TOWSON, Md. – Six Landmark men's swimming & diving titles have been awarded thus far, and they all belong to the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy. The Mariners are hoping to make it seven straight this winter as the conference coaches voted the team to repeat in 2014. USMMA received six first place votes and 60 points as the top pick in the poll.
The top three teams in the poll replicate last year's championship standings with Susquehanna University finishing second with the remaining first place vote and 43 points. The University of Scranton was picked third in the poll with 32 points while Catholic University was fourth with 25 points.
The Academy returns All-American and Landmark Swimmer of the Year, Kevin Lindgren. The junior was the NCAA Division III runner-up in the 200-yard backstroke last year and finished fourth in the 100-yard backstroke. He wrapped up the 2013 NCAA Championships with three All-American honors after teaming up with Sean Minor, Joshua McCormick, Alvaro Brice, and Blake Krell in the 400-yard freestyle relay for 16th place. Brice and McCormick return this year along with the 2013 Landmark Diver of the Year William Porter and Rookie of the Year Jordan Cripe. In his 13th season at the helm, USMMA Head Coach Sean Tedesco will look to lead the Mariners to their 16th consecutive conference championship this February.
Susquehanna finished as runner-up at the Landmark Championships last year for the fourth time in six years. The Crusaders will have to replace All-Conference swimmers Chadd Lee and Taylor Cole, but return senior Josh Heller. Heller is the three-time 50-yard freestyle Landmark champion and two-time 100-yard freestyle champion. Seven seniors will look to balance out a roster with eight newcomers this season.
Scranton sophomore Mitchell Colby and junior John Hughes highlight the return of 21 lettermen from last year's team that placed third at the Landmark Championships. Colby, a distance specialist, set three Royal records while Hughes capped off the season with a runner-up finish in the 100 breaststroke and a fourth place in the 200 breaststroke at the Landmark championships. Head Coach Paul DeAngelo recruited several divers to replace senior Tim McCormick, the 2012 and 2013 Landmark 1-meter diving champion. Scranton's strength once again this year will be its depth, as the Royals are expected to feature a roster of 25 swimmers.
Catholic returns two-time All-Conference performer and 2011 Landmark Swimmer of the Year, Caleb Capozella. Seniors Justin Kenyon and Dominic Grillo join sophomore Matt Wagner as other top returners this year. Head Coach Paul Waas has brought in a wealth of new talent to fill out the roster.
Marywood University was picked fifth in the poll with 18 points while Goucher College was selected sixth with 12 points. Drew University wrapped up the poll with six points.
The 2013-14 season kicks off this weekend with two teams in action. All seven conference teams will compete at the Landmark Championships Feb. 7-9 at Marywood University in Scranton, Pa.
|2013 Landmark Men's Swimming Preseason Poll|
|Rank||Institution (First Place)||Points|