UPDATED Feb. 13, 2014 1:30 p.m.
BALTIMORE – For the first time since joining the America East Conference in 2003-04, just the UMBC women's swimming and diving team will be heading to the conference championship meet to be held at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. The meet, which was supposed to begin Thursday evening has been pushed back until Friday morning due to inclement weather in the Worcester, Mass. area. The meet will most likely take on a three-day format similar to the NCAA Championships.
Fans can track the meet with Live Results online or with the "Meet Mobile" app available on your phone.
Prior to the start of the year, the UMBC men moved to the Coastal Collegiate Swimming Association (CCSA) and will compete in its championship meet at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville from Feb. 19-22.
This weekend, the Retrievers look to get back on top of the conference after finishing in second-place each of the last two years. In 2012, UMBC lost out to now-departed Boston University by just 37 points at the Terriers' home pool and then were edged by New Hampshire by only 39.5 points a year ago at Maine.
This season, UMBC travels north following a 4-3 dual meet season which included wins over Rider, George Washington, Howard, and Catawba. In addition, the Retrievers placed sixth at the three-day Patriot Invitational at George Mason back in November.
The Retrievers' success this year has been based on a combination of youth and experience as freshman Emily Escobedo (New Rochelle, N.Y./Maria Regina) and senior Talor Tadena (Orangevale, Calif./Bella Vista) led the team in individual event wins with 13 and ten, respectively.
Escobedo heads to Massachusetts with the second-best conference time in the 200-yd. breaststroke (2:17.13), while sitting third in the 400-yd. IM (4:28.99), fourth in the 100-yd. breaststroke (1:04.63) and fifth in the 200-yd. IM (2:06.09). Tadena, a five-time gold medalist last year, meanwhile, makes the trip sitting second in both the 100 free (51.25) and 100 breast (1:04.42), and third in the 50 free (23.75). At Maine in 2013, the senior captured the 100 breast and 100 free events, while helping UMBC claim victory in the 200 medley and free relays, in addition to the 400 free relay.
Escobedo and Tadena have had plenty of support as 11 other Retrievers won at least one dual meet event this season. Freshmen Kayla Lilly (Natick, Mass./Medfield) won three events as a rookie and ranks in the top-ten in the America East in four disciplines.
Sophomore Stephanie Romano (Arlington, Va./Yorktown/Towson) joined the Retrievers for the spring semester and picked up three wins in two meets. In that time she posted the third-best time in the conference in the 1,000m free (10:33.90), in addition to the sixth-best time in the 500 free (5:05.57).
Sophomore Corinna Darelius (Rye, N.Y./Rye) leads the UMBC diving team after winning six dual meet events and earning three America East Diver of the Week awards. She leads the conference in the 3-meter event with her career-best score of 272.47 from the Howard meet on Jan. 11. Darelius sits third in the 1-meter event with her season and career-best score of 271.85 from Coral Springs, Fla. which qualified her for the NCAA Zones meet to be held in March.