2024 CAA Champs Day 1: UNCW Leads as Delaware Men and Brian Benzing Set Records


  • 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 newly-rebranded Coastal Athletic Association Championships got underway today in Hampton, VA, and the for second year in a row, the Delaware men set a new conference record to kick off the meet.

That record came in the 200 medley relay, where Delaware shaved 0.36s off of their record from last season.

UNCW actually was in the lead early on, thanks to a 21.70 leadoff from Will Goldey, with Delaware just slightly behind after a 21.75 from Gavin Currie. Delaware took over on Toni Sabev‘s 22.94 split, although Brian Benzing put Towson into contention with a 22.55. That’s the second year in a row that those two men have split sub-23 on the breaststroke legs here, although both were faster last year than tonight.

Simeon Sabev widened the Blue Hens’ lead with a 20.72 fly split, the fastest in the field, and Matvei Namakonov anchored in 19.15. Delaware’s relay consisted of the same four swimmers as last year, and the improvement from last year’s mark came entirely on the back half.

Delaware Comparative Splits

2024 2023
Gavin Currie (Back) 21.75 21.49
Toni Sabev (Bresast) 22.94 22.63
Simeon Sabev (Fly) 20.72 21.19
Matvei Namakonov  (Free) 19.15 19.61
Total 1:24.56 1:24.92

Notably, freshman Sebastien Smith of Drexel had the fastest anchor leg in the field with an 18.79 to propel Drexel to a 2nd place finish at 1:25.25.

Towson won the men’s 800 free relay in 6:24.96, about half a second ahead of UNCW. The difference for Towson was their leadoff leg, where Brian Benzing of breaststroke fame clocked a 1:34.55 to set the CAA record in the individual 200 free. Benzing’s mark clipped the 1:35.04 that William & Mary’s Colin Wright swam in 2020. Wright had a great meet that year, and was in line to become W&M’s first male swimmer to qualify for the NCAA Championship in nearly 60 years before the meet was canceled to the then-burgeon pandemic.

Tonight, the Tigers quartet of Benzing, Stephen McDonald (1:36.15), Sean Colson (1:37.39), and Luke Schwar (1:36.87) led from beginning to end and came within a second of the CAA record of 6:23.97 set by UNCW last year.

The defending champion Seahawks didn’t win a swimming event tonight, but they went 1-2 in the 1m diving, with Nicholas Lewis (319.20) and Ethan Badrian (313.50) hauling in the points. Heading into day 2, the Seahawks now lead Delaware by three points.

On the women’s side, UNCW opened up the meet by coming within 0.36s of the CAA record in the 200 medley relay. Quinn Bike led off in 25.39 to put the Seahawks in the lead from the get-go. Gil Shaw (27.48), Cameron Snow (23.45), and Emily Waite (22.57) maintained the lead the rest of the way to touch in 1:38.89.

W&M took 2nd in 1:39.32, thanks to a 27.45 breast leg from Ellie Scherer (the fastest of the night) and a 22.15 anchor leg from Caroline Burgeson. Northeastern finished 3rd in 1:40.21, highlighted by Jamie Koo splitting the fastest fly leg in the field with a 23.12.

The Delaware women repeated as champions in the  800 free despite only having one leg returning from last year. Lauren Hartel led off in 1:47.79 to give the Blue Hens the lead, and they never let it go. Anthi Lyra split 1:49.10, Olivia Willimsen split 1:49.80, and Erin Shema, the only member of this quartet to be part of last year’s winning relay, anchored in 1:48.71. Delaware won in 7:15.40, nearly 4.5s ahead of UNCW (7:19.86)

After the first (albeit abbreviated) day of competition, UNCW leads the team scores on both the men’s and the women’s side, as the Seahawks look to repeat as double conference champions.

Scores Through Day 1


  1. UNCW – 120
  2. Delaware – 112
  3. Northeastern – 108
  4. William & Mary – 106
  5. Towson – 102
  6. Drexel – 100
  7. Campbell – 92
  8. Monmouth – 88
  9. Stony Brook – 90


  1. UNCW – 114
  2. Delaware – 111
  3. Towson – 98
  4. Drexel – 89
  5. William & Mary – 56
  6. Monmouth – 52

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Comfy Pants
1 month ago

Frustrating to subscribe to ESPN+ for college swimming only to have this meet on FloSwimming, $30 a month or $150 for the year. Boo.

Reply to  Comfy Pants
1 month ago

That’s how you know the conference is in poor shape, flosports is an awful service

Long Strokes
1 month ago

Delaware is performing so much better under Coach Pablo compared to former Coach Hayman. Coach Hayman had that team on cruise control for years.

1 month ago

Think you switched Delaware and Towson men scores

1 month ago

Benzing’s 50 breast is gross

James Beam
Reply to  Andrew
1 month ago

Gonna fit right in with IU next year for his 5th year.

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