2023 CAA Championship Preview: UNCW Men Seek Repeat, Tribe Women Set To Battle Seahawks

2023 CAA Championships

Courtesy: Rob Washburn/CAA Sports

RICHMOND, Va. (February 21, 2023) – The CAA Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships get underway on Wednesday with two new teams – Monmouth and Stony Brook – and a new venue – Hampton Aquaplex in Hampton, Va. – for 2023. The four-day event begins on Wednesday, February 22 and concludes on Saturday, February 25, as eight women’s teams and six men’s squads battle for conference titles.

All-session tickets will be on sale at the door for $95. Individual sessions are $15 for adults and $7 for youth. Please note that cash will NOT be accepted for any onsite ticket or merchandise sales, so we ask that you plan accordingly.

Full coverage of the CAA Swimming and Diving Championships will be streamed live on FloSports (FloSports.tv/CAA).

Women’s Championship

William & Mary captured last year’s championship, which was its fourth overall and first since 2016. While the Tribe lost several key performers from that squad, they added talented freshman Sophia Heiman, who set a CAA all-time record in the 100 fly (53.03) earlier this season and also has the top time in the 200 fly by more than four seconds. Senior Katie Stevenson, who captured the 100 freestyle in 2022, has the league’s fastest times in the 100 and 200 free this season. Annie Tuttle will go for a third straight title in the 200 breast.

UNCW placed second in 2022 and has its sights set on winning its first CAA championship since 2006. Brooke Kniseley returns to defend her titles in the 500 free and 1650 free. Sarah Olson has the league’s fastest time in the 50 free and Katie Knorr will attempt to go back-to-back in the 400 IM. The Seahawks also feature senior diver Courtney Klausen, who is a two-time CAA Diver of the Year after winning the 1-meter competition in 2021 and 2022 and claiming the 3-meter competition last season.

Towson has won seven CAA women’s championships, with the most recent one coming in 2015, and posted a third-place effort last season. The Tigers are led by junior Tiffany Matulis, who has the third-best time in the 100 breast, freshman Ally Frame, who is third in the 100 and 200 back, and sophomore Bridget Thomas, who is third in the 1650 free.

Drexel finished fourth in 2022 and has a chance to better that effort this year. Federica Nocera is the defending champ in the 200 back. Chelsea Gravereaux has the second-best time in the 100 free and third-best in the 50 free, while Megan Sicinski ranks third in the 200 breast.

Delaware features talented senior Mira Selling, who was honored as the Most Outstanding Swimmer of the Meet in 2022 after winning the 200 free, 200 fly and 200 IM. Mania Tasakou has the league’s fastest time in the 100 breast, while Jenna Leonard is fastest in the 200 breast. Erin Shema has the CAA’s second-best time in the 200 IM and 100 back.

Northeastern returns junior Jamie Koo, who is the defending champ in the 100 fly and also has the second-fastest time in the 50 free. Freshman Anna Verlander should make an impact with the CAA’s best times in the 100 back and 200 back. The Huskies also return sophomore diver Kiki Murphy, who has impressive scores on the 1 and 3-meter boards this season.

Monmouth makes its first appearance at the CAA championship after placing fourth in the MAAC in 2022. Camryn McHugh is ranked in the top 10 in the 100 and 200 back.

Stony Brook also makes its inaugural CAA championship appearance following a sixth-place finish at the ECAC Championships last year. Mary Kate Conway will battle in the 200 free and 200 fly, while Sara DiStefano could contend for diving medals.

Men’s Championship

UNCW is the defending men’s champion, winning its first CAA title since a run 13 straight crowns from 2002-14. Many of the Seahawks’ top performers are back, including Sam O’Brien, who is the reigning champ in the 500 free and 1650 free. Henderson Louviere was the Co-Outstanding Swimmer of the Meet after capturing the 100 fly and 200 IM, and Aidan Duffy claimed the 400 IM. Jacob Duracinsky is a threat in several freestyle races. The Seahawks should also be strong in diving with Nic Newis, who swept the 1 and 3-meter boards last year, and talented freshman Ethan Badrian.

Delaware recorded a best-ever second-place finish in 2022 and hopes to maintain the momentum. Gavin Currie is the defending champion in the 200 back and should challenge for a title in the 100 back and 500 free. Toni Sabev owns the conference’s top time in the 100 breast, Jack Hattery has the top effort in the 200 fly and Andrew Taylor has been fastest in the 1650 free. Freshman Kevin Siegfried will be a strong contender in both diving events.

Towson captured its first CAA men’s championship in 2021 and placed third last season. The Tigers are led by two-time CAA Men’s Swimmer of the Year Brian Benzing, He will be looking for a third straight title in the 100 breast and is also expected to contend in the 200 IM, 100 fly and 200 breast. Michael Fazio is the reigning champion in the 50 free and he won the 100 free in 2021.

Drexel has finished in the top three at the championship for six of the past seven years. Kacper Karnik was named Co-Outstanding Swimmer of the Meet in 2022 after a record-setting effort in the 200 breast and he will also battle in the 100 breast. Alessio Gianni is the defending champ in the 200 free and has the top time in the 400 IM. Freshman Sebastian Smith could challenge in the 50 free, 100 free and 100 fly.

William & Mary claimed six straight conference championships from 2015-20, but slipped to fifth a year ago. Kyle Demers has the sixth-best time in the 100 breast and Noah Fields ranks fifth in the 200 fly and sixth in the 400 IM, and Bryce Rouzie is sixth in the 200 back.

Monmouth competes in the CAA championship for the first time after finishing fifth in the MAAC in 2022. The Hawks are led by Callan Smith, who was named the Most Outstanding Swimmer at last year’s MAAC Championship. Smith has the league’s top time in the 100 back and is fourth in the 200 back. Cole Dyson should contend in the 200 free and 1650 free and Blake Reynolds has the fifth-best time in the 50 free.

To stay up to date with what is happening at the Swimming and Diving Championships be sure to follow the CAA on Twitter (@CAASports), Instagram (@caasports) and join the conversation using the hashtag #CAAChamps. For live results, recaps, and more, visit CAASports.com/SD.

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3 months ago

Uhhhh did the 2nd and 4th fastest 50 breast splits ever just casually get dropped at CAAs?

Last edited 3 months ago by Scoobysnak
3 months ago

Apparently this is the meet to watch, 22.5 and 22.6 breaststroke splits??

Reply to  Observing
3 months ago

What about that 20.1 fly split from UNCW

3 months ago

The atmosphere and culture being built by Bobby Guntoro at UNCW is unmatched among mid majors. I expect them to only keep going up from here.

3 months ago

Does it look like anyone will challenge UNCW on the mens side, or are they going to go on another streak like they did with David Allen?