Men and Women Both Claim Second at 2012 America East Swimming and Diving Championships

Abbey McKenney won the Coaches Award for earning 215 points in her career
Abbey McKenney won the Coaches Award for earning 215 points in her career

Full Results

BOSTON – Both the men's and women's UMBC swimming and diving teams placed second at the 2012 America East Swimming and Diving Championships held at Boston University's Aquatics Center on Sunday.

Boston University claimed both titles, with the Terrier men garnering 896.5 points, while the women took top honors with 741 points.

In the men's standings, the Retrievers placed second (842.5), followed by Binghamton (604), Stony Brook (360) and Maine (316).

In a more crowded women's field, Boston U. just edged UMBC (704) and New Hampshire (649).  Vermont (366), Stony Brook (331), Maine (307.5) and Binghamton (285) rounded out the standings.

Despite not winning the overall meet, UMBC took home numerous individual awards.  Junior Mohamed Hussein (Cairo, Egypt/Victory College) was named the Most Outstanding Male Swimmer after claiming three individual gold medals, including the 200 back on Sunday, in a pool and UMBC record time of 1:46.70, just beating out teammate Johan Rohtla (Tallinn, Estonia/Tallinn Secondary Science).  Junior Sandy Haibel (Rockville, Md./Richard Montgomery) finished sixth in a time of 1:51.82.

After sweeping the two diving competitions, junior Andrew Eckhoff (Chelmsford, Mass./Chelmsford) was named the Most Outstanding Male Diver.  Eckhoff claimed the 1-meter event on Thursday with a score of 272.55, before picking up the 3-meter win on Saturday with a score of 323.75.

For the women, senior Abbey McKenney (Wilmington, Del./Brandywine) was awarded the Female Coaches Award, after earning 215 points in her four-year Retriever career.  At the 2012 Championships, McKenney took home a total of six gold medals for UMBC.  On Championships Sunday, McKenney finished her career with two more wins, claiming top honors in the 100 free (50.48) and then anchoring the 400 free relay to a win in the final women's event of the meet.  Sophomore Erika Ronning (Western Springs, Ill./Lyons Township) finished just behind McKenney, claiming silver, while leading off for the victorious relay.

In the men's 100 free, freshman Lauri Kaei (Harjumaa, Estonia/Tallinn Secondary Science) picked up a bronze medal with a time of 45.49.

Junior John Mendenhall (Cherry Hill, N.J./Cherry Hill East) pulled off one of the most impressive wins of the day, coming from behind in the final 25 yards to claim the 200 breaststroke title in a time of 2:02.24.  Junior Steve Gallagher (Sinking Spring, Pa./Wilson) picked up a bronze in the event, finishing in 2:03.89.

Sophomore Charlie Melesh (Annapolis, Md./Annapolis/Pfeiffer) claimed a silver in the 1,650 free with a time of 15:49.12.  Junior Alex Moothart (Hopkinton, Mass./Hopkinton) took fifth, freshman Rob Breen (Danvers, Mass./St. John's Prep) placed eighth and senior Mark Garbowski (Cherry Hill, N.J./Cherry Hill West) finished 12th.

In the women's 200 breaststroke, junior Claire Barron (Lowestoft, England/Benjamin Britten/New Orleans) and freshman Rebecca Pindral (Tampa, Fla./Wiregrass Ranch) finished fourth and fifth, respectively, in personal-best times.

Junior Pierre De Waal (Pretoria, South Africa/Tuks Sport/Cleveland State) added to his impressive medal haul, claiming his third gold medal of the championships with a win in the 200 fly with a meet, pool and school record time of 1:46.68.  Haibel finished third in the event to claim bronze with a time of 1:50.59.

Jennifer Kotonias (Burtonsville, Md./Academy of Holy Cross) picked up a silver medal in the 200 fly while recording the second fastest time in UMBC history, touching the wall in 2:00.50.  Junior Tara Morrissette (Somersworth, N.H./St. Thomas Aquinas) and senior Laura Tilman (Miami, Fla./Ransom Evergaldes) placed fourth and sixth for the Retrievers.

In the women's 1-meter diving event, freshman Katie Bean (Mechanicville, Va./Atlee) won her first career medal, a bronze, with a score of 228.15.

The Retriever women finished the four day meet with a win in the 400 free relay.  The team of Ronning, senior Ashley Miller (New Smyrna Beach, Fla./New Smyrna Beach), freshman Mariana Alvarado Gorda (Colonia Viveros, Mexico/Universidad Valle de Mexico) and McKenney outswam the field by a full second, finishing in 3:25.42.