|Swimming/Diving Preview: CAA Champs|
WILMINGTON, North Carolina – UNCW heads to College Park, Md., this week where the men look to extend their Colonial Athletic Association championship string and the women hope to join them on the winner’s podium for the first time since 2006.
The Seahawks have won the last 12 CAA men’s titles and the women have three titles to their credit since 1998.
Last season the men edged William & Mary, 674.5-633.5 and were fueled by winning four of five relay events. Valtteri Halonen keyed that title effort, leading the Seahawks with 53 points while Michael Baric added 47, to round out UNCW’s returning top-10 point scorers.
The Seahawks finished four behind champion Towson, James Madison and William & Mary.
Halonen enters the meet as the top-ranked swimmer in the 100 Butterfly with a time of 49.39. He’s also third in the 50 Freestyle. In his stronger events, he’s second in the 100 Backstroke and fourth in the 200 Back, where he set the CAA championships record with a time of 1:44.49 last year.
The men’s 200 Freestyle relay owns the league’s top-time and will be the top-seed in the event.
In diving, freshman Allen Crosby looks to give UNCW valuable points as he is the top diver in the 1-meter and second in the 3-meter board.
Senior Gabe Thran will represent the Teal and Blue in the freestyle sprints, ranking second in the 200, third in the 100 and fourth in the 50.
Stephenson, a junior, is third in the conference in the 100 Backstroke and 11th in the 200. She finished in the 100 Back last season.
Engen, a sophomore, is third in the 100 Breaststroke and fourth in the 200.She placed fifth and scored in both events as a freshman.
Live results and video are available for the four-day event which opens on Feb. 26 with the diving preliminaries at noon. Links are at the top of this page.
The championship will be held on the campus of the University of Maryland at the Eppley Recreation Center.