Seahawks Sweep CAA Titles for Second-Straight Year (Day 4 Recap)

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

The 2024 CAA Championships closed out this weekend, and for the second year in a row, the UNCW Seahawks won both the men’s and the women’s team championships. Both Seahawks teams held leads heading into final day, and while the men cruised to their third-straight title, the women’s race almost came down to the final relay.

Women’s Recap

Brooke Knisely got the Seahawks going early with a 16:30.29 win in the 1650, as UNCW claimed three of the top four spots in the event.

That would be UNCW’s only win of the day, but they continued to pile on the points with a ton depth. The decisive event was arguably the 200 breast, where UNCW put four women into the A-final and built up a 200+ point lead that Delaware, the ultimate runner-ups, would never be able to overcome.

The Blue Hens did their best, though, as they won the final three swimming events of the meet. In the 200 breast, Mania Tasakou was trailing by 0.08s at the halfway point, but opened up a lead over 100 breast champ Ellie Scherer of W&M with a 33.55 third leg, and held on to win in 2:12.43. Next, Victoria Novinskiy led from beginning to end in the 200 fly, winning with a 1:59.11 as the only woman get under two minutes in the event.

Northeastern’s Kiki Murphy won the 1m diving event with a score of 285.30, but Delaware’s four championship finalists helped Delaware bridge the gap between them and UNCW. However, the Blue Hens still ended the diving competition 65 points behind the Seahawks, and with the final relay worth 64 points, even a Delaware victory and a Seahawk DQ would’ve given UNCW the win by a single point.

But even though it couldn’t affect the outcome at the top of the team standings, the 400 free still turned into an incredibly close and competitive race.

Drexel’s Chelsea Gravereaux, who won the individual 100 free with  time of 48.52, just missing the CAA record, led off the relay with a 49.32 to hit the wall first. UNCW then took the lead after Cameron Snowden split 49.66 on the second leg with the fastest non-leadoff split in the field.

Delaware took control on the back half, where a 50.58 from Olivia Willemsen and a 50.08 from Anthi Lyra put the Blue Hens in the lead, and they won in 3:21.94. William & Mary got four splits between 50.0 and 50.6 to take 2nd in 3:22.04, followed by UNCW at 3:22.12, as the top three teams all touched within 0.18s of each other.

Final Scores & Awards

  1. UNCW – 1409
  2. Delaware – 1354
  3. William & Mary – 1107
  4. Northeastern – 1067
  5. Towson – 1024
  6. Drexel – 604
  7. Campbell – 527.5
  8. Stony Brook – 308
  9. Monmouth – 290.5

Most Outstanding Women’s Swimmer of the Meet: Chelsea Gravereaux, Drexel
Most Outstanding Women’s Diver of the Meet: Kiki Murphy, Northeastern
CAA Women’s Swimming Coach of the Year: Bobby Guntoro, UNCW
CAA Women’s Diving Coach of the Year: Lauren Colby, Northeastern

Men’s Recap

It was a fairly similar story on the men’s side, where the Seahawks only won two events on the final day, but had enough scorers that the ultimate outcome was never really in doubt.

Just like the women, the Seahawks started strong early by winning the 1650. Silas Crosby won with a 7.49s margin of victory over teammate Logan Adler, 15:23.43 to 15:30.82.

UNCW only got one more win on the night, and that came in the final event of the meet, the 400 free relay.

Mac Russell led off in 43.83, Jacob Duracinsky had the fastest split of the night with a 42.73 second leg, Robert Tars split 43.68, and Kenneth Lowe anchored in 43.41 as the Seahawks stopped the clock in 2:53.65. The live results indicate that UNCW broke the meet record with that time, but that seems to be inaccurate, as Delaware won last year in 2:52.73.

UNCW dominated the CAA for over a decade, winning the men’s title every year from 2002 to 2014 under head coach Dave Allen. After Allen’s retirement, William & Mary ripped off six-straight titles before the team was to be cut and then reinstated during the 2020-2021 season. Alumnus Bobby Guntoro took over UNCW in 2020, and now the Seahawk men have won three straight championship (with Towson winning in 2021 under Jake Schrum, now at UVA).

In between the Seahawk wins, Delaware and Drexel each earned two victories. Delaware went 1-2 in the 200 back, where Kaloy Levterov won in 1:41.90 and broke the CAA record of 1:42.33, set by teammate Gavin Currie last year. Currie was swimming right next to Levterov and nearly matched his time from last year, swimming a 1:42.39 for 2nd. Teammate Toni Sabev won the 100 breast in 1:55.92.

Drexel’s Sebastian Smith won his second individual title of the meet with a 43.08 win in the 100 free. Smith had won the 50 free earlier in the week. Teammate Kuba Kwasny completed the butterfly sweep with 1:43.77 win in the 200 fly.

Final Scores & Awards

  1. UCNW – 845.5
  2. Delaware – 721
  3. Towson – 490
  4. Drexel – 448
  5. William & Mary – 362.5
  6. Monmouth – 197

Most Outstanding Men’s Swimmer of the Meet: Brian Benzing, Towson
Most Outstanding Men’s Diver of the Meet: Ethan Badrian, UNCW
CAA Men’s Swimming Coach of the Year: Bobby Guntoro, UNCW
CAA Men’s Diving Coach of the Year: Gavrilo Blijden, UNCW

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CAASuperFan
2 months ago

Delaware did a great job closing the gap this year, WM is slowly rising after the team was cut, Towson and Drexel have got some champions on their roster. This will continue to be an interesting conference, really just depends on whose depth can shine through since every team has their superstars.

FortyTwo
2 months ago

One championship = potential fluke
Two in a row = first one wasn’t a fluke
Three straight = DYNASTY

The hawks may never lose again. Coach Allen is smiling big up there, its always a good day to be a Seahawk.

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