College Championships Abound in Maryland

There were three different college conference championships held in Maryland this past weekend: the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Indoor Track & Field Championships, the Capital Athletic Conference Men’s & Women’s Swimming Championships and the Maryland JUCO Basketball Championships.

Prince George’s Sports and Learning Complex hosted the MEAC Championships this year. The Championships started on Thursday and wrapped up on Saturday. The weekend belonged to the Hampton women and the Norfolk State men. Both teams earned identical scores of 161.5 points to win the conference title.

The University of Maryland Eastern Shore men and women finished second overall. UMES’ Cynthia Anais and Owen Cain were named the championship’s Outstanding Runner and Outstanding Field Performer, respectively. Anais earned 32.5 points for the women and Cain earned 19 points for the men. For the second straight year, Norfolk State’s Josef Tessema recorded 32.5 points to earn the Outstanding Runner Performer on the men’s side. The women’s Outstanding Field Performer award was split between two athletes, Shamire Rothmiller of South Carolina State and Claudia Calder of Hampton who both recorded 18 points. (Complete results)

In St. Mary’s City, the Capital Athletic Conference was holding its swimming championships at St. Mary’s College. When it comes to swimming, the University of Mary Washington is king and queen; the women’s team has won every single conference title since the conference’s inception in 1990, and the men have won 11 consecutive titles, 17 overall. This year was no different as the Mary Washington women won their 22nd straight title, and the Mary Washington men won their 12th straight and 18th overall.

The host school, St. Mary’s College, finished second in both the men’s and women’s division. This is the fifth straight second-place finish for the women’s team. Women’s coach Andre Barbins was named CAC Coach of the Year. Anna Macedonia of Marymount won the CAC Swimmer of the Year award for the second straight year.

For the men, UMW’s Nick Eckhoff was named CAC Swimmer of the Year, marking the fourth-straight year a UMW swimmer earned the award. Hood College’s Don Feinberg was honored with the title of CAC Coach of the Year.

Meanwhile at the Maryland JUCO Basketball Championship in Frederick at Frederick County Community College, there was less racing and more running, up and down a court, that is. Both defending champions, the Allegany Trojans for the women and the Cecil Seahawks for the men, made it to the finals on Sunday, but headed into their final game as the underdog.  Allegany entered the women’s final as the no. 4 seed matched up against the no. 2 seed Chesapeake Skipjacks, and Cecil was the no. 2 seed up against the no. 1 seed Hagerstown Hawks.

But both defending champions would fall on Sunday, with Chesapeake toppling Allegany 75-66 for the women and Hagerstown winning a close one against Cecil, 78-74.  With their wins, the Skipjacks and Hawks earned a berth into the NJCAA Division II Region XX tournament. The winner of that tournament gets an automatic bid to Nationals.

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