CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The 400 free relay team of junior Mohamed Hussein(Cairo, Egypt/Victory College), sophomore Lauri Kaei (Harjumaa, Estonia/Tallinn Secondary Science), senior Pierre De Waal (Pretoria, South Africa/Tuks Sport/Cleveland State), and junior Evan Carey (Grand Island, N.Y./Grand Island) bested the field and the UMBC school record, as well as ECAC meet record, and achieved an NCAA "B" cut, Sunday evening at the ECAC Championships at Blodgett Pool at Harvard University.
The team raced into the record books with a time of 2:58.47, surpassing the previous UMBC mark of 3:00.48 set in 2002, and the meet record time of 3:00.71 achieved in 2009 by the Naval Academy. In addition, the Retriever team slipped under the NCAA "B" cut standard of 3:01.09.
"I'm so proud of this team and what we've been able to accomplish this season," said swimming and diving head coach Chad Cradock. "Breaking a long-time school record with such great athletes is amazing and we're looking forward to the next month of great swimming and our program taking a huge step forward."
Hussein led off for the group and set a new UMBC standard and achieved NCAA consideration with a 100 freestyle split of 43.86. His time surpasses that of UMBC Athletics Hall of Famer and former assistant coach Brad Green who recorded a time of 44.82 in 2004. This was the perfect ending to a record-breaking day and weekend for Hussein who was named the ECAC Male Swimmer of the Meet. After resetting his school record and inching closer to the NCAA meet for the 200 IM (1:44.60) on Friday, Hussein lowered his school-record and NCAA consideration time in the 200 back to 1:45.23 en route to winning the event.
Only two other Retrievers have ever made the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships with Jackie Wisnauskas qualifying in 1990 for the 200 fly and Lindsey Prather competing at the 2002 competition in the 200 breaststroke.
In addition, Hussein broke the UMBC school record in 50 free by touching the wall in 20.33 during a time trial. His mark beats out Olympian Mehdi Addadi's time of 20.35 set in 2002.
Senior Andrew Eckhoff (Chelmsford, Mass./Chelmsford) completed the sweep of the diving events by winning the 1-meter competition on Sunday. Already named the America East Diver of the Year two weeks ago, the senior captain added ECAC Diver of the Year to his recent haul.
De Waal also continued his push towards the national meet with a win in the 200 fly (1:47.49). The senior will now wait to see if his season-best time of 1:46.93 from the America East Championships will stand up to send him to Indianapolis.
In addition to anchoring the relay, Carey picked up a bronze medal in the 100 free event. After posting a career-best time of 45.44 in the prelims, Carey finished third in the finals by touching the wall at the 45.48 mark.
Senior Claire Barron (Lowestoft, England/Benjamin Britten/New Orleans) also earned a top finish for the Retrievers, taking fourth in the 200 breast.