The last time the Boston University women’s swimming and diving team claimed the top prize at the America East Swimming and Diving Championships, most of the current Terriers were just starting grade school.
The BU women took the title for the first time in 14 years Sunday night, besting two-time defending America East champion the University of Maryland-Baltimore County with a final score of 769 points. The BU men finished the four-day event in second place with 873 points, just 27 behind UMBC, who claimed their sixth consecutive championship.
The BU men entered Sunday 20 points behind UMBC, and pulled ahead with only the 200-yard butterfly and 400-yard freestyle left to go. But UMBC took four of the top five spots in the butterfly to reclaim the lead, and BU fell just short of the championship sweep despite several strong individual performances.
Sophomore Matt Rickett’s performance in the 100-yard butterfly on Saturday highlighted an eventful weekend that saw 23 new school and conference records set between the men’s and women’s teams. His 46.43-second-performance clocked in as an NCAA consideration time and the 11th fastest in Division I this season. Rickett went on to earn the Most Outstanding Swimmer of the Meet honor, as he also finished first in the 50-yard freestyle and four other races as a member of various relay teams.
Senior diver Tess Waresmith swept the diving competition, taking first in both the 1- and 3-meter dives to earn Most Outstanding Female Diver of the Meet recognition. Waresmith’s score of 539.90 on the 1M dive set a new conference record Sunday, and classmate Alex Crerar took second place in both events.
Senior Andre Watson put on a show of his own en route to Most Outstanding Male Diver of the Meet honors. Watson swept both men’s diving events and broke the conference 1M record Thursday with a score of 670.45.
At the end of the tournament, senior Eve Kinsella was presented with the Coaches Award, given each year to the America East senior who collects the most points over the previous four conference championships.
Even the coaching staff got into the mix when BU coach Bill Smyth, assistant coach Jen Strasburger and diving coach Agnes Gerlach-Miller were named Men’s Coaching Staff of the Year at the end of the meet.’ The three also helm the women’s swimming and diving team.
The America East championships started well for the men, as the 200-yard medley relay team of Rickett, sophomores Bryon Kallert and Kyle Ernst and freshman Jackson Hill followed Watson’s victory in the 1M with a first-place time of 1 minute, 29.11 seconds, a new school record.
On Friday, Kinsella broke her own school record in the 200-yard individual medley, claiming first place in the event for the second consecutive year with a time of 2:02.22. The Terriers’ 200-yard freestyle relay team of Kinsella, junior Emily Munday and sophomores Kirsten Tullis and Maria McIntyre took first place with a school-record time of 1:33.94.
The Terriers swept the top three spots in the men’s 50-yard freestyle, with Rickett finishing just ahead of Hill and freshman Daniel Kempf.’ The 200-yard freestyle relay team of Rickett, Kempf, Hill and freshman Sam Weinstein took first place, breaking the previous school record set earlier this year by nearly three seconds.
Senior Christina Ruggiero finished first in Saturday’s 400-yard individual medley with a time of 4:24.83, while Munday took top prize in the 100-yard butterfly. Her time of 54.73 in the event’s preliminary round Saturday afternoon broke her own school record, and’ her finals time of 54.88 later that day was good for first place.
Junior Tyson Slesnick led off Day Three for the men with a school record 3:58.10 in the 400 IM, good for third in the event. Kallert, Rickett, Ernst and Hill took first in the 400-yard medley relay event with a time of 3:16.95, besting the old school record by more than five seconds.
Hill’s 100-yard freestyle time of 44.18 shattered a 23-year-old BU record by more than a second and earned a first-place finish, and Rickett, junior Arik Seiler and Weinstein finished in third, fourth and fifth, respectively. The Terriers’ 400-yard freestyle relay team of Kempf, Rickett, Seiler and Hill clocked in at 2:57.72, breaking the previous conference record and the NCAA provisional qualifying time.