St. Mary's Men's and Women’s Swimming Both Picked to Finish Fifth in CAC Preseason Polls

St. Mary's Men's and Women’s Swimming Both Picked to Finish Fifth in CAC Preseason Polls

For Immediate Release · By Nairem Moran · nmoran@smcm.edu

Fredericksburg, Va. – As the fall sports teams head into the postseason, the winter sports teams have been revving their engines to get their seasons up and running. In particular, the St. Mary's College of Maryland men's and women's swim teams, who have been practicing since mid-September, will dive into the pool on Saturday, October 28 for their first meet of the 2017-18 campaign.

Both St. Mary's squads will not only have their season-opener but their conference-opener as well as the Seahawks travel to Arlington, Virginia, to take on Marymount (Va.) University. The Capital Athletic Conference released the 2017-18 preseason coaches' polls for men's and women's swimming Wednesday afternoon and both the Seahawk men and women were selected to finish fifth behind Marymount.

2017-18 CAC Men's Swimming Preseason Coaches Poll

1. Mary Washington (5 first-place votes)

25 points

2. York (1 first-place vote)

21 points

3. Salisbury

15 points

4. Marymount (Va.)

13 points

5. St. Mary's (Md.)

9 points

6. Frostburg State

7 points

2017-18 CAC Women's Swimming Preseason Coaches Poll

1. Mary Washington (5 first-place votes)

25 points

2. York (1 first-place vote)

21 points

3. Salisbury

13 points

4. Marymount (Va.)

11 points

5. St. Mary's (Md.)

10 points

5. Frostburg State

10 points

On the men's side, the University of Mary Washington was the unanimous selection to win its 18th straight conference championship. The two polls were nearly identical as the Mary Washington women were also the unanimous favorites to their capture 28th consecutive team title. The only difference between the polls was that the St. Mary's women finished tied with Frostburg State University for fifth. 

SEAHAWK MEN
St. Mary's finished the 2016-17 campaign with a 3-6 (1-4 CAC) overall record during head coach Casey Brandt's first season. At the 2017 CAC Men's Swimming Championships, the Seahawks rallied for fourth and bested Marymount by 4.5 points.

Three newcomers join the squad this season while Maxwell Madden (Annapolis, Md./Broadneck) returns for his senior campaign after taking a year off.

Top Returners

  • Kieran Broder (Sr., Breaststroke/Individual Medley) – Team captain … Collected a pair of Top 8 finishes in the 100 and 200 breaststroke events at last season's CAC Championships … Helped St. Mary's to a fourth-place finish in the 400 medley relay
  • Colin Cassady (Jr., Sprint Freestyle) – 2017 Second Team All-CAC in 100 freestyle … Holds school record in 50 freestyle … Finished third in 50 free at CAC Championships … Guided Seahawks to third in 800 freestyle relay … Won consolation final of 200 freestyle
  • Ryan Akhavan (So., Butterfly/Freestyle/Individual Medley) – Solid performer who provided important points at the 2017 CAC Championships with three Top 8 performances … Won consolation final of 400 IM
  • Peter Orban (So., Freestyle/Backstroke) – Consistent scorer for the Seahawks … Claimed three Top 5 finishes in the 100 backstroke and the 200 and 400 medley relays at the 2017 CAC Championships

Top Newcomers

  • Nate Donoghue (Fy., Butterfly/Freestyle, Lanham, Md./Eleanor Roosevelt) – Three-time First Team All-Prince George's County
  • Andrew Scott (Fy., Freestyle, California, Md./Leonardtown) – 2016 Maryland State Champion in 800 freestyle … Set 21 records for Chesapeake Bay Aquatics Club … Posted five Top-8 finishes at Maryland States 

ST. MARY'S WOMEN
St. Mary's posted a disappointing 1-8 (0-5 CAC) overall record during the regular season but finished fourth at the 2017 CAC Women's Swimming Championships, edging Salisbury University by two points.

Second-year head coach Casey Brandt has brought in seven talented newcomers, who will make contributions right away, while getting back senior Nicole Lertora (Olney, Md./Blake), who spent last season studying abroad.

Top Returners

  • Rachel Sonnenberg (Sr., Freestyle/Butterfly) – Team captain … Picked up Second Team All-CAC honors in the 200 and 400 medley relays last season … Grabbed Top 8 finishes in the 500 freestyle, 200 butterfly, and 100 butterfly as well
  • Hailley Baughman (Jr., Sprint Freestyle/Breaststroke) – 2017 Second Team All-CAC awards in the 200 and 400 medley relays … Earned a fourth-place finish in the 100 breaststroke at CAC Championships
  • Carolyn Sutton (So., Backstroke/Sprint Freestyle) – Part of the All-CAC Second Team 200 and 400 medley relays … Won consolation final of 200 backstroke … Finished sixth in 100 backstroke

Top Newcomers

  • Alekxandra Grcic (Fy., Freestyle/Backstroke/Butterfly, North Potomac, Md./Quince Orchard)
  • Anna LaPoint (Fy., Freestyle/Butterfly, Fairport, N.Y./Fairport) – First Team All-Monroe County

The 2017-18 schedule features seven dual meets, a tri-meet at York College of Pennsylvania with Ursinus College on November 4, the Yellow Jacket Invitational on December 1-2, and of course, the 2018 CAC Men's and Women's Swimming Championships at St. Mary's on February 22-25. 

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