Worcester, Mass. — The UMBC men’s swimming and diving team won the America East championship in a four-day meet which concluded Feb. 16 at Worcester Polytechnic Institute
The UMBC women finished second to New Hampshire. UNH totaled 876 points, while the Retrievers compiled 759.5, ahead of five other squads.
The Retriever men have captured 12 of the 13 championships and three in a row since America East re-instituted men’s swimming and diving as a championship sport. UMBC, which captured 16 of 18 swimming events, amassed 1,051 points, well ahead of second-place Binghamton at 807.
UMBC senior Ilia Rattsev swept the freestyle sprints (50, 100, 200 yards) and became the first ever swimmer in America East history to sweep the freestyle sprints three consecutive years. He earned the league’s David Alexander Coaches’ Award as the senior with the most points accrued at the meet. America East honored Rattsev with their Elite 18 Award, which is presented to the top-achieving student-athlete at the championships. Rattsev is maintaining a 3.97 GPA in bioinformatics and computational biology.
Retriever junior Kai Wisner earned the meet’s Most Outstanding Swimmer Award. Wisner triumphed in both the 500 freestyle, 400 individual medley and 1650 freestyle.
Freshman Niklas Weigelt took home the men’s Most Outstanding Rookie Award. The California native earned golds as part of the 200, 400 and 800 freestyle relays, took silver in the 200 yard freestyle and bronze in the 100 freestyle.
Senior Garrett Wlochowski also captured multiple golds for the Retrievers, winning the 100 and 200 backstroke events, and was part of tite-winning 200 and 400 medley relay quartets.
On the ladies side, junior Vanessa Esposito took home gold in the 1650 freestyle and classmate Natalija Marin earned the women’s Elite 18 award. The native of Belgrade, Serbia is maintaining a 3.87 grade-point average in mechanical engineering. Sophomore Caroline Sargent earned a pair of silvers in the 100 and 200 backstroke events and a bronze in the 200 individual medley.
— UMBC Athletics press release
Photo Credit: Brian Foley