Towson Women, UNC-Wilmington Men Conquer CAA Championships

Aside from being total swim geeks, the authors of this post, @SwimNerds and @SwedishSwimNerd, are leaders of the International Water Safety Day movement. To learn more about International Water Safety Day, click here.

Women Final Scores:

TOWSON UNIVERSITY SWIMMING TOWS 783.5
JAMES MADISON UNIVERSITY JMU 735.5
WILLIAM AND MARY W&M 496
UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA W UNCW 359
NORTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY NU 287
DELAWARE DEL 221
DREXEL UNIVERSITY DREX 212
GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY GMU 208

Men Final Scores:

UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA W UNCW 674.5
WILLIAM AND MARY W&M 633.5
GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY GMU 591
DELAWARE DEL 382
DREXEL UNIVERSITY DREX 355.5
TOWSON UNIVERSITY SWIMMING TOWS 298

Championship Meet Awards

Women’s Diving Coach of the Year: Becky Benson – JMU

Women’s Swimming Coach of the Year: Pat Mead – Towson

Women’s Most Outstanding Diver of the Meet: Kimberly Helfrich – JMU

Women’s Most Outstanding Co-Swimmers of the Meet: Kaitlin Burke – Towson, Carly Tanner – UNCW

Championship Meet Awards

Men’s Diving Coach of the Year: Katryn Valladares – Drexel

Men’s Swimming Coach of the Year: Dave Allen – UNCW

Men’s Most Outstanding Diver of the Meet: David Sanchez – Drexel

Men’s Most Outstanding Co-Swimmers of the Meet: Andrew Strait – William & Mary, Sidni Hoxha – ODU

The 2013 CAA Championship wrapped up on Saturday night with familiar schools on top.  On the Men’s side, The University of North Carolina-Wilmington (UNCW) held off a hard charging William & Mary (W&M) for its 12th Colonial championship in a row.  On the Women’s side, Towson University used a strong last day to knock off reigning champion James Madison University (JMU) to win its 4th title in the last 5 years.

If you want to thumb through the results, go here:

http://www.odusports.com/sports/c-swim/stats/2012-2013/caawholemeetresults.html

But, we aren’t providing you the standard “top 3 in each event”, boring synopsis.

The more important thing that needs to be talked about is the evolution and betterment of CAA and Mid-Major swimming.  We think of it as the “middle America” of swimming.

In a conference where NCAA invitees have been few and far between, it’s starting to become a standard goal amongst CAA competitors.  It’s obvious when you see how much faster the conference has become over the last decade; but, even more so in the last few years.

It’s about breaking records and exceeding goals.  And, over the past few years, the entire conference as a whole has stepped up to not be left behind.

In our eyes, a guy by the name of Arni Arnarson helped push the limits of a CAA male swimmer (we are not biased, *wink).  The conference has seen other fantastic swimmers in the last decade, like Aaron Krause (Towson), Dan Gallagher (UNCW), and Tom Koucheravy (GMU), to name a few.  But, Arni didn’t simply dominate.  He made everyone in the conference better; he raised the bar.  Just ask Rob Anderson of UNCW—he beat him in the 100 Breast at CAA’s in 2010, breaking 54 seconds for the first time.

The improvement from top to bottom is unbelievable.  Just take a look at the progression of the 200 IM, for example.

Wes Eubanks held the CAA record from 2003-2011 with a 1:49.32.  In 2006, 1:52.68 won.  In 2009, 1:50.57.  Last year, Arni became the first CAA swimmer to ever break 1:47.

This year, 1:48.70 wasn’t fast enough to get you on the podium.

There have also been some game changing female swimmers like Katie Radloff (W&M), Meredith Budner (Towson), and Ashley Danner (GMU), just to name a few.

In 2005, the winner of the women’s 500 didn’t even break 5:00.  In 2013, 25 people would have beat the winning time.

Check out these stats:

By The Numbers:  2013

  • 12 CAA Records broken (all-time, not meet)
  • 75 individual NCAA ‘B’ Cuts
  • 1 relay NCAA ‘B’ Cut

By The Numbers:  2006

  • 2 CAA Records broken (all-time, not meet)
  • 1 individual NCAA ‘A’ Cut
  • 6 individual NCAA ‘B’ Cuts

And, don’t forget, NCAA cuts were much slower back in 2006 than they are now.

Think suits mattered?

Women Winner Spotlight:

Towson University continued their dominance showing that last year’s loss to JMU was a smaller speed bump in their continued winning streak at CAAs. Like we said before Towson has captured the CAA title 4 out of the last 5 years. Pat Mead is running a very successful Women’s program earning him the Female Coach of the Year for the 6th time. The secret behind the Towson women reign is their mid-distance and distance ladies. Having three women in the top five of the 200, 500, 1650 free event plus a win in the 800 Free Relay is huge. Pat has showed us over the years that the Tiger ladies will be tapered and on top of their game come conference time.

Men Winner Spotlight:

Coach Allen continues to bring his team together at just the right time.  It seems like he always gets 25% of his points from each class—all working together—just at the right time.  I’d actually like to see a break down, via spreadsheet, of the points scored at CAA’s by class grade over the last 10 years.  Whatever his formula, its working.

His swimmers continue to break barriers, set records, and destroy relays.  The Men’s 200 Free Relay was the only relay team to get an NCAA ‘B’ Cut, no small task.

Overall Conclusion:

It’s going to be weird without ODU in the CAA next year.  They will be moving over to Conference USA next season.

But, as the conference has shown before with restructuring, they will move forward and continue to thrive.

The friendly but fierce competition will be missed but never forgotten.  It’s hard to duplicate when you have so many hard working, swimming obsessed athletes striving to reach the next record.

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About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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