HARRISONBURG, Va., Feb. 21, 2012 – The James Madison swimming and diving team is set to compete in the 2012 Colonial Athletic Association Championships this week starting Wednesday, Feb. 22 at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. The four-day meet will run through Saturday, Feb. 26 at the Jim McKay Natatorium.
“The CAA Championship meet is always impressive and this year will undoubtedly be very exciting,” head coach Samantha Smith said. “This conference has amazing talent and great coaching, so I expect a lot of fast swimming and great diving throughout the entire meet.”
The competition kicks off at noon on Wednesday with the preliminaries and consolation rounds of the three-meter dive. Finals for the three-meter board will be held at 6 p.m. that evening with swimming events starting at 10 a.m. on Thursday.
JMU has improved its finish in each of the past four seasons. After finishing ninth in 2007, the Dukes moved up to seventh in 2008, fifth in 2009, third in 2010 and took second a year ago.
Madison features great depth in the races and on the boards, led by divers senior Nicole Jotso (Suffern, N.Y./Suffern), junior Kimberly Helfrich (Fort Belvoir, Va./West Springfield) and freshman Alex Savage (Carrolton, Texas/Lewisville Hebron). Jotso was the three-meter diving champion in 2011 while Helfrich became the only athlete in program history to qualify for the NCAA Championships.
In the pool, JMU features the returning 100-yard freestyle champion in senior Eva Hannesdottir (Seltjarnarnes, Iceland/Kvennaskolinn). Hannesdottir also added All-CAA performances in the 50 and 200 freestyle. Junior Andrea Criscuolo (Point Pleasant, N.J./Point Pleasant) owns school records in both butterfly events and was a two-time All-CAA performer a year ago at the Championships.
“Our goal is to put together four days of great competition,” Smith said. “We won’t alter anything we have been doing all year long. Instead, we just want to stay true to the team values we put in place before we started the season and have fun!”
Towson is looking to become the first team in conference history to win five consecutive CAA Championships while other top competitors include UNC Wilmington, George Mason and Old Dominion.
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