UMBC Sweeps Swimming Events on Day 1 of America East Championships

America East – Women & Men

The UMBC Retrievers swept the 4 swimming events on the first day of the 2019 America East Conference Championship meet, but only the men came away with the team lead.

That’s a result of a big performance from the New Hampshire diving crew, which finished 1-3-5 in the women’s 3 meter event, led by junior Allison Stefanelli. Meanwhile, UMBC’s highest finisher in that event was Devin Gromen in 7th.

In spite of not leading, however, UMBC will come away from the first day feeling good about the possibility of knocking off the defending champions. That’s because as the meet goes on, the weight of the diving events will drop from where it is after day 1, especially given that the America East only scores the springboard events (no platform diving).

Team Standings through Day 1 (3 events)

  1. New Hampshire (123 points)
  2. UMBC (105)
  3. Binghamton (89)
  4. Vermont (86)
  5. Maine (79)
  6. Stony Brook (53)
  7. VMI (48)


  1. UMBC (130 points)
  2. Binghamton (113)
  3. VMI (76)
  4. Maine (71)

The UMBC women opened the meet with a 7:18.62 in the 800 free relay, beating runners-up New Hampshire by almost 8 seconds (7:26.33). UMBC’s winning relay included 3 seniors. Senior Laura Massiculte (1:49.84) led off, followed by sophomore Natalija Marin (1:48.94), senior Kelly Lajole (1:50.63), and Hania Moro (1:49.21).

UMBC added a win in the 200 medley relay, albeit a much closer race. There they won in 1:41.25, with Maine placing 2nd in 1:42.45 and Binghamton placing 3rd in 1:43.75. UMBC was able to take that 2nd relay without any of the same swimmers as on the 800 free relay. Emily Vance (25.53), Madyson Popalis (28.34), Sotiria Neofytou (24.47), and Haylee Committe (22.91) made up the winning relay. Popalis had the fastest breaststroke split in the event, the only leg where UMBC can claim that, but they had easily the most balanced relay with no holes.

Maine’s runner-up relay included a 22.41 anchor from senior Juliana McDonald. McDonald’s flat-start best is 23.49, which implies that she’s got a big time drop coming in the individual event.

In the men’s meet, UMBC opened with a win in the 800 free relay in 6:36.86 with a team of Connor Ganley (1:39.46), Luka Zuric (1:40.58), Garrett Wlochowski (1:39.23), and Saturi Dobbie (1:39.59).

They then took a win in the 200 medley relay in 1:27.41, winning by more than 3 seconds ahead of runners-up Binghamton. That swim blew away the old Conference and Meet Record set by UMBC last year at 1:28.61. UMBC returned their leadoff and anchor, but used 2 new swimmers on the middle legs.

The winning medley was Alexander Gliese (21.86), Luis Galvan Cardenas (24.42), Tiago Asakawa (21.54), and Ilia Rattsev (19.59). Like the women, the men avoided doubling up any swimmers on relays, leaving the team with every swimmer available for all of the remaining 3 relays without blowing past relay limits.

Binghamton took 2nd in 1:30.67 and VMI took 3rd in 1:33.73. That was one of 3 school records for VMI on the day, along with the men’s 800 free relay and women’s 200 medley relay.

The UMBC men were able to support their swimming with a big diving performance. They went 1-3-5 in the men’s 1 meter, led by senior Elijah Wright. He was 3rd last year, but jumped the defending champion David Walters of Binghamton to grab the 2019 title.


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About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of 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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