FAIRFAX, Va., March 2, 2013 – Senior diver Kimberly Helfrich (Fort Belvoir, Va./West Springfield) was named the Colonial Athletic Association Diver of the Year and Becky Benson garnered CAA Diving Coach of the Year honors as the James Madison swimming and diving team finished second at the 2013 CAA Championships in Fairfax, Va., Saturday.
JMU broke four more school records and won two events to conclude the four-day meet at Jim McKay Natatorium on Saturday. Towson returned to the winner’s circle, scoring 783.5 points to win its fifth CAA Championship. The Dukes claimed second with 735.5 points followed by William and Mary (496 points) in third, UNCW (350) in fourth, Northeastern (287) in fifth, Delaware (221) in sixth, Drexel (212) in seventh and George Mason (208) in eighth.
Senior Andrea Criscuolo (Point Pleasant, N.J/Point Pleasant) and junior Kelsey Holmgaard (Roanoke, Va./George Mason) led the way for JMU with wins in the 200-yard butterfly and the 200-yard breaststroke, respectively. Criscuolo broke her own school record in the in the 200 fly, becoming the first swimmer in school history to break two minutes with a time of 1:58.92. Her sister, sophomore Melissa Criscuolo (Point Pleasant, N.J./Point Pleasant), timed the second-fastest swim in the event in JMU history, finishing ninth with a time of 2:01.44.
Holmgaard helped key a JMU sweep of the podium in the 200-yard breaststroke, finishing first with a time of 2:12.52. She broke her own record while sophomore Sin Hye Won (Springfield, Va./West Springfield) claimed second with JMU’s second-fastest time of 2:13.60. Junior Shannon Dubay (South Windsor, Conn./South Windsor) set a new career-best time with the third-fastest time in school history to finish third. She touched the wall at 2:13.70.
Holmgaard and Criscuolo were the two-biggest point producers for Madison in the Championships. Holmgaard was the third-highest scorer overall with 57 points, finishing just behind co-CAA swimmers of the Year, Towson’s Kaitlin Burke and UNCW’s Carly Tanner. Criscuolo tallied 56 points to finish with the fifth-most points while Dubay and Won each recorded 48 points to tie for seventh. Junior Morgan Johnson (Woodstock, Ga./Woodstock) and senior Anna Susko (Roxbury, N.J./Roxbury) scored 38 and 37 points, respectively, to finish in the top-20 scorers.
Susko was the only other JMU swimmer to reach the podium on Saturday, finishing third in the 200-yard backstroke. She broke her own school record in the event with a time of 1:59.27.
Sophomore Susanne Gingher (Boalsburg, Pa./State College Area) timed a 51.10 to claim fifth in the 100-yard freestyle and Johnson finished eighth in the 1,650-yard freestyle with a time of 16:53.15.
In the day’s only relay, the Dukes finished second in the 400-yard freestyle. The quartet of Holmgaard, Gingher, Andrea Criscuolo and freshman Carli Molano (Centreville, Va./Westfield) broke the school record with a time of 3:22.77.
Helfrich was named the CAA Diver of the Year after winning gold in both diving events. She was the 14th-highest individual scorer in the meet with 40 points. Fellow diver, sophomore Alex Savage (Carrolton, Texas/Lewisville Hebron) was the meet’s 20th-highest scorer with 33 points.
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