BALTIMORE – After competing at the America East Championships for each of the past ten seasons, the UMBC men's swimming and diving team enters its first-ever Coastal Collegiate Swimming Association (CCSA) Championship meet this weekend in Knoxville, Tenn. The four-day meet will begin on Wednesday, Feb. 19 at the University of Tennessee's Allen Jones Intercollegiate Aquatic Center and run through Saturday.
The Retrievers will be competing against Davidson, Gardner-Webb, Howard, Incarnate Word, NJIT, and VMI.
UMBC posted a 5-2 record during the dual meet season which included victories over Rider, George Washington, and Old Dominion. In addition, the Black and Gold placed third at the three-day Patriot Invitation at George Mason back in November.
Senior Mohamed Hussein (Cairo, Egypt/Victory College) paced the Retrievers once again this season, capturing a team-best 12 individual dual meet events and earning CCSA Swimmer of the Week honors three times. Hussein, a two-time America East Most Outstanding Swimmer and a 2013 NCAA Championships participant, holds six UMBC individual school records in addition to the UMBC Aquatic Complex pool record for the 200 IM (1:51.07) which he reset this season. The senior currently ranks third in the conference in the 100 back (50.22), and fourth in the 200 back (1:49.46), as well as the 200 IM (1:50.25).
Hussein has received plenty of support as 13 other UMBC athletes have claimed at least one dual meet event win in the pool during the 2013-14 season. Classmate Johan Rohtla (Tallinn, Estonia/Tallinn Secondary Science) won nine events in his final season, all in the backstroke, and was named the top swimmer in the conference twice. He heads to Tennessee with the sixth-best time in the 200-yd. back discipline (1:50.38) and the eight-best time at the 100-yd. distance (51.95).
The Retriever distance swimmers recorded top times this season with freshman Andrew McKissick (Ellicott City, Md./Mount St. Joseph's) leading the league for the 1,000 free (9:34.14). He also ranks fifth in the 1,650 free (16:18.77), just behind junior Rob Breen (Danvers, Mass./St. John's Prep) who posted a top season time of 16:14.56 at the Patriot Invitational and ranks third in the CCSA for the 1,000 (9:40.45).
In the breaststroke, sophomore Leo Endres (Bamberg, Germany/Kaiser Heinrich Gymnasium) figures to be a factor as he enters the weekend in the top-five for both the 100-yd. (57.40) and 200-yd. races (2:07.36). Sophomore Luca Santinelli and senior Patrick Husson (Camp Spring, Md./DeMatha) travel to Tennessee ranked fifth (2:07.54) and sixth (2:08.21) in the 200-yd. event.
Divers Ryan Green (Ellicott City, Md./Centennial) and Tim Perkins (Frederick, Md./Tuscarora) have each qualified for the NCAA Zones meet to be held next month and each lead the conference on the 1-meter and 3-meter boards, respectively. Green, a junior, topped the conference with his 1-meter score of 286.27, with Perkins, a senior, right behind with his top score of 281.02 from the Retrievers' meet with GW in October. Perkins, meanwhile, leads the 3-meter standings (323.62) with Green just back at 317.25. Junior Carson Wong (Hong Kong/Kowloon Technical School) posted the third-best scores in both competitions this season.