to gain points in the relays as well where the 200 medley relay and the 400 free relay have both won three of four races this year.

For the men, junior Pierre De Waal (Pretoria, South Africa/Tuks Sport/Cleveland State) has emerged as the leader so far.  After claiming three victories against Maryland last weekend, De Waal now has seven individual wins this season.  Sophomore Johan Rohtla (Tallinn, Estonia/Tallinn Secondary Science) is not far behind, already claiming victory in six individual events.

On the boards, junior Andrew Eckhoff (Chelmsford, Mass./Chelmsford) continues to impress.  In an unscored competition against Towson, Eckhoff broke the school record for the 3-mtr board scoring an impressive 354.30, smashing the old mark of 318.30 held by Jeff Salgado.  The junior also set a season-best in the 1-mtr that day scoring 335.10.