Women's Swimming & Diving Set to Compete at ECAC Championships (Feb. 28 to Mar. 2)

2013-14 SCHEDULE/RESULTS PSYCHE SHEET | 2014 QUALIFYING STANDARDS | SCHEDULE OF EVENTS | LIVE RESULTS

DURHAM, N.H. – The University of New Hampshire women's swimming & diving team is set to compete at the three-day ECAC Championships, hosted by the U.S. Naval Academy starting Thursday, Feb. 28 at Lejeune Hall.

LAST TIME OUT: New Hampshire claimed its second consecutive America East Championship and sixth in program history with a championship-record 877 points. The Wildcats claimed back-to-back conference titles for the first time since the 2004-05 and 2005-06 seasons. UNH garnered gold in 12 events with six one-two finishes, claimed seven America East records and achieved seven NCAA provisional cuts. Furthermore, UNH rewrote four program records.

Senior Lauren McCandless (Macungie, Pa.), recipient of the Dave Alexander Coaches Award, became the first woman in conference history to win the 1,650-yard freestyle four consecutive times. The senior also became the fifth swimmer ever to sweep an event all four years in conference history. McCandless logged a time of 16 minutes, 46.64 seconds on the final day of the conference championships. The senior was also a winner in the 200-yard butterfly, blazing through the water to clock in at 2:00.33.

Junior Katie Mann (Prince George, British Columbia) posted UNH program records in the 100- and 200-yard breaststroke as well as pacing the field in the 200- and 400-yard IM. In a 200 breaststroke time trial, Mann split a 1:02.17 at the 100 mark snapping the UNH record (Allison Nahin, 2011, 1:02.48). The junior went on to finish the race with a new school record and NCAA provisional standard of 2:10.30, ranking her 19th nationally in Division I. Additionally, Mann set new America East and program bests in the 200- and 400-yard IM, registering NCAA provisional marks of 1:59.12 and 4:12.91 respectively.

At the conclusion of the meet, head coach Josh Willman, associate head coach Jarrod Zwirko and diving coach Robin Kamil were tabbed the America East Coaches of the Year for the fifth straight season.

UNH AT THE ECAC CHAMPIONSHIPS: UNH has twice won the ECAC Championships (2005 and 2011), all under Willman. However, the three-time ECAC Coach of the Year (2003, 2011 and 2013) has prepared for the three-day meet from an individual perspective. "UNH will not be competing in relays and the swimmers will be competing in only select events," said Willman. "Our objective is to give the women who have earned NCAA 'B' cuts another opportunity to improve their times and have a better chance at being invited to the NCAA Championships later in March. The Division I NCAA Swimming & Diving Championships is the most difficult meet in the world to qualify for and we hope to put our best foot forward this weekend in Annapolis." New Hampshire sends six student-athletes to the ECAC Championships. The group consists of sophomore Bettina Caspersen (Lyngby, Denmark), junior Oneida Cooper (Johannesburg, South Africa), junior Allison Morales (Santa Clarita, Calif.), senior Jenni Roberts (Springvale, Maine), Mann and McCandless. Current Wildcats competing at the ECAC Championships who have won events in years past include Mann (2013), McCandless (2011) and Roberts (2013). Below is a link of the complete list of previous UNH winners at the ECAC Championships.

ECAC Champions from UNH

COLLECTING HARDWARE: New Hampshire swimmers are the most highly honored student-athletes in the America East, winning 34 major conference awards including 21 Swimmers of the Year (16 America East and five ECAC), six America East Scholar-Athlete of the Year, four Rookie of the Year, two Senior High Point Coaches awards and one Dave Alexander Coaches award. During Willman's tenure, 354 swimmers have been crowned America East Champions and 103 have been named ECAC Champions. In total, Wildcat swimmers have broken over 246 school records, 97 America East records and 23 ECAC records. Below is a list of all the accolades Wildcats swimmers have been bestowed under the tutelage of Willman:

 

Year

America East
Swimmer(s) of the Year

America East
Scholar Athlete of the Year

America East
Senior High Point Award/
Dave Alexander Coaches Award

ECAC
Swimmer of the Year

1993

N/A

Mike Dix

N/A

N/A

1994

N/A

Dan Bailey

N/A

N/A

1995

Denise Leckenby & Jeremy Hutchinson

N/A

N/A

N/A

1996

Denise Leckenby & Ian Smith

Denise Leckenby

N/A

Denise Leckenby

1997

Denise Leckenby & Frank Reeves

N/A

N/A

N/A

1998

Denise Leckenby

Denise Leckenby

N/A

Denise Leckenby

1999

Kristen Zeimetz & Ian Smith

Kristin Latourelle

N/A

N/A

2000

Brian Lucey

N/A

N/A

N/A

2003

Shannon Daly

N/A

N/A

N/A

2004

N/A

N/A

N/A

Shannon Daly

2005

Melissa Lague

N/A

N/A

N/A

2006

Kary Goodman

N/A

Shannon Daly

Kary Goodman

2007

Kary Goodman

N/A

N/A

N/A

2008

Amy Perrault (Rookie of the Year)

N/A

Kary Goodman

N/A

2009

Jessica Little (Rookie of the Year)

N/A

N/A

N/A

2010

Amy Perrault

N/A

N/A

N/A

2011

Lauren McCandless (Rookie of the Year)

N/A

Amy Perrault

Amy Perrault

2012

Katie Mann (Swimmer/Rookie of the Year)

Lauren McCandless

N/A

N/A

2013

N/A

N/A

Lauren McCandless

N/A

 

NATIONALLY RANKED: UNH received its highest ranking in program history in the CollegeSwimming.com Division I rankings, placed 14th on Feb. 18. The ranking is the highest the Wildcats have received in program history. Furthermore, New Hampshire was the highest ranked non-BCS institution in the poll. 

WEEKLY ACCOLADES: Five different UNH swimmers and a diver have garnered weekly honors from the conference during the 2013-14 campaign. Cooper, Jenna Bull (Woodstock, New Brunswick), McCandless and Roberts have all claimed America East Swimmer of the Week honors. Roberts is the lone repeat conference Swimmer of the Week this season, recently garnering the award on Jan. 28. Furthermore, the senior was tabbed as the Philip Hunsaker CollegeSwimming.com Women's Division I Swimmer of the Week on Jan. 29. It marked the first weekly national award that UNH has received in program history. Mann collected the latest weekly award this season as the junior was also named the Philip Hunsaker CollegeSwimming.com Women's Division I Swimmer of the Week on Feb. 19. On the boards, junior diver Nicole Zahka (Medway, Mass.) was named America East Diver of the Week twice this season. Here is the complete list of award winners for the 2013-14 season: 

 

Date

Name

Award

Oct. 15, 2013

Jenna Bull

America East Swimmer of the Week

Oct. 15, 2013

Nicole Zahka

America East Diver of the Week

Oct. 22, 2013

Lauren McCandless  

America East Swimmer of the Week

Oct. 29, 2013

Jenni Roberts

America East Swimmer of the Week

Oct. 29, 2013

Nicole Zahka

America East Diver of the Week

Nov. 26, 2013

Oneida Cooper

America East Swimmer of the Week

Jan. 28, 2014

Jenni Roberts

America East Swimmer of the Week

Jan. 29, 2014

Jenni Roberts

Philip Hunsaker CollegeSwimming.com
Women's Division I Swimmer of the Week

Feb. 19, 2014

Katie Mann

Philip Hunsaker CollegeSwimming.com
Women's Division I Swimmer of the Week


MAKING THE CUT:
 The UNH swimming & diving team received seven NCAA provisonal cuts during the America East Championships. Here are the Wildcat swimmers who have gained consideration into the 2014 NCAA Swimming & Diving Championships:

Event

Name

Time

100-Yard Butterfly

Jenni Roberts

53.96

100-Yard Breaststroke

Katie Mann

1:02.17

200-Yard IM

Katie Mann

1:59.12

200-Yard IM

Jenni Roberts

1:59.17

200-Yard Breaststroke

Katie Mann

2:10.30

200-Yard Breaststroke

Bettina Caspersen

2:13.56

400-Yard IM

Katie Mann

4:12.91


ECAC ELITE:
Roberts seeks to defend her ECAC records in the 200-yard IM and 200- butterfly. The senior set both of the records in last year's championships. Below is the breakdown of Robert's records from the 2013 ECAC Championships.

200-Yard Butterfly 1:57.31
200-Yard IM 1:58.79

 

OH MANN!: Entering the three-day meet, Mann ranks first on the psyche sheet in the 200-yard IM, 400-IM and the 200 breaststroke. Below is the breakdown of the junior's times for each respective event.

200-Yard IM 1:59.12
200-Yard Breaststroke 2:10.30
400-Yard IM 4:12.91

 

THE WILLMAN FILE: A 1984 graduate of the University of Miami (FL), Willman began his coaching career just after graduation at the YMCA and U.S.A. Swimming level. Willman entered the collegiate coaching arena as the assistant coach for New Hampshire in 1991 and took over the program the following season when he earned his first coaching honor as the Men's Coach of the Year. Since then, New Hampshire's success has not gone unnoticed, as Willman has become the America East Conference's most highly decorated coach. In his 21st season at UNH, he has been selected America East Coach of the Year 13 times in the past 21 years (1993, 1995, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014) and ECAC Coach of the Year three times (2003, 2011 and 2013).

SPANNING THE GLOBE: UNH swimmers come to Durham from all around the globe, representing four different countries. Of the 18 student-athletes on the UNH women's swimming & diving team, 13 are from the United States while five are from abroad. Three of the five international swimmers are from Canada while the other two are from Denmark and South Africa.  

Nicole Anderson (Dover) hails from the Granite State, while Sarah Broderick (Haverhill) Bernadette Byrne (Braintree) and Nicole Zahka (Medway) come from Massachusetts. Roberts (Springvale) and Kathryn Violette (Portland) are from Maine while Kelsey Fachini (East Hampton) and Emily Magnavita (South Glastonbury) are from Connecticut. Kyle Bonus (Philadelphia) and McCandless (Macungie) each hail from Pennsylvania. Katie Keefer (Waynesboro, Virginia), Lauren Marsden (Washington, D.C.) and Sarah Olver (Milwaukee, Wis.) are the lone representatives of their states/districts. Three student-athletes came to New Hampshire from the opposite side of the country in California. The Morales sisters, Adria and Allison, hail from Santa Clarita while Emily Giambastini comes from Walnut Creek. 

Outside of the United States, Bull (Woodstock, New Brunswick) Mann (Prince George, British Columbia) and Megan Suffel (Cornwall, Ontario) are from Canada. Bettina Caspersen came to UNH from Lyngby, Denmark as Cooper arrived from Johannesburg, South Africa.

COACHING CREW: The UNH swimming and diving coaching staff consists of four personnel. Outside of Willman, associate head coach Jarrod Zwirko (New Hampshire '04) is in his sixth season with the program. Diving coach Robin Kamil (Rhode Island '04) joined the Wildcats for her first season with the program. Volunteer assistant Jared Felker (Virginia '00) is in his third season with the team and works primarily with the sprint and stroke groups.

For the latest news and information on the UNH women's swimming & diving team, log onto www.unhwildcats.com.

 
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