Former Maryland Terrapin Jenny Roberts has qualified for two NCAA Championships in her two seasons at Maryland as a relay swimmer. She will take that invaluable experience next season to a New Hampshire Wildcats team that’s on the verge of a mid-major breakthrough. This transfer takes her closer to her native Maine home of Sanford, which is less than an hour drive across the state line from the Durham campus.
Roberts will come in with two remaining years of eligibility and immediately lift UNH to new levels of success. Assuming her training continues to progress, she should be the American East Conference champion in both the 100 and 200 butterflies (53.54/1:58.17), as well as the 200 IM (1:59.68). Those 60 individual points alone should be enough to lift them from 3rd at last year’s conference championship meet to 2nd this coming season (results from last year’s meet here).
But she is good enough to greatly elevate their relays as well. In the 200 and 400 medleys, and the 200 free, relays, the addition of Roberts would push them to conference champions. In the other two relays, she’d get them in the hunt too. She’s split as fast as 22.4 as the freestyle anchor on Maryland’s 200 medley relay last year, a 50.8 on a 400 free relay, and a 1:48 in the 200 free.
But she’s not the only thing that this New Hampshire program has going for them next season. They are graduating only one relay swimmer from their 2012 conference roster, and it’s the breaststroker from their 200 medley relay. This was an extremely young team last season, and Roberts will be the topping on what should be a Conference Championship team next season over Boston University and UMBC (the Baltimore branch of the University of Maryland, that still has a swim team).
Among other big pieces of the team is sophomore-to-be Katie Mann. She ranked 50th in Division I in the 400 IM last year with a 4:14.10, and after graduations that leaves her only about half-a-dozen spots from NCAA qualifying. If she were able to drop maybe a second-plus from that time, she would be in the hunt for NCAA qualification.
Roberts is the first mid-major transfer announced from this big Maryland exodus, but as we release more-and-more, the theme will overall (though not completely) be many of these athletes going this route to finish-out their collegiate careers. With the announcement last week that Maryland’s swimming program had exhausted every lifeline to be saved, the reality will continue to settle in. Many swimmers have decided to stay in College Park and retire from the sport, which is the depressing reality and true loss of the situation.
Other Maryland Transfers (click the links to read more)
Megan Lafferty – Arizona
Brad Dillon, David Speese – North Carolina
Carolyn Fittin – Penn State
Peter Fittin, John Hauser, Kyle Madley, Ryan Magee – Penn State
Amy Halligan – Western Kentucky