Alive and Well: Swimming and Diving Sweeps Patriot Invitational to Continue Streak

Pierre De Waal set a meet record in the 200 fly
Pierre De Waal set a meet record in the 200 fly

FAIRFAX, VA. – The UMBC men's and women's swimming and diving teams picked up six more wins and broke three more meet records Saturday to sweep the Patriot Invitational on the third and final day at George Mason.  The men scored 1089 to pick up their sixth consecutive win at the event, while the women earned 1096.5 points to pick up their fourth victory in the last five years.

Senior Abbey McKenney (Wilmington, Del./Brandywine) had another day for the history books to help pace the Retrievers.  Just a day after setting a new school record in the 100 back, McKenney wrote her name at the top of another UMBC list, this time in the 200 back (2:00.39), claiming gold and while also setting a new meet record.

As if two records were not enough, the senior took home an individual win in the 100 free before leading the 400 free relay into the record books as well.  The team of McKenney, sophomore Talor Tadena (Orangevale, Calif./Bella Vista), senior Ashley Miller (New Smyrna Beach, Fla./New Smyrna Beach), and sophomore Erika Ronning (Western Springs, Ill./Lyons Townships) set a new meet standard finishing in 3:24.87.

Coming in to the day with the lead, the Retrievers never looked threatened.  In the day's first event, the 1650 free, junior Amy Fay (Haverhill, Mass./Haverhill) placed third, while senior Pink Kinanti (Jakarta, Indonesia/The Bolles School (Fla.)) took sixth, junior Katie Powlen (Southborough, Mass./Algonquin Regional) finished ninth, and senior Ashley Sippel (Rockville, Md./Thomas Wootton) placed 12th to gain points for UMBC.

Then, in the 200 back, as McKenney set a record-setting pace, teammates Jennifer Kotonias (Burtonsville, Md./Academy of Holy Cross) and Kathryn Moorby (Cape May, N.J./Lower Cape May Regional) were not far behind, claiming silver and bronze, respectively.  Later in the day, Kotonias claimed top honors of her own in the 200 fly (2:01.58).

On the men's side freshman Rob Breen (Danvers, Mass./St. John's Prep) started the day gaining silver in the 1650 free with sophomores Reed Neuendorf (Blauvelt, N.Y./Tappan Zee) and Charlie Melesh (Annapolis, Md./Annapolis/Pfeiffer) claiming valuable points with finishes of fifth and sixth.

Sophomore Johan Rohtla (Tallinn, Estonia/Tallinn Secondary Science) picked up the Retrievers' first win of the day for the men, taking the win in the 200 back (1L48.38). 

Junior Pierre De Waal (Pretoria, South Africa/Tuks Sport/Cleveland State) continued his fast start with another win in the 200 fly (1:48.15), recording a meet record time in the process.  In addition, Mark Tracy (Chelmsford, Mass./Chelmsford) led a group of four UMBC winners to place four through seven in the event.

The Retrievers now have the remainder of the 2011 calendar year off from competition as they prepare to defend their conference titles come February.