HARRISONBURG, Va., Oct. 12, 2012 – The James Madison swimming and diving team begins its defense of the Colonial Athletic Association Championship on Saturday as it travels to Baltimore for a double-dual meet. JMU takes on UMBC and Rider beginning at 1 p.m. at the UMBC Natatorium.
“We are excited to start the competitive season this weekend,” head coach Samantha Smith said. “This meet serves as an opportunity for us to compete against some good programs and also identify areas we need to focus on as a team. We have a large group of new athletes on the team, so this will be a fun opportunity for them to understand how a collegiate meet is different from their previous experiences.”
JMU won the sixth CAA Championship in program history in 2011-12. It was the first championship for Smith in her tenure and marked the completion of a steady rise up the CAA standings. The team finished ninth at the 2006-07 CAA Championships and improved on the finish each year until winning the title last season.
For her efforts, Smith was named the CAA Coach of the Year while head diving coach Becky Benson claimed CAA Diving Coach of the Year honors for the third straight year.
This year’s team returns four seniors, six juniors, seven sophomores and welcomes in 13 freshmen. Leading the way for Madison are seniors Anna Susko (Roxbury, N.J./Roxbury), Kimberly Helfrich (Fort Belvoir, Va./West Springfield), Andrea Criscuolo (Point Pleasant, N.J./Point Pleasant) and Caroline Burns (Severna Park, Md./Severn School).
Also back are the reigning CAA Rookie Swimmer and Diver of the Year. Sin Hye Won (Springfield, Va./West Springfield) won the swimmer accolade while Alex Savage (Carrolton, Texas/Lewisville Hebron) earned the diver award.
Last season, JMU went 13-2 in dual meets, including an 8-1 mark away from Savage Natatorium.
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