BOSTON, MASS. – UMBC men's swimming and diving team took first and second in the 1-meter diving competition to give the Retrievers' the lead with 111 points after day one at the 2012 America East Swimming and Diving Championships. The women are tied for the lead with Boston University. Both teams earned 74 points on the first day of competition.
In the men's competition, Stony Brook is second with 89 points, Maine sits at third with 71 points, and Boston University and Binghamton round out the standings with 62 points and 61 points, respectively.
With UMBC and Boston University tied atop the women's standings, New Hampshire claims third at 64 points, while Vermont, Stony Brook, Maine and Binghamton stand third through seventh and are separated by only ten points.
Junior Andrew Eckhoff (Chelmsford, Mass./Chelmsford) led the way for the Retrievers in the meet's first event, taking the gold in the day's lone diving competition scoring 272.55 points, with freshman Pak Lam Wong (Hang Kong/Kowloon Technical School) claiming the silver with 250.10 points. Junior Enrique Labourdeth (Rochester, Mich./Stoney Creek) and classmate Steve Hart (Westborough, Mass./Westborough) placed sixth and eighth, respectively, to give UMBC four divers in the top eight.
The UMBC men also claimed gold in 200 medley relay to help build their day one lead. The foursome of Lauri Kaei (Harjumaa, Estonia/Tallinn Seconday Science), Steve Gallagher (Sinking Spring, Pa./Wilson), Sandy Haibel (Rockville, Md./Richard Montgomery) and Reijo Hyvenen (Vantaa, Finland/Makelanrinteen Lukio/LSU) picked up the win for the Retrievers in the day's final event with a time of 1:30.58.
On the women's side, UMBC and Boston University each won one of the relays to sit tied for first at the conclusion of the opening day. In the 800 free relay, the Terriers just beat out the team of Jennifer Kotonias (Burtonsville, Md./Academy of Holy Cross), Ashley Miller (New Smyrna Beach, Fla./New Smyrna Beach), Erika Ronning (Western Springs, Ill./Lyons Township) and Abbey McKenney (Wilmington, Del./Brandywine) for the win. The Retrievers did not have to wait long to exact revenge, however, besting Boston U. in the 200 medley relay.
Klara Pavelkova (Prague, Czech Republic/Gymnasium Pripotocni), Claire Barron (Lowestoft, England/Benjamin Britten/New Orleans) and Laura Tilman (Miami, Fla./Ransom Evergaldes) swam neck and neck with their BU counterparts in the first three legs, setting up Ronning to bring home the win for UMBC in a time of 1:43.83.
The Retrievers return to the Boston University Aquatics Center tomorrow for Day Two of the four-day championship meet. The two hour morning prelims session begins at 10 a.m., while the event finals will be held at 6 p.m.