2019 COLONIAL ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPS
- Wednesday, February 20-Saturday, February 23
- Christiansburg Aquatics Center, Christiansburg, Virginia (Eastern Time Zone)
- Defending Champion: James Madison women, William & Mary Men
- Live Video
- Live Results
- Championship Central
With no diving events today, W&M was able to chip away at the 73-point lead the Dukes had coming into this session, and, heading into the final relay, it looked like JMU had done enough to maintain a 30-point lead heading into the final day.
W&M started closing that gap by putting three women in the 400 IM A-final, compared to JMU’s one, but neither school pulled out the win here. Instead, UNC Wilmington’s Kyra Schemmel took gold in 4:19.78, becoming the first Seahawk to win the event since 1999, according to UNCW’s Twitter account.
In the 100 fly, JMU freshman Morgan Whaley came out in top in a close race with Delaware senior Tessa Hayman, with Whaley winning 54.21 to 54.65.
Bonnie Zhang made it two in a row for JMU with a 1:45.21 victory in the 200 free. Not only was that an almost-three second victory over W&M’s Megan Bull, but it also set a new CAA record, with the previous mark of 1:45.36 done by Towson’s Meredith Budner in 2011. Zhang was 2nd last year with a 1:47.90, while last year’s champion, Northeastern’s Megan Clark, took 3rd in tonight in 1:48.47 after going 1:47.20 last year.
Towson went 1-2 in the 100 breast, with Jacalyn Schoening winning a duel with teammate Amanda Rosa 1:01.58. JMU had one A-finalist, and W&M had none, but the Tribe did sweep the top three spots in the B-final. That’s Schoenig’s 2nd-straight title in the event; she won in 1:01.67 lat year.
Drexel’s Alexa Kutch holds the meet and CAA records in the 100 back (52.95/52.48), and while she couldn’t match either of those times tonight, her time of 54.11 was enough to win by nearly half a second.
Again, JMU was up by 30 points heading into the 400 medley relay, and they initially touched behind, just behind Drexel (3:41.22). But shortly thereafter, it was announced that the Dukes’ relay had been disqualified (although the cause was not specified), and that bumped W&M up to 3rd place, and those 32 points were enough to move W&M into the lead with one day to go.
Women – Team Rankings – Through Event 27
1. William and Mary 442
2. James Madison University 440
3. Towson University 352.5
4. University of North Carolina W 275.5
5. Drexel University 270.5
6. Northeastern University 241.5
7. Delaware 205
W&M continued their domination one the men’s side, as they put 16 swimmers into A-finals this morning, and now have over a 100 point lead heading into the final day.
Ben Skopic started the evening off by defending his title in the 400 IM. W&M teammate Carter Kale held the lead through the first half of the race, but Skopic overtook him on the breast leg and powered through to win in 3:49.71, almost a half a second faster than his 4:50.17 from last year. The Tribe swept the top three spots, as Chris Balbo took 2nd in 3:51.68 and Kale touched 3rd in 3:53.73.
Towson’s Jack Saunderson continued his quest of going 3-3 this week by winning the 100 fly for the 2nd year in a row after winning the 200 IM yesterday. His time tonight of 46.53 was a bit off his prelims time of 46.05, but was enough to outlast W&M’s Jack Doherty, who took 2nd in 46.99.
Colin Wright set himself up to also get a sweep this week, as he added a 200 free win to go with his 50 free win yesterday. He won by over a second tonight, touching in 1:36.10, just a few tenths off the meet and CAA records.
The 100 breast was the closest race of the night, with the top three men all touching within 0.01s of each. W&M’s Devin McNulty went out in 25.29, but he was out split on the back half by both Gianmichael D’Alessandro and Ralph Cannarozzi III. It came down to the touch, and UNCW’s D’Alessandro emerged victorious with a 54.40, while McNulty and Cannaorozzi, last year’s champion from Drexel, tied for 2nd in 54.41.
For the 2nd year in a row, Drexel’s Jason Arthur and W&M’s Colin Demers dueled it out in the 100 back. Last year, Arthur got the win, 48.10 to 48.24, but this year, Demers came out on top, 48.04 to 48.27. Both men are juniors, so they should get one more showdown next year.
The Tribe capped off the night by winning their 4th relay of the meet. The quartet of Demers, McNulty, Doherty, and Wright swam to a 3:11.06, knocking over two seconds off the conference record those exact four men set last year.
Men – Team Rankings – Through Event 28
1. William and Mary 623.5
2. Drexel University 498
3. University of North Carolina W 422.5
4. Towson University 380
5. Delaware 102