Six schools met at the Michael P. O’Brien Athletic and Recreation Center (MPOARC) on Feb. 19, 2017. St. Mary’s College of Maryland (SMCM) hosted the Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) swimming championships where both the SMCM Seahawk teams, women and men, finished fourth. University of Mary Washington took the top honors at the meet, both of their teams finished first. The CAC championship conclusion marked the finale of a long season for the Seahawks.
The entire team did very well. Senior captain Sam Liming told The Point News “we had a great season, coming in fourth on both sides was something we were really proud of.” Standout performances came from sophomore Colin Cassady who placed second overall in the 100 yard freestyle, completing the race in a time of 47.54 seconds. He was joined on the podium by Senior captain, Matt Walchuck, who earned fifth with a time of 47.86 seconds. Cassady set a new record with his time.
Liming extended further congratulatory remarks for her peers. Senior captain Lizzie Straathof achieved a personal best of 24.92 seconds in the 50 yard freestyle. Emma Green who “broke into the top eight in the mile.” Liming continued that Ben Ertman cut an astounding 24 seconds off of his mile time. To see a full list of the performances by SMCM swimmers please visit the smcmatheltics.com website.
According to Liming, the Seahawks thoroughly enjoy taking the home team advantage, hosting CAC Championships in their own pool. “We all really appreciate the fact that we can go back to our own beds and take a nap […] this is where we have been training, there very much is a home field advantage, especially with starts and turns.” She continued to explain that the “fins” on the starting blocks were new. The starting block is the diving platform which swimmers push off of to dive into the water at the beginning of the race. The “fin” is the adjustable piece of the block where the swimmers back foot pushes off of. “No one else has those” Liming explains this gave the Seahawks a potential “leg up” (No pun intended) on the competition.
Following a change in the coaching staff, the Seahawks began a more rigorous training regiment. New head coach Casey Bradt seems to be well received by his swimmers. They began having more rigorous training regimens. “Casey [Bradt] has really altered the program, all for the better. We swim more practices now, we have eleven per week […] nine in the pool per week.” Liming described Brandt as attentive, and technique focused.
Looking forward, the team is excited for Bradt’s changes to make the team even better. The seahawks will be graduating five swimmers this May, but gaining six, so their future is looking bright.