Swimming and Diving Takes All Four Weekly Conference Awards for Second Time in Three Weeks

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The UMBC swimming and diving team swept all four of the America East Performer of the Week awards for the second time in three weeks, the conference office announced on Tuesday afternoon.  SophomoreLauri Kaei (Harjumaa, Estonia/Tallinn Secondary Science) and senior Claire Barron (Lowestoft, England/Benjamin Britten/New Orleans) took home the swimming awards while senior Andrew Eckhoff (Chelmsford, Mass./Chelmsford) and sophomore Katie Bean (Mechanicsville, Va./Atlee) earned the diving honors.

Kaei claims his first Male Swimmer of the Week award this season, and second of his career, after earning a total of four wins against East Carolina as the Retriever men completed a perfect 7-0 dual meet season.  Kaei opened his day by leading off for the victorious 200 medley relay team, and bookended it by starting the 400 free relay team on its way to a win.  In the middle, Kaei stemmed the Pirates' rally twice by taking top honors in the 100 back (52.31) and the 100 fly (51.91). 

Senior Andrew Eckhoff

Barron was named the Female Swimmer of the Week for the second time in three weeks after picking up another individual event win and aiding both relay teams to victories.  She started off the meet by swimming the second leg of the 200 medley relay team which set a pool record with a time of 1:06.22.  She then won the 100 breaststroke (1:06.22) and took second in the 200 breaststroke (2:24.40), finishing both in season-best times.   Barron then capped her day by helping the 400 free relay quartet claim victory.

On the boards, Bean claims her third Female Diver of the Week award following a victory in the 1-meter competition versus ECU.  The sophomore, who has already qualified for the NCAA Zones meet to be held at Virginia Tech in March, scored 248.10 to best the field on Saturday.  She also finished second in the 3-meter event by scoring 264.53, her second-highest total of the season in the event.

Sophomore Lauri Kaei

Despite not winning an event against ECU, Eckhoff earns the Diver of the Week award for a career-best seventh time this season.  Last year, prior to winning the America East Most Outstanding Male Diver Award at the conference meet, Eckhoff earned six weekly accolades.  This past weekend against the Pirates, the senior captain placed second in both events.  In the 3-meter competition, Eckhoff recorded a score of 342.45, his second-highest mark of the season.  On the 1-meter board, he surpassed the 300-point plateau for the fifth time this season by scoring 302.92.

The Retrievers have now won 21 total weekly awards this season, with Eckhoff's seven leading the team.  Junior Mohamed Hussein (Cairo, Egypt/Victory College) is next with four honors with senior Pierre De Waal (Pretoria, South Africa/Tuks Sport/Cleveland State) and freshman Corinna Darelius (Rye, N.Y./Rye) following with three and two awards, respectively.

UMBC completed its dual meet season last Saturday against East Carolina and now has the next two weeks off from competition before heading to the America East Conference Championships.  The conference meet will be hosted by the University of Maine and will begin on Thursday, Feb. 14.