By: Jordan Cope, Assistant Sports Editor
Towson men’s (684.5) and women’s (602.5) swimming and diving both finished third in the first meet of the season this weekend at the All Florida Invitational.
“They have been back at it for three weeks and training well,” Head Coach Pat Mead said. “The goal is to come down and swim with the teams that are a step above us. You really do have two of the dominant swimming conferences in the country.”
Highlighting the meet on the men’s side was senior Matt McKenney and junior Jeremy Liu.
McKenney finished fourth in the 200-yard butterfly with a time of 1:49.38 while Liu finished fourth in the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 2:06.74.
“The goal was to come down and expose our kids to higher level competition and see how they responded to that,” Mead said. “So far I have been very pleased. The goal is showing our kids that they can compete with this caliber of swimmers and divers.”
Freshmen Jack Saunderson and Stefan Keller each placed fifth in their respective events.
Saunderson finished with a time of 1:50.68 in the 200-yard butterfly while Keller finished with a time of 2:07.32 in the 200-yard breaststroke.
“The men have done a really good job,” Mead said. “For our freshman to be doing that great is remarkable.”
On the women’s side, senior Jenna Van Camp and junior Macey Arnold highlighted the meet with second and third place finishes.
Van Camp took second place in the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 2:17.20 while Arnold took third place in the 1650-yard freestyle with a time of 16:57.36.
“Overall I think this was a very good experience for everyone,” Mead said. “The goal is you start off with competition like this and for the people who don’t get intimidated by it and rise to the challenge, when we go back and swim against CAA teams, it should only make them more confident.”
In the team relay events, the men finished fifth in the 400-yard freestyle with a time of 3:09.07 while the women finished in sixth with a time of 3:31.28.
Towson’s next meet will be the Alumni Meet at home, Saturday Sept. 26, at Burdick Pool.
“That’s more of a fun meet, our alumni come back and they’ll compete against our upperclassman,” Mead said. “But the alumni really don’t race. We only brought a portion of our team down for this meet this weekend and left the other half at home. So next weekend, the people that did not come to this meet will get to compete in the alumni meet.”