In front of a packed house in Rawstrom Natatorium, the University of Delaware men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams said farewell to their seniors, 14 in all, while battling Colonial Athletic Association foe William & Mary and the University of Maryland Baltimore County on Saturday afternoon.
The men swept both UMBC, 159-141, and William & Mary, 236-62, to move to 11-1 overall and 6-1 in the CAA on the season. The women (8-6, 4-5 CAA) got off to a hot start with Cortney Barry, Donna Healy, Courtney Raw, and Hannah Facchine placing first or second in the first four individual events, but could not keep up with UMBC, 124-175, and the Tribe, 136-155.
Although it was senior night, it was a junior, Josh Hyman, who stole the show as he broke a school record by becoming the first person in the history of the program to break the 2:03 mark in the 200-yard breaststroke. His time of 2:02.99 was nearly six seconds faster than second place and helped keep the momentum on Delaware’s side with five more men’s events to swim.
The momentum started with the very first event for the men, as Ryan Roberts, Ross Buckwalter, Mike Wodoslawsky and Grady Carter started the day with a Rawstrom Natatorium record in the 200-yard medley relay. Their time of 1:33.02 bested the old pool record set by the team a season ago.
The men set new season low times in eight separate events on the day, led by Hyman and his school record. He also set a new season best time for the Blue Hens in the 200-yard individual medley, when he won the event in 1:52.90. Paul Gallagher set a new time for 2010-11 in the 100-yard freestyle with a first place finishing time of 45.73. New times were also set in the 500 and 1650-yard freestyles, 200-yard butterfly and the 400-yard freestyle relay.
Courtney Raw won the 100-yard backstroke for the women in 57.74, while Erika Bilenki earned the top podium spot in the 1-meter diving event with 231.66 points to round out the first place finishes for the Blue Hens. Bilenki also finished second in the 3-meter diving event with 226.30 points on six dives. Barry added a third place finish in the 500-yard freestyle event in 5:06.27, to close out her swimming career in the Carpenter Sports Building.
The two dual meet wins today puts the Blue Hen men into double digit wins for the fourth straight season but for only the eighth time in the history of the program.
The swimmers get to take a break until the CAA Championships held at George Mason starting February 23, but the divers are back on the board next Saturday, February 5 for the Delaware Diving Invitational starting at 10 a.m.