FAIRFAX, Va., Feb. 24, 2012 – The James Madison swimming and diving team set six more school records and won four events as it increased its lead through day three of the Virginia 529 Colonial Athletic Association Championships held at Jim McKay Natatorium in Fairfax, Va., this weekend.
Through 14 events, JMU has compiled 572 points to hold a 142 point lead over the competition. Four-time defending champion Towson is second with 430 points with UNCW in third with a score of 338. William & Mary is fourth (325 points), followed by Old Dominion (225) in fifth, Northeastern (203) in sixth, George Mason in seventh (190) with Delaware (174) and Drexel (109) wrapping up the scoring in eighth and ninth, respectively.
Friday night started with the 200-yard medley relay. The JMU team of senior Catalina Mendieta (Parkland, Fla./Marjory Stoneman Douglas), junior Caroline Burns (Severna Park, Md./Severn School) and freshmen Sin Hye Won (Springfield, Va./West Springfield) and Susanne Gingher (Boalsburg, Pa./State College Area) came in second with a school record and “B” cut time of 1:40.95.
Sophomore Morgan Johnson (Woodstock, Ga./Woodstock) kept things rolling for the Dukes in the 400-yard individual medley. Johnson timed a 4:24.53 to come in seventh while senior Samantha Holland (Midlothian, Va./Midlothian) and freshman Aimee Hooper (Clifton Park, N.Y./Shenendehowa) came in 14th and 15th, respectively.
Mendieta earned the Dukes first event win of the day in the 100 butterfly. The senior turned in a school record and “B” cut time of 54.21 to earn gold. Junior Andrea Criscuolo (Point Pleasant, N.J./Point Pleasant) came in third with a time of 54.64.
Senior Eva Hannesdottir (Seltjarnarnes, Iceland/Kvennaskolinn) picked up her second career gold at the CAA Championships, adding a win in the 200 freestyle to her 100 freestyle title from 2011. She touched the wall in a school record and “B” cut time of 1:47.28. Madison also added points in the race from senior Melissa Helock (Scotch Plains, N.J./Scotch Plains Fanwood), who came in fifth, and junior Anna Susko (Roxbury, N.J./Roxbury), who finished 11th.
JMU placed three finishers in the top six of the 100-yard breaststroke. Won led the way, coming in third with a school record and “B” cut time of 1:01.16. Sophomores Shannon Dubay (South Windsor, Conn./South Windsor) and Kelsey Holmgaard (Roanoke, Va./George Mason) also turned in “B” cut times. Dubay came in fifth with a time of 1:02.69 while Holmgaard was right behind her in sixth with a time of 1:02.74.
Criscuolo broke her own school record in the 100 backstroke, timing a 55.73 to come in fifth.
The Dukes got back to winning events as they dominated the one-meter diving, earning five of the top seven scores on the day. After winning the three-meter board in 2011, senior Nicole Jotso (Suffern, N.Y./Suffern) added gold in the one-meter on Friday by scoring a 306.65. Freshman Alex Savage (Carrolton, Texas/Lewisville Hebron) scored a career-best 304.50 to come in second while junior Kimberly Helfrich (Fort Belvoir, Va./West Springfield), who won the three-meter board on Wednesday, came in fourth with a 271.55. Senior Chelsea Savage (Bedford, Texas/L.D. Bell) and sophomore Emma Brown (Beverly Hills, Mich./Wylie E. Groves) came in sixth and seventh, respectively.
Holmgaard, Susko, Helock and Hannesdottir wrapped up the day for JMU by winning the 800-yard freestyle relay. The quartet set a school record with a “B” time of 7:19.29.
The CAA Championships conclude on Saturday with preliminaries at 10 a.m. and the finals for the last six events starting at 6 p.m. The Dukes will be targeting their sixth conference championship and the first since 2001.
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