2024 CAA Championships Day 2: Towson’s Brian Benzing Continues to Smash Records

2024 CAA CHAMPIONSHIPS

  • Wednesday, February 28 – Saturday, March 2, 2024
  • Hampton Aquaplex, Hampton, VA
  • Defending Champions:
    • Women: UNCW (1x)
    • Men: UNCW (2x)
  • Teams: Campbell (W), Delaware, Drexel, Monmouth, Northeastern (W), Stony Brook (W), Towson, UNCW, William & Mary
  • Championship Central
  • Psych Sheets
  • Live Results
  • Live Video

The second day of the 2024 CAA Championships saw the UNCW men extend their lead over the field, while the Delaware women opened up a small lead over UNCW.

But the big story of the day, once again, has to be Towson’s Brian Benzing. Last night, he broke the CAA record in the 200 free (leading off the 800 free relay) and followed that with a scorching 22.5 breaststroke split on the medley relay.

Tonight, he set yet another CAA record and had another big relay split. First, he broke his own conference and meet records with a 1:43.13 in the 200 IM. Last year, Benzing set the meet record at 1:44.41 and the overall record at 1:43.66, with the latter time coming at the NCAA championships.

Later this evening, Benzing split 50.97 on Towson’s 400 medley relay, helping the Tigers to a second place finish in what was a tightly-contested race.

Delaware won that event in 3:09.19 with a balanced attack. The Blue Hens didn’t have the fastest leg in any of the four disciplines, but had the second-fastest in three of the four. They used the same lineup as they did last night en route to winning the 200 medley relay. Gavin Currie led off in 47.36, then Toni Sabev split 52.02 on breast to put them in the lead. Simeon Sabev clocked a 46.33 fly leg, and Matvei Namakonov hung on with a 43.48 anchor.

Towson touched 2nd in 3:09.28, while Drexel took 3rd in 3:09.37, thanks to Kuba Kwasny and Sebastian Smith splitting 46.11 and 42.30 on fly and free, the swiftest splits in the field.

Prior to that fast anchor leg, Smith, a sophomore, won the 50 free in 19.57. William & Mary’s Aiden Bond, a freshman, took 2nd in 19.79, setting up what could be a lot of battles between the two sprinters over the next two years.

Yet another freshman, William Carrico of UNCW, won the 500 free in an incredibly close race. His teammate Aidan Duffy led at the halfway point, but Delaware’s Kaloy Levterov took over the lead by the 350, only to get run down by Carrico over the last 100. It came down to the touch, with Carrico just getting his hand on the wall first, 4:21.66 to 4:21.69.

On the women’s side, Delaware’s Lauren Hartel got the evening started with a 4:47.52 win in the 500 free. That’s a new lifetime best by nearly two seconds for Hartel, who transferred to Delaware from Ohio University during the offseason. With this win plus her 1:47 leadoff on last night’s 800 free relay, Hartel seems to be in the driver’s seat for the individual 200 free tomorrow.

In addition to Hartel’s win, Delaware racked up the points in the 3m diving event, where they had 3 women in the championship final, and 7 scorers overall, and they now hold a 12 point lead over UNCW heading into tomorrow.

William & Mary was the only school to win two events tonight. First, Ellie Scherer won the 200 IM in 1:58.96, her first time under 2 minutes. Next, W&M won the 400 medley relay for the seance year in a row. Kat Vanbourgondien led off in 54.45 to give the Tribe the lead early on, and they never relinquished it. Schrerer split 1:00.38, again the fastest split in the field, Lindsay Juhlin split 53.09 on fly, and Caroline Burgeson anchored in 49.70, stopping the clock in 3:37.62.

Northeastern took 2nd in 3:39.94 as Jamie Koo had the fastest fly split of the night with a 53.03. Drexel’s Chelsea Gravereaux had the fastest anchor leg of the night by over a second with a swift 48.17.

Team Scores Through Day 2

Women 

  1. Delaware – 484.5
  2. UNCW –472.5
  3. Northeastern – 412
  4. William & Mary – 408
  5. Towson – 350
  6. Drexel – 228
  7. Campbell – 176
  8. Monmouth – 138
  9. Stony Brook – 135

Men

  1. UNCW – 304.5
  2. Delaware – 239.5
  3. Towson – 228
  4. Drexel – 172.5
  5. William & Mary – 137.5
  6. Monmouth – 93

4
Leave a Reply

Subscribe
Notify of

4 Comments
newest
oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
CAASuperFan
1 month ago

What’s in that Towson water??? Kids a Haus

Dalaeb Cressell
1 month ago

Very impressed with Drexel men and Delaware women

BigBen
1 month ago

The article says Sebastian Smith is still a freshman, but Drexel website lists him as sophomore. Obviously he swam last year’s CAA championship meet.

About Robert Gibbs