The University of Mary Washington sent 10 swimmers to the NCAA Division III National Championship held this week in Shenandoah, Texas, a major increase from the three UMW students sent to last year’s championship.
The swimmers included six men: Alex Anderson, Nick Eckhoff, Michael Yelmgren, Peter Slattery, Sean Mayer and Jack McHugh, and four women: Amber Kerico, Katie Fago, Hannah Hagy and Stephanie Hallock.
Sophomore chemistry major Alex Anderson won the 400-yard individual medley with a time of 3:50.55, which beat his previous personal best by seven seconds and breaks the NCAA Division III championship record of 3:51.45 set by Alex Beyer of Washington University in 2009. Anderson also placed second in the 200-yard butterfly. Anderson is the fourth individual national champion in UMW’s history. He also achieved All-American honors.
“He deserved all of his wins. He works hard every single day. It was nice to see him do really well because he’s not only a great swimmer, but a great student,” said junior biology major Amber Kerico.
Anderson, Slattery, Yelmgren and Echkhoff took twelfth place in the 400-yard medley relay with a time of 3:21.72 and also achieved All-American honors for this race. Anderson, Eckhoff, McHugh and Mayer placed eighteenth in the 800 free relay with a time of 6:52.20.
“I think it’s really cool,” said sophomore biology major Michael Yelmgren on making honors. “It is the last thing I wanted to do for the season. I got the school record, the confrence record and now this, so I have a trifecta.”
Kerico placed thirteenth in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:04.69. She gained All-American honors for the second year in a row.
“It was cool; I did it last year though,” said Kerico. “I would like to go for something higher.”