JMU, Navy Split ECAC Championships Titles


James Madison University won its fifth consecutive women’s ECAC title, while Navy won its 12th men’s title in 13 years over the weekend.

JMU won by a sizable 52.5 points against 2nd-place Navy, but on the men’s side, Navy absolutely dominated, beating 2nd-place Bucknell by 377 points.

JMU’s Dane Pederson and Navy’s Bill Roberts won the Coach of the Year awards on the women’s and men’s sides. Jess Pryne of JMU won the the Women’s Swimmer of the Meet award for winning the 200 IM, 400 IM, and for swimming as part of the winning 800 free relay. Pryne was the first JMU swimmer to win the honor since Bonnie Zhang in 2019.

Columbia’s Caleb Apodaca won the Men’s Swimmer of the Meet award for winning the 400 IM and 200 fly.

Women’s Recap

JMU sprinted to an early lead on Day 3, taking 2nd and 3rd in the 1650. It was Penn’s Anna Kalandadze, however, that obliterated the ECAC record and won the event in 16:07.13. She defeated Haley Edwards’ record from 2012, which stood at 16:17.93.

Kalandadze’s time is now the 19th-fastest in the NCAA this year. Kalandadze’s seed time was 16:31.12, which would have ranked her No. 85 in the NCAA. With 36-40 swimmers typically chosen for the NCAA Championship meet, her time on Saturday should qualify her for the NCAA Championships.

Kalandadze transferred to Penn from Cal during the 2019-2020 season. The 2020-21 season was canceled for Penn, so this was Kalandadze’s first chance to compete at the conference championships.

JMU also won the last relay of the meet, swimming a 3:22.59 400 free relay. The team consisted of Jordyn Schnell (51.18), Cameron Gring (51.10), Grace Bousum (50.75), and Karen Siddoway (49.56). Heading into the final 100, JMU was leading by just .55 ahead of Navy, but Siddoway managed to extend the lead to almost two seconds.

Other event winners:

  • Madison Cottrell, 200 back: 1:58.50. JMU’s Cottrell won her third event of the weekend in the 200 back, after the 100 fly and 100 back. In the 100 fly, Cottrell broke the school record.
  • Maddie Hartigan, 100 free: 50.31. Bucknell’s Hartigan defeated JMU’s Karen Siddoway by .12. Hartigan also won the event in 2020, and this event marked her last of her collegiate career.
  • Anna Boeckman, 200 breast: 2:14.75. The Penn swimmer won by .06.
  • Karen Liu, 200 fly: 1:59.61. The Columbia swimmer continued the trend of ridiculously close races, winning against Pryne by just .05.

Team Scores:

  1. James Madison University: 695 
  2. U.S. Naval Academy: 642.5
  3. University of Pennsylvania: 462
  4. Bucknell University: 264.5
  5. University of Richmond: 250
  6. Stony Brook University: 243
  7. Columbia University: 216
  8. Loyola University: 203
  9. Marist College Swimming/Diving: 197
  10. Vermont: 175
  11. Yale University: 140
  12. Frostburg State University: 53
  13. Manhattan College: 52
  14. Virginia Military Institute: 32
  15. George Mason University: 20
  16. Cabrini University: 13
  17. Fairleigh Dickinson University: 10
  18. American University: 6

=19 Catawba College: 3

=19 Rider University: 3

Men’s Recap

Two men broke ECAC records during the final day of the championships, and the Navy men defeated the 400 free relay record.

Marist’s Ahmed Sallam won the 100 free in 44.29. He defeated the previous ECAC record of 44.40, set back in 2009. Coincidentally, 2nd-place Lucas Racevicius tied the record during the 2022 championships.

Sallam is a member of the Egypt National Team. In the previous days of the championships, Sallam was part of the school record-breaking 200 free relay and he broke the school record in the 100 back. He also swam as part of the school-record breaking 400 free relay the same day as the 100 free.

The second record was broken by Evan Zhang, who won the 200 breast for Army and set a new record with his time of 1:55.98. Zhang broke Lovro Bilonic’s 2013 record of 1:56.08. Zhang was followed by teammate Evan Yoo, who finished in a close second: 1:56.09.

Finally, the Navy team broke the third men’s ECAC record with their time of 2:57.02, defeating Columbia’s 2020 record of 2:58.09. The Navy team consisted of Natanas Gaver (44.64), Austin Lockhart (44.09), Eli Williams (44.38), and Brendan Sullivan (43.91). Bucknell cruised to a close second at 2:57.36.

Other event winners:

  • Kyle Iorizzo, 1650 freestyle: 15:20.05. This is a Rider school record, as well as an NCAA B cut.
  • Christian Overton, 200 back: 1:46.19. The second-straight win for Rider in Day 3, and teammate David Rucci came in 2nd with a 1:48.87.
  • Caleb Apodaca, 200 fly: 1:48.21. The Columbia freshman debuted his ECAC Championships with this win and another to win Men’s Swimmer of the Meet.

Team Scores:

  1. U.S. Naval Academy: 767.5
  2. Bucknell University: 390.5
  3. Columbia University: 348
  4. Rider University: 334
  5. Yale University: 294
  6. Loyola University: 258
  7. U.S. Military Academy: 220
  8. Marist: 216
  9. Virginia Military Institute: 147
  10. Princeton University: 145
  11. University of Pennsylvania: 136
  12. UIC: 96
  13. Catawba College: 65
  14. Cabrini University: 53
  15. Manhattan College: 52
  16. Frostburg State University: 51
  17. Baruch College: 31
  18. University of Maryland Baltimore: 25

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