This past weekend, the UNH women’s swimming and diving team was able to carve their names in the history books as they claimed the America East Championship with a total score of 876 points.
The ‘Cats dominated the weekend winning 15 of the 20 events, breaking records and blowing out their rival, the UMBC Retrievers, by 116 points. Entering the meet, the Wildcats and Retrievers both had seven America East titles but after their win, the ‘Cats separated themselves as they now lead the conference with eighth America East Championship victories.
Senior swimmer Corinne Carbone is no stranger to this meet as she has felt both the glory of winning in 2018 and the disappointment of losing in 2019.
“This year was a lot more satisfying since we had so many accomplishments, not only as a team but individually as well. We’ve worked hard, it’s just really exciting,” Carbone said. “It’s bittersweet. I hate being the only swimming senior, but it’s been an honor swimming with (my teammates) and I’m glad I got to win more than once.”
Carbone earned the Dave Alexander Coaches’ Award for collectively totaling the most points in the America East Championship over her four years. “It’s the cherry on top. I’ve been working so hard with coach and my teammates pushed me. It’s exciting the way it all came together,” she said.
Carbone was able to win her eighth individual event in the America East Championship and it was in an event she normally doesn’t swim: the 200 Fly. Head coach Josh Willman had nothing but great things to say about his senior.
“She really can do anything; we’re going to miss her versatility the most. She really can swim anything and in a dual meet. We are going to miss that a ton. If there was a hole in the lineup, I could throw Corinne in and win it.”
Fellow senior Allison Stefanelli is the team’s top diver and was able to sweep the diving events, winning her third straight three-meter title and her first career one-meter championship. Due to her performance, she earned the Most Outstanding Diver award in the competition and Willman was impressed to say the least.
“The fact she won both is amazing. She was very patient with her injury. She set a good example with her injury, she did a lot of work and rehabbed herself to get where she needed to be.”
Meanwhile, the German native, sophomore Anna Metzler was once again outstanding in this meet. She swam in five different events and broke 15 records. Whether it was the pool, conference, team or meet record, she was unstoppable and broke at least two records every time she was in the water.
“It was awesome to stand on the podium and to have your teammates next to you knowing you’re better than everyone else,” Metzler said. “It was a lot, I was a little overwhelmed. Every time I broke a new record, I was shocked, but I got confidence from it and just kept going.”
To continue the trend of success, first-year swimmer Jamy Lum was able to continue her breakout season by not only winning two individual events but breaking UNH first-year records in both. Lum was also a part of the 400-medley relay team that broke four records and the 200-medley relay team that claimed first. With all of these accomplishments, Lum was awarded the Rookie of the Year accolade.
“I was very honored because I didn’t think I would be a candidate for that. I’m not overly confident so my team was there to push me and become the swimmer I am today,” Lum said.
The Wildcats jobs aren’t over as they move on to the ECAC and selected athletes will compete in the Navy Long Course Invitational where swimmers can qualify for Olympic trials. Among those qualified swimmers are Metzler, Carbone, Lum and first-year swimmer Olivia Stille.
“Corinne and Jamy are trying for US Olympic trial cuts which are really difficult, and we hope they can make it, but they are pretty close,” Willman said. “Anna’s is different. The German National cuts relative to her ability aren’t super challenging, so she just has to go and put up good times. She has a really good shot at making that cut, she needs to be in the top 38 in the country.”