FAIRFAX, Va. - Being called a champion isn't getting old for the Tiger women's swimming and diving team.
An impressive performance by the Tigers in the final day of the Colonial Athletic Association Swimming and Diving Championships allowed Towson to claim its third straight league championship.
The Tigers scored 792 points to finish ahead of UNC Wilmington, which tallied 633.50 points. Meanwhile, James Madison was third with 533 points followed by William & Mary with 395.50 points.
The Tigers also become the first women's team to win three straight conference championships since George Mason won four consecutive titles from 2002 to 2005. It is the third time in CAA history a women's team has won at least three straight CAA titles.
"We had to fight for everything we got this year and it was the hardest fought meet we have had in the last three years," Towson Coach Pat Mead said. "Everyone really stepped up today. If we didn't do what we did this morning in the preliminaries, we wouldn't have been successful. I am so proud of this entire team."
For the third straight day, junior Meredith Budner set a CAA Championship record by winning the 1650-yard freestyle with a NCAA 'B' cut time of 16:16.50. It was her third individual title of the meet as she also claimed the 500-yard freestyle and 400-yard individual medley championships.
"Meredith had a great meet and I think her consistency in everything she does has been the key to her success this year," said Coach Mead. "Other people have also been very consistent this year, which has helped us to all of this success. Meredith won her individual events, but the key was having several swimmers in the finals of each event."
Freshman Lee Ingram placed fourth in the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 2:01.35 while sophomore Maggie Macedonia followed in sixth place with a time of 2:02.20. Freshman Amanda Skroupa also placed 12th in the event by completing the event in 2 minutes, 4.16 seconds.
Junior Erica Hall led the Tigers' efforts in the 100-yard freestyle by placing fifth with a time of 51.44 seconds while senior Robin Glaser finished eighth with a time of 52.13 seconds. Sophomore Tana King and senior Kathryne Chalikis placed ninth and 16th in the event, respectively.
Led by a third place effort from sophomore Cari Czarnecki, the Tigers had four swimmers finish in the championship final of the 200-yard breaststroke. Sophomore Maegan McLaughlin followed in fourth place while junior Megen Donovan and senior Ivy Wimberley earned fifth and sixth places, respectively.
The Tigers placed four swimmers in the top five spots in the 200-yard butterfly, including a first place effort from senior Jordan Crosby, who turned in an NCAA 'B' cut time of 1:59.68. Sophomore Marianna Kogut and senior Christina Bowman also posted NCAA 'B' cut times while finishing in second and third places, respectively. Golden added a fifth place result with a time of 2:01.75.
The Tigers completed the title run by placing third in the 400-yard freestyle relay with an NCAA 'B' cut time of 3:24.61.TIGER TIDBITS: The Tiger women's swimming and diving team is one of two programs at Towson that have won at least three straight conference titles ... The Tiger gymnastics team has won the last five Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) titles and will try for its sixth straight in late March ... The Tiger women's lacrosse team will also try for its third straight CAA title this season ... Towson opens its women's lacrosse season next week ... The last Towson men's team to win three straight conference titles was when the Tiger men's lacrosse team won three straight CAA crowns from 2003 to 2005 ... Budner has won the 1650-yard freestyle in each of the last three years ... She now has nine CAA individual titles, winning the 500-yard freestyle and 400-yard individual medley in each of the last three years along with the 1650-yard freestyle ... Mead was named as the CAA Women's Swimming Coach of the Year for the third straight year and the fourth time in the last six years.