FAIRFAX, Va., Feb. 27, 2013 – Senior diver Kimberly Helfrich (Fort Belvoir, Va./West Springfield) defended her title as the three-meter diving champion and the James Madison swimming and diving team opened up a lead on day one of the Colonial Athletic Association Swimming and Diving Championships in Fairfax, Va., Wednesday.
Defending champion JMU won two of the three events competed Wednesday to hold a 17-point lead over Towson. The Dukes scored 127 points while Towson tallied 110. UNCW and Delaware are tied for third with 67 points, followed by William & Mary (66 points) in fifth, Northeastern (65) in sixth, George Mason (57) in seventh and Drexel (50) in eighth.
Helfrich’s title was the third consecutive season a JMU diver has won the 3-meter board. She scored a 327, 50.80 points ahead of her nearest competition. She was the event’s top qualifier after preliminaries with a score of 274.60.
It was the fifth time in the history of the CAA Championships a JMU diver has won the event and Helfrich became the ninth diver all-time and the second Madison diver (Amanda Kuehl – 1995-96) to win the event more than once.
Sophomore Alex Savage (Carrolton, Texas/Lewisville Hebron) placed third on the three-meter board, scoring a 257.05 for 16 team points. Freshman Carly Alexander (Plantation, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas) was right behind Savage in fourth with a score of 256.20. Fellow freshman Lauren Hadley (Virginia Beach, Va./First Colonial) added two points to the team score with a 15th-place finish (198.40) in the ‘B’ Final.
The Dukes finished in the top two of the day’s other two events, including winning the 200-yard medley relay. In that event, the Madison quartet of seniors Caroline Burns (Severna Park, Md./Severn School) and Andrea Criscuolo (Point Pleasant, N.J./Point Pleasant) as well as sophomores Sin Hye Won (Springfield, Va./West Springfield) and Susanne Gingher (Boalsburg, Pa./State College Area) set a new JMU and CAA Championships record. They timed a 1:40.41, to break a CAA record that had stood since 2009.
JMU completed the day with a second-place showing in the 800-yard freestyle, timing a 7:16.31 to establish a new school record. The team of senior Anna Susko (Roxbury, N.J./Roxbury), juniors Kelsey Holmgaard (Roanoke, Va./George Mason) and Morgan Johnson (Woodstock, Ga./Woodstock) and sophomore Aimee Hooper (Clifton Park, N.Y./Shenendehowa) shattered the previous JMU mark by nearly three seconds, finished just behind Towson in the event.
Day two of the CAA Championships gets underway from the Jim McKay Natatorium Thursday morning with preliminaries in 500-yard freestyle, 200-yard individual medley and the 50-yard freestyle. Thursday’s evening session includes finals in those same three events as well as 200-yard freestyle relay.
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