HARRISONBURG, Va., Feb. 26, 2013 – The James Madison women’s swimming and diving team heads to Fairfax, Va., this week for the 2012-13 Colonial Athletic Association Championships as the defending champions. The four-day meet is scheduled to be held at the Jim McKay Natatorium on the campus of George Mason University from Wednesday, February 27 through Saturday, March 2.
The Dukes head into the meet as the defending champions for the first time since 2002 and are looking for their first back-to-back titles since winning three-straight from 1993-95.
Last year, JMU won eight of the 21 events, including three relays and five individual titles, on its way to dominating the field. Madison set 15 new school records at last year’s championships. Two of the records set included CAA Championship records in the 200-yard freestyle relay and the 400-yard medley relay.
Lead the way for the diving Dukes is senior Kimberly Helfrich (Fort Belvoir, Va./West Springfield). She was named the CAA Diver of the Week seven times this season and was the 2011 CAA Diver of the Year. That season she became the first member of the JMU swimming and diving team to qualify for the NCAA Championship. In 2012, Helfrich won the three-meter board at the CAA Championships while helping JMU sweep the diving competitions.
Joining Helfrich as top contenders in the diving events is sophomore Alex Savage (Carrolton, Texas/Lewisville Hebron). She was the 2012 CAA Rookie Diver of the Year. Freshmen Carly Alexander (Plantation, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas) and Lauren Hadley (Virginia Beach, Va./First Colonial) should also be strong participants for the Dukes.
In the swimming event, JMU returns 2012 CAA Rookie Swimmer of the Year Sin Hye Won (Springfield, Va./West Springfield). She is joined by CollegeSwimming.com Mid-Major All-America honorable mentions in senior Andrea Criscuolo (Point Pleasant, N.J./Point Pleasant) and juniors Kelsey Holmgaard (Roanoke, Va./George Mason) and Shannon Dubay (South Windsor, Conn./South Windsor).
The CAA Championships get under way on Wednesday with preliminaries for the women’s three-meter diving starting at 12 p.m. Wednesday evening’s finals session includes the three-meter diving finals as well as finals in the women’s 200-yard medley relay and the 800-yard freestyle relay.
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