2021 CAA CHAMPIONSHIPS
- POSTPONED TO: Monday, March 29 – Friday, April 2, 2021
- Diving Friday, March 26 – Saturday, March 27, 2021
- Swimming: Christiansburg Aquatic Center, Christiansburg, VA (Eastern Time Zone)
- Diving: Rawstrom Natatorium, – Newark, DE (Eastern Time Zone)
- Defending Champion: William & Mary men (6x) & James Madison women (3x) (results)
- Live results (also on Meet Mobile – ‘2021 Colonial Conference Championships’)
- Live Video
- Championship Central
- Full Results
The Towson Tigers won three of the six events on the final night of the 2021 CAA Championships en route to claiming their first CAA championship in team history.
Towson came into Saturday with a 122.5 point lead over UNCW, and kept things rolling right along.
Drexel freshman Will Soleo opened up Saturday’s finals action by winning the 1650 with a time of 15:46.82, touching nearly six seconds ahead of the 2nd place finisher, Delaware’s Bryce Ciecko (15:52.37), who won the 500 free on Thursday.
UNCW’s Will Goldey kept the freshman winning streak alive with a 1:46.70 victory in the 200 back, touching in 1:467.70, just over a second ahead of Delaware freshman Zach Rowe (1:47.95). That completed the backstroke sweep for Goldey after he won the 100 back on Friday.
Towson, despite not winning either event, had two men in the top eight of both of those first two events, and then came up big in the 100 free. Tiger sophomore Michael Fazio came back hard on W&M’s Graham Hertweck, closing in 22.73 to Hertweck’s 23.13, getting past Hertweck and touching first, 43.74 to 43.84. Not only that, but Towson got 3rd and 4th place points from Ryan Baldino (44.05) and Cody Stewart (44.47), as well as a 6th place finish from Luke Schwar (44.71).
Freshmen were back in business in the event, the 200 breast. Freshmen Kacper Karnik of Drexel and Brian Benzing of Towson both went out in 25.99, just a tick behind UNCW senior Gianmichael D’Alessandro‘s 25.94, but Karnik steadily pulled ahead the rest of way, getting the win with a 1:57.61. Benzing, who won the 100 breast on Friday, took 2nd in 1:58.38.
Towson senior Nick McClure closed out the individual competition with a win in the 200 fly. McClure outsplit Drexel’s Paris Raptis on the last 50, 27.73 to 28.08 and won by a mere 0.03s, 1:46.78 to 1:46.81.
With four men in the 100 free A-final, it was no surprise that Towson won the 400 free relay, although only three of those four were actually on the relay. The freshman breaststroker Benzing led off in 44.23, which actually would’ve put him 4th individually in the 100 free, then Fazio (43.08), Stewart (43.97) and Baldino (43.27) all split sub-44 as the Tigers won by over four seconds with a 2:54.55.
Benzing was named Most Outstanding Swimmer of the championships, after taking 2nd in the 200 IM by just 0.05s, winning the 100 breast with a CAA record, and taking 2nd in the 200 breast. Towson’s head coach Jake Shrum was named the CAA Men’s Coach of the Year. Towson’s win snapped a six-year win streak by the W&M Tribe, who fell to 4th place after a particularly tumultuous season where the team was initially slated to be cut, then finally fully reinstated.
- Towson – 842.50
- UNCW – 619
- Drexel – 531
- William & Mary – 495.50
- Delaware – 491