After a landslide win at the Coastal Collegiate Sports Association Championships, the Retrievers began to slow their pace at the Eastern College Athletics Conference Championships. However, they still managed to break several school records in an overall impressive outing for UMBC, on the men’s way to a third place finish, and the women’s a seventh place one.
Last Friday, March 3, was relatively quiet start with only a small group of Retrievers competing. Junior Nikola Trajkovic started the day off well, taking silver in the 200 IM with a time of 1:48.24, just after Hayes McCullagh from the U.S. Naval Academy, who logged a time of 1:47:15.
Freshman Ilia Rattsev and senior Gregor Spoerlein placed consecutively in the prelims, taking first and second place for the 50 free. The duo returned for the finals, placing consecutively again, this time in second and third place. Spoerlein out-touched Rattsev by a hundredth of a second, sprinting in with a time of 20.28 seconds.
Saturday proved to be more lively for the Retrievers swim and dive squad. To start off, sophomore Alexander Gliese streamed in for gold in the 100 back, touching in with a time of 48.16 seconds. Junior Philip Adejumo earned the bronze in the 100 fly with a time of 48.67 seconds during the competition’s second day.
Three other swimmers received individual medals as well. Trakjovic, who received a second silver medal, this time in the 400 IM, set a new school record with his time of 3:53.39. He also placed fourth in the 100 breast, which came in behind Luis Galvan, who stroked in with a time of 55.33 seconds for second place. Trakjovic was only .32 seconds behind Galvan. Rattsev took third in the 200 free with a time of 1:36.94.
For the women, senior Lauren Day’s performance in the 100 back surprised many when she broke the school record, coming in second place with a time of 55.07 seconds. Fellow teammate freshman, Emily Vance, followed up in third respective times of 55.12 seconds.
Fellow Retriever senior Amanda Day obtained the bronze medal with a time of 55.80 seconds in the 100 fly. Meanwhile, freshman Haylee Committe got herself an individual medal in the 100 breast after placing fourth with a time of 1:03.44.
On Sunday, the women closed the event with a satisfying third record broken for the school. Vance returned to the pool to claim a second place finish in the 200 back with a time of 1:59.42, the first recorded time below two minutes in the school’s history.
The men also finished their day nicely as well, with Gliese coming back to the pool to take the gold in the 200 back with his time of 1:44.73 and Rattsev and Spoerlein following the sophomore’s success in second and fifth place, respectively, in the 100 free. Rattsev came in .41 seconds before Spoerlein with a time of 44.15 seconds.
The weekend’s big winner was the Navy Academy, as both the men’s and women’s programs beat out all the other schools, finishing with point totals of 532 and 632.5, respectively. The work done by the women’s team earned Navy coach John Morrison the Women’s Coach of the Meet.
While not as superb a finish as the CCSA Championships, the Retrievers still shined at the ECACs and will continue to build upon their great progress through the rest of the season.