Men's Swimming Season Review
April 4, 2003
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The University of Maryland men's swimming and diving team (4-7, 1-5 ACC) had a year marked by great individual swims and mixed team results. The Terps earned four victories for the second year in a row, including key wins over conference opponent Duke, Johns Hopkins, Howard and Villanova.
Maryland began the season with 18 of the 26 team members being either freshmen or sophomores, but the young roster mixed with key senior leadership combined for success throughout the year.
The Terps notched their first victories of 2002-03 at home against Johns Hopkins, 113-40, and Howard, 119-31. Sophomore Chris Brandenberger (Stonybrook, N.Y.) captured a victory in the 400-yard IM (4:15.84), sophomore Dan Fallon (Elkton, Md.) won the 500-yard freestyle (4:43.89) and junior diver Steven Vigilante (Plano, Texas) won the 1-meter board competition with a score of 268.57. The Terps also swept all of the relay events at the meet, coming in first in all six.
The squad hosted the Terrapin Cup Invitational in November, and finished first with a total of 968 points. Sophomore Erik Weinberg (Phoenix, Md.) had two strong swims, breaking the school record in the 200-yard backstroke (1:46.68) and winning the 100-yard backstroke (49.89).
Junior transfer Mark Hill (Rye Brook, N.Y.) won multiple events at the Invitational, with victories in the 50-yard freestyle (20.33) and the 100-yard freestyle (44.87). Hill, who lettered in two seasons at Arizona State before coming to Maryland, was consistently the team's top freestyle sprinter throughout the Terps' season.
Other winners for the Terps at the Invitational were sophomore Gergo Szekely (Szentes, Hungary) in the 200-yard breaststroke (2:06.13) and the relay team of senior Brian Luoma (New Castle, Del.), sophomore Mike Fried (Ambler, Pa.), Weinberg and Hill. They finished first in the 400-yard freestyle relay with a time of 3:02.22
The Terrapins were competitive in their first meet of the new year, Jan. 17, against then No. 18 Pittsburgh. Weinberg broke his own school record in the 200-yard backstroke (1:46.58) en route to a victory in the event. Sophomore Brad Schertle (Baltimore, Md.) on the 1000-yard freestyle (9:20.56) and Vigilante came up with a win on the 3-meter diving board (318.82) against the Panthers.
The team got their first ACC victory against the Duke Blue Devils in Durham, N.C., on Jan. 31. The Terrapins won 156-78 and had five individual winners at that meet. Schertle dominated in the distance events, winning both the 500-free (4:45.57) and the 1000-free (9:48.58). Other winners included Weinberg in the 100-yard backstroke (51.88), Fried in the 50-yard freestyle (21.44) and Hill in the 100-yard freestyle (46.77) Against Duke, the team also won both diving events with strong performances from Vigilante and senior Chris Roddy (Silver Spring, Md.). Roddy came away with a victory on the 3-meter board with a score of 302.23 points, and Vigilante won 1-meter board with a score of 273.23.
Despite losing to North Carolina on Feb. 1, the Terps got a chance to swim in the Koury Natatorium, site of the 2003 ACC Championships. This experience in the pool helped them turn in some strong swims at the conference meet.
Hill and Weinberg were the team's top individual performers at the ACC's. Hill finished in second-place in the 200-yard freestyle (44.20), and garnered third-place honors in the 50-yard freestyle (20.14).
Weinberg grabbed second-place honors in the 200-yard backstroke (1:45.29) and finished third in the 100-yard backstroke (49.11). The Terrapins finished seventh at the meet with 240 points.
Hill and Weinberg will return next season, and the recruiting class head coach Jim Wenhold will bring to program combined with the returning veterans of the team plan to build on the successes of 2002-03.