2023 CAA Championships Day 4: UNCW Seahawk Men and Women Capture Conference Titles

by Robert Gibbs 14

February 26th, 2023 College, News, Previews & Recaps


The University of North Carolina – Wilmington Seahawks closed out the 2023 Colonial Athletic Association Championships by winning team titles on both the men’s and the women’s side with margins of victory over 260 points each. This was the second year in a row that the UNCW men won the title, having previously won 13 straight titles from 2002 to 2014. This was the Seahawks women’s fourth title overall, and their first since 2006, marking the first time that both squads have secured the team titles since Bobby Guntoro took over as head coach in 2020.

While the Seahawk women emerged victorious, the William & Mary women actually won more events on the final night of the meet. Katie Stevenson won the 100 free in 48.37, setting a new meet record, and tying the all-time CAA record. The meet record had previously been a 48.38, set by W&M’s Katie Radloff back in 2009, while JMU’s Bonnie Zhang set the all-time record in 2020.

W&M freshman Sophia Heilen competed the fly sweep with a 1:59.36 win tonight in the 200. Heilen went out hard, building a one-second lead at the halfway point, and while the field came back on her a bit over the final lap, she still touched two-tenths of a second of of the runner-up, Victoria Cunningham of UNCW.

The Tribe also earned a win thanks to fellow senior Annie Tuttle, who won the 200 breast in 2:13.45.

Delaware freshman Anna Verlander took the 200 back in 1:55.87, over a second ahead of the rest of the field, while teammate Julia Servas won the 1m diving with a score of 295.15.

UNCW’s Brooke Knisely won her second event of the meet after winning the 500 free on Thursday. Kinsely was over four seconds ahead of the field after the first 200 yards, and she never relented, ultimately winning by over 15 seconds with a time of 16:21.80.

Delaware, W&M, and UNCW wrapped up the competition with a great battle in the 400 free relay, as all three teams cleared the previous meet (3:20.45) and CAA records (3:20.37).

Delaware ultimately won in 3:18.95 getting a 48.61 leadoff from Mira Selling, followed by Anthi Lyra (50.06), Natalie Dobrzykowski (50.56), and Erin Shema (49.72).

W&M took 2nd in 3:19.41 thanks to a 48.46 leadoff from individual 100 free champion Katie Stevenson. UNCW, which had set the overall conference record back in November, took 3rd in 3:19.54.

Women’s Award Winners

  • Most Outstanding Women’s Swimmer of the Meet: Mira Selling, Delaware
  • Most Outstanding Women’s Diver of the Meet: Courtney Klausen, UNCW
  • CAA Women’s Swimming Coach of the Year: Bobby Guntoro, UNCW
  • CAA Women’s Diving Coach of the Year: Lauren Colby, Northeastern

On the men’s side, UNCW picked up a total of three wins on the final day of competition.

Seahawk Sam O’Brien, who took down the meet and conference records in the 500 free Thursday, couldn’t quite repeat the feat in the 1650, but he still won by over 16 seconds with a time of 15:08.90. Later in the day, O’Brien took 2nd in the 200 back with a time of 1:44.20.

UNCW’s Jacob Duracinsky won his second individual title this week with a 43.37 in the 100 free. Duracinsky won the 200 free last night, and took 3rd in the 200 IM on Wednesday. Drexel freshman Sebastian Smith took 2nd in 43.67, followed by 50 free champ Michael Fazio of Towson at 43.81.

Delaware sophomore Gavin Currie took down the meet and all-time conference records in the 200 back tonight. His time of 1:42.35 was over a second and a half faster than the previous CAA marks of 1:43.88, set by Jason Arthur of Drexel in 2020.

While Brian Benzing and Toni Sabev dominated the shorter breaststrokes this week, it was Drexel sophomore Kacper Karnik who won the 200 tonight with a time of 1:57.37. Karnik also owns the meet record, with a 1:54.69 from last year. Another Drexel sophomore, Kuba Kwasny, added a win with a 1:44.54 in the 200 fly.

Just as on the women’s side, the night wrapped up with multiple teams clipping the meet and CAA records in the 400 free relay as UNCW touched ahead of Towson.

Duracinsky led off for the Seahawks with a 43.35, slightly faster than his individual time from earlier in the night. E’Likai Crompton-English split 43.38 on the 2nd leg, Henderson Louviere went under 43 with a 42.88 split, and Kenneth Lowe anchored in 43.12, good for a total time of 2:52.73.

Towson also cleared the previous meet and CAA record time of 2:54.07, as Fazio split 42.69, the fastest split of the night, to help the Tigers to a 2:53.68.

Men’s Award Winners

  • Most Outstanding Men’s Swimmer of the Meet: Brian Benzing, Towson
  • Most Outstanding Men’s Diver of the Meet: Ethan Badrian, UNCW
  • CAA Men’s Swimming Coaches of the Year: Anthony Bruno, Towson; Bobby Guntoro, UNCW; Pablo Marmolejo, Delaware
  • CAA Men’s Diving Coaches of the Year: Ryan Hunt, Delaware and George Greenleaf, UNCW

Final Scores


  1. UNCW – 803
  2. W&M – 534.5
  3. Northeastern – 527.5
  4. Delaware – 520
  5. Towson – 460
  6. Drexel – 335
  7. Monmouth – 177
  8. Stony Brook – 148


  1. UNCW – 890
  2. Delaware – 606
  3. Towson – 577.5
  4. Drexel – 507.5
  5. W&M – 424.5
  6. Monmouth – 241.5

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3 months ago

CAA beef is back on the menu I see. Let’s get the college swimming message board discourse rolling!

Reply to  Scoobysnak
3 months ago

I miss the boards, the true roasting ground of the CAA. I’ll never forgive collegeswimming for taking them away, although it might have been our fault

Reply to  Bah
3 months ago

The fact that the CAA board had hundreds more posts than any other conference was both a thing of beauty and toxicity

Reply to  Scoobysnak
3 months ago

No one was safe, didn’t matter if you were the best in the conference or barely on the roster….Maybe this is why people don’t like me

Old CAA fan
Reply to  Scoobysnak
3 months ago

Oh yes. The good ol days.

Robert Gibbs
Reply to  Scoobysnak
3 months ago

I’m here for it. I hadn’t thought about that message board in a while, but it came to mind as I was writing the recaps this week.

3 months ago

The new DYNASTY is here for UNCW. There is no ceiling for the team and culture Guntoro has created at UNCW. After Jason Memont drove the program into the ground it is amazing to see the Dave Allen mentality come back to Wilmington.

Reply to  FortyTwo
3 months ago

All these downvotes must be Memont collaborators or salty Tigers and Blue Hens

Old CAA fan
3 months ago

How could it be 3 way tie for men’s coach of the year? Guntoro and staff clearly out performed the whole league at this meet. I understand Benzing and Sabev were spectacular, but this award should go to a head coach who manages his or her team best to win it all.

Reply to  Old CAA fan
3 months ago

Obviously Towson and Delaware, although 300 points lower, performed just as well as UNCW. Shame WM didn’t get it on the womens side, they got cut and they were also within 300 points, although I believe NE was last in 2022 so maybe they should have also gotten it.

Reply to  Observing
3 months ago

Towson and Delaware obviously did not perform nearly as well as UNCW or they wouldn’t have been 300 POINTS LOWER. But who cares real ones know the only thing that matters is rings and UNCW has a lot coming in the near future.

Large Purple Dinosaur
Reply to  Old CAA fan
3 months ago

I mean, it’s a vote of your peers, right?

So I mean.

I don’t know.

I guesssss.

Their peers.

NVM I’m not gonna read between the lines.

Small green vegetables
Reply to  Large Purple Dinosaur
3 months ago


Reply to  Old CAA fan
3 months ago

If you don’t understand why/how, the winners are determined by all the coaches voting anonymously for who they think should win.
So you would have voted for Guntoro, but other people may have felt other coaches were also deserving to be recognized for their coaching.
Winning the trophy and the ring is the award for most points scored by a team. Coach of the year is a subjective award based in more than just a team winning and points scored or as you put it “managing” the team best to win it all. And the coaches vote

A new coach with a smaller squad that has best times with significant drops compared could be considered better coached than… Read more »

About Robert Gibbs