The University of Miami swimming and diving team will begin competition Thursday in the Big East Championships in Uniondale, NY.
The Hurricanes bring 16 athletes to the competition including returning Big East Swimmer of the Year Manon Van Rooijen, who set championship records in both the 100 (49.11) and 200 (1:48.48) freestyle events last year.
UM also returns diver Katie Beth Bryant and Kyle Prandi both of whom have claimed Big East Diving Championships within the last three years. Bryant took the 2002 championship in the three-meter diving event, while Prandi claimed both the one and three-meter diving events in 2001 and the three-meter in 2000.
The Hurricanes have dominated the diving events since the early 1990’s when coach Randy Ableman took over the program. Since 1997, Miami has claimed the championship in every diving event at Big East’s.
Of the 48 events contested in all four categories of both men’s and women’s diving since 1990, the Hurricanes have claimed 40 championships. In the last four years since the honor’s institution, Ableman has been named Big East Diving Coach of the Year on three occasions. He has been named the NCAA Coach of the Year nine times during his career and was recently presented with the prestigious Phil Boggs Award.
Overall, UM’s women’s team placed third in the conference championships last season and swim coach James Sweeney is confident in his team’s ability to improve upon that. Sweeney noted that several of his swimmers are on pace to break new records either at Uniondale or during NCAA’s in Auburn, Ala.
“Coming off of one of our best seasons in over 10 years, (I’ve had) high expectations for our women’s team,” Sweeney said. “We brought more than we lost so we expect not only to keep getting faster, but also to improve our third place-finish at Big Eastand 15th at NCAA’s.”
In addition to Van Rooijen’s record-setting performances, UM’s 400-yard relay team of Christine Williams, Erin Johns and Megan Kinsella, as well as Van Rooijen, earned the Big East Championship and claimed a record of their own (3:20.86).
This year, Colleen Adkins will compete in the 100 and 200-yard breaststroke and the 200 IM; Meghan Clabby will compete in the 100 and 200 breaststroke; Katalin Ferenczi, the 100 and 200 backstroke; Adrien Ferguson, the 100 and 200 butterfly as well as the 200 IM; Johns, 50 and 100 freestyle; Kinsella, 100 and 200 free; Martyna Krawczyk, 100 and 200 breast; Elaine Schwartz, 200 fly and the 200 and 400 IM; Christina Swanson, 50 free and 100 and 200 breast; Manon Van Rooijen, the 200 IM and 100 and 200 free; Tammy Watts, the 100 and 200 back; and Williams, the 50, 100, and 200 free.
Courtesy of the sports information department.