Three Meet Records, Two Sub-23 Breast Splits, Highlight Day 1 of 2023 CAA Championships

by Robert Gibbs 13

February 22nd, 2023 College, News, Previews & Recaps


The 2023 CAA Swimming & Diving Championship got underway tonight with a couple of new looks. Two new teams are competing this year, with the addition of Monmouth and Stony Brook (women only). The meet is also being held in a new location, the Hampton Aquaplex, which opened late last year.

It didn’t long for records to go down, as the William & Mary women knocked the better part of a second off of the meet and conference records with a 1:38.53 in the 200 medley relay. Kat Vanbourgondien led off in 25.42. Ellie Scherer had the fastest breast split in the field with a 27.62, Sophia Heilen split 23.56 on fly, and Katie Stevenson brought it home in 21.93.

The Tribe won by over a second, but there was a tight battle for 2nd behind them. Towson got off to a fast start with a 24.93 leadoff from Ally Frame, and they maintained that lead into the anchor leg. But UNCW’s Sarah Olson threw down a 21.84, the fastest free split in the field, to push pass Towson and Northeastern, to touch in 1:39.62. Towson (1:39.62) and Northwestern (1:39.95) finished 3rd and 4th.

Splits don’t appear to be appearing correctly for the 800 free relay, but Delaware won in 7:12.05, followed by UNCW (7:15.17) and W&M (7:15.52).

Meet and conference records also went down on the men’s side, with a pair of teams recording 22-mid breaststroke splits while getting under the previous records in the 200 medley relay.

Delaware’s Gavin Currie staked an early lead with a 21.49 leadoff leg, then Toni Sabev blasted a 22.63 breast split. His brother Simeon Sabev split 21.19 on fly, before freshman Matvei Namakonov anchored in 19.61. The combined time of 1:24.92 knocked six-tenths of a second off of the previous record of 1:25.52, set by William & Mary in 2020.

Towson was also under the previous meet record at 1:25.17 thanks largely to a 22.54 breast split from Brian Benzing. The CAA has had it moments as a strong mid-major conference, but it’s still amazing that the conference had two of the fastest breaststroke splits ever tonight. We got a look at some race video, and while it’s tough to tell from the angle and clarity, it appears both splits were recorded accurately.

UNCW took 3rd in 1:25.69, highlighted by a 20.13 fly leg from Henderson Louviere.

The Seahawks won the 800 free in 6:23.97, shattering the previous meet record of 6:26.86, again set by W&M in 2020. Towson took 2nd in 6:27.66, while Drexel and Delaware tied at 6:33.96.

In between the relays, UNCW swept the top two spots in men’s 1m diving event, as Ethan Badrian (343.16) and Nicholas Newis (309.50) finished 1st and 2nd.

Scores Through Day 1


  1. William & Mary – 72
  2. Delaware/UNCW – 68
  3. (tie)
  4. Northeastern – 60
  5. Towson – 58
  6. Drexel – 54
  7. Monmouth/Stony Brook – 46
  8. (tie)


  1. UNCW – 124
  2. Towson – 101
  3. Delaware – 98
  4. Drexel – 94
  5. William & Mary – 56
  6. Monmouth – 52

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Foreign Embassy
3 months ago

Time to transfer to a major d1 team

Reply to  Foreign Embassy
3 months ago

Question is if they can put up a good 100

Reply to  Bud
3 months ago

I mean he went 1:35.0 200 free..

Reply to  Bud
3 months ago

I mean Benzing was 51 last year and Sabev was 52

Coach Chackett
3 months ago

Live results embarrassing. Not live results. Link to a bad view of a PDF. Doesn’t have the times on the same part of the page. It’s the SHORT version of results to a PDF. Then you go to the 800 FR Relay and the SPLITS are for the first swimmer by 50, I think. Thanks for crap. Fix it.

Reply to  Coach Chackett
3 months ago

Agreed, the stats for this meet are abysmal. The televised coverage is just as poor. They don’t show any graphics and don’t even show the scoreboard after each race. If you want to know someone’s time, you need to hope that the announcers mention it. Or, you need to wait 20 minutes for the results to be published to the garbage website.

3 months ago

wow I thought it was just the breaststroke, UNCW 8FR dropping 8 seconds from last year?? Some incredibly fast swimming out of the whole conference. Shaping up to be one of the fastest mid-major conferences this year

CAA stan
3 months ago

Crazy Fast times! Need to get a swim swam correspondent down there with a tape measure for that pool

Reply to  CAA stan
3 months ago

If it was at Liberty’s pool, then definitely a yes.

Reply to  Robert Gibbs
3 months ago

Have there been any other crazy meets at this pool, or is this the first bigger meet?

Reply to  Robert Gibbs
3 months ago

Crazy how much faster that session was comparing to last year, maybe christiansburg pool is just slow

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