Image courtesy of David Sinclair and catholicathletics.com
By Jared Prenda
The Catholic University men’s swimming and diving team has completed the three peat of the Landmark Conference with another conference title this past weekend in nearby Boyds, Maryland. The Cards finished atop the podium with a total of 867 points after the three-day meet, Susquehanna finished in second with 624 and Scranton rounded out the top three with 612.5 points.
The team dominated every event it competed in, as its 243-point differential would suggest. The Cardinals started off the tournament by winning all five events on the first day. The 200-yard freestyle relay team of juniors George Isaac and Kevin Jay, sophomore Matthew Mahon, and freshman Jeffrey Schriefer-Flores kicked things off with a time of 1:27.79 to take first. The time also eclipsed the previous meet record 1:27.90 which was set by Isaacs, Jay, and Mahon last year. The relay team also finished first in the 400-yard medley relay (3:27.37).
Sophomore Gregory McCarthy continued his dominance as he took home Landmark Conference Swimmer of the Year for the second straight year. Last season McCarthy took home both the Rookie of the Year award as well as Swimmer of the Year. In this year’s championships he took home first in the 200 IM freestyle with a time of 1:51.93. Freshman Daniel Taylor finished third (1:54.75) in the event. McCarthy also took home golds in the 400-yard IM and the 200-Breast to add to his already illustrious career.
The team was swimming with a mission in mind, to win in honor of its fallen teammate Chris Crafa who passed away in the early hours of New Year’s Day this year. Junior Kevin Jay took home three golds, one silver, and one bronze in this year’s competition while having Chris’ initials written on his chest to remember his friend.
McCarthy was not the only member of the team to take home honors as head coach Paul Waas took home the Landmark Conference Coach of the Year award for the third time in his career. Waas was joined by assistant Emily Rollo to be awarded the Men’s Swimming and Diving Coaching Staff of the Year. The men’s team also saw 20 members of the team earn All-Landmark Team honors this year.
The women’s team also dominated at the event, finishing in second for the tournament with 662 points. Freshman Angela Castano took home Rookie Swimmer of the Year and joined sophomore teammate Caroline Beal on the All-Landmark Team. Castano grabbed second in the 50-yard freestyle sprint with a school record setting time of 24.25. The freshmen also took third in both the 200-yard freestyle relay (1:43.14) and the 200-yard medley relay (1:48.99).
The team never trailed once in the tournament, as it won four more events on the second day and dominated the third and final day. In total the team accumulated a total of 13 golds, 6 silvers, and 9 bronze medals over the weekend. The team finished the weekend just as it was started, with the relay team of Isaacs, Jay, Mahon, and Jeffrey Schriefer-Flores taking home another gold, this time in the 400-yard free relay with a time of 3:07.10.