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02/20/2024 | News release | Distributed by Public on 02/20/2024 23:00

BU Swimming and Diving Heading to Navy for Patriot League Championships

BU Swimming and Diving Heading to Navy for Patriot League Championships

The BU swimming and diving teams getting ready for their dual meet against Bryant University on January 27

Varsity Sports

BU Swimming and Diving Heading to Navy for Patriot League Championships

Terriers seeking top-four finish and to defend last year's individual titles

February 20, 2024
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The Boston University men's and women's swimming and diving teams are eyeing a top-four finish as they head to the 2024 Patriot League Championships. The four-day competition at Navy's Lejeune Hall in Annapolis, Md., begins Wednesday, February 21. The Terriers will face the 10-team conference field, striving to reach uncharted waters for both programs-improving individual and school records in the pool and from atop the diving board.

BU coaches and athletes both see this year's competition as a great opportunity to break school records, while vying for Patriot League gold. The women's team finished 6-1, and the men 4-3, in regular season meets this year. Along the way, the programs have seen multiple new school and pool records broken, and they anticipate this week's competition could yield even more.

"It's the most exciting time of year for sure-we love championship season," says James Sica, first-year men's and women's swimming and diving head coach. "It's a culmination of a lot of the hard work that the team has been putting in since September. There are opportunities on both the men's and women's side to improve on finishes from last year and to do some things that the program has never done before."

This year's competition presents a new start for both teams after 18-year head coach Bill Smyth retired last spring. Sica is excited about coaching his teams as they enter his first Patriot League Championships, and his debut season has been a learning experience for him and his swimmers and divers, he says.

"It's been a lot of fun, I have certainly learned a lot," the first year coach says. "Hopefully the athletes have learned a lot about themselves, too, and about what they're capable of. I think that's always my goal as a coach, to empower the group to dream beyond what they may have ever thought was possible."

Defending Patriot League Champion and 2023 PL Women's Diver of the Meet Sumi Cameron (Questrom'24) during the January senior night dual-meet against Bryant.

Although this is his first trip to the Patriot League Championship, many of his athletes will be seeking to defend, or break, previous championship records. Last year, the programs finished fourth (women's) and fifth (men's).

Lara Mitchell (CAS'24) clinched three medals, breaking her own 200-yard backstroke school record (1:57.90) in the process. Garnering two medals, Haley Newman (CAS'26) broke the school record for the 200-yard butterfly (1:58.58). Diver Sumi Cameron (Questrom'24) won the women's one-meter dive, and was the third Terrier in history to be named Women's Diver of the Meet. And Sophia Souza (CAS'25) joined Cameron in sweeping the women's diving categories, winning the three-meter competition.

For the men, Kyle Falkstrom (Sargent'23, GRS'27) smashed his own school records for 100-yard breaststroke (53.75), 200-yard breaststroke (1:58.42), and the 400-yard medley relay (breaststroke), alongside Jacob Lindner (COM'23) (backstroke), Justin Lee (Questrom'24) (butterfly) and Ethan Thomas (CAS'23) (freestyle), good for a time of 1:28.45.

This season, Falkstrom has again reset his own school records in the 200 breast (1:55.89) and 100 breast (53.54) events. Now a graduate student, he says he is eager to compete in his fourth PL competition in five years.

"I think it's awesome what we've been building this past year," Falkstrom says. "I'm really excited, not only for myself but also to see all that hard work from my teammates pay off in the pool. We're really vying for that fourth place spot that we narrowly missed a few years ago, and ideally trying to get as close to that top-three team finish as possible."

Sica says he's excited about seeing Falkstrom compete in the 100- and 200-yard breaststroke events, and he anticipates that the fifth year swimmer will be a "key player" in the team relays.

Two-time BU breaststroke school record holder Kyle Falkstrom (Sargent'23, GRS'27) competing against Bryant University atBU's FitRec competition pool on January 27.

On the women's side, the coach cites standout freshman Han Hoang (CAS'27), who clinched three school records at November's Terrier Invite. After previously tying the women's 50-yard freestyle record, Hoang overtook the mark with a time of 22.63, later joining Mitchell, Madison Kim (CAS'24, Sargent'24) and Sydney Sorbello (ENG'24) to set the 200-yard freestyle relay record (1:32.44), and then the 400-yard medley relay record alongsideMitchell, Kim, and Clarissa Hoyt (CAS'24).

From the diving boards, Sica is looking to his two defending PL champions, Cameron and Souza, as part of a group with the most NCAA zone-qualifying scores in program history.

Cameron says the women's dive team is positioned to repeat last year's success, citing the energy her teammates bring to the dive deck.

"We had one of the best years in our program's history and we're really looking forward to hopefully coming back this year stronger than ever," Cameron says. "We really bring a super high energy to the deck, and I think that's what our dive team thrives on-a good high-energy arena. All of us are trying to bring our A-games whilst also having fun throughout the entire meet."

This will be the last Patriot League competition for Cameron, who says she's delighted to be closing out her PL career at Annapolis.

"Navy is a really great place to finish Patriots because it's a big pool, a great place that brings a lot of energy," she says, "and fortunately, our parents are allowed to come, so I'm just looking to have the best last meet and go into retirement in a nice way."

Once again, eyes will be set on the host school, the US Naval Academy, which has won 19 consecutive men's Patriot League Championship trophies, and the last 11 for the women.

The Men's and Women's Swimming and Diving Patriot League Championships begin Wednesday, February 21, and conclude Saturday, February 24, at the United States Naval Academy's Lejeune Hall in Annapolis, Md. Live coverage of the tournament will be streamed via ESPN+. BU fans can find more information on goterriers.com and follow along on Twitter at @TerrierSwimDive and @BUGameDay.

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BU Swimming and Diving Heading to Navy for Patriot League Championships

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  • Charles Moore (COM'24)

    Charles Moore (COM'24) is pursuing a degree in journalism with a minor in history. He works in the Worcester Red Sox front office and is the Head Delegate for BU's competitive Model United Nations Team. Charles is from Wayland, MA., and has seen a home game of all 30 Major League Baseball teams. He can be reached at [email protected]. Profile

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