DURHAM, N.H. – The University of New Hampshire women's swimming & diving team earned a spot in Tuesday's CollegeSwimming.com Division I national poll, ranking 14th.
UNH receives its highest ranking in program history in the poll. In addition, the Wildcats are the highest ranked non-BCS institution. Among the top-five schools are the University of Georgia (1), Stanford University (2), University of Southern California (3), University of California (4) and University of Florida (5).
New Hampshire garnered back-to-back America East Championships for the third time in its history and the first time since the 2004-05 and 2005-06 seasons. The Wildcats have tallied six conference titles and two ECAC championships, all under head coach Josh Willman. At this year's three-day championship meet, UNH snapped a myriad of records, including the most points (877) scored by a team.
The 'Cats earned gold in 12 events with six one-two finishes. New Hampshire snapped seven America East records and achieved seven NCAA provisional cuts. Furthermore, UNH rewrote four program records.
Senior Lauren McCandless (Macungie, Pa.), recipient of the Dave Alexander Coaches Award, became the first woman in conference history to win the 1,650-yard freestyle four consecutive times. The senior also became the fifth swimmer ever to sweep an event all four years in America East history. McCandless registered a time of 16 minutes, 46.64 seconds on the final day of the conference championships.
Junior Katie Mann (Prince George, British Columbia) posted UNH program records in the 100- and 200-yard breaststroke. In a 200 breaststroke time trial, Mann split a 1:02.17 at the 100 mark breaking the UNH record (Allison Nahin, 2011, 1:02.48). The junior went on to finish the race with a new school record and NCAA provisional standard of 2:10.30, ranking her 19th nationally in Division I.
Willman, associate head coach Jarrod Zwirko and diving coach Robin Kamil were named the America East Coaches of the Year for the fifth straight year.
The Wildcats return to the pool on Friday, Feb. 28 at the ECAC Championships, hosted by the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. For the latest news and information on the UNH women's swimming & diving team, please visit www.unhwildcats.com.