University of Mary Washington sophomore Alex Anderson became the fourth individual NCAA national champion in UMW school history by breaking the NCAA Division III record in the 400-yard individual medley on March 21 at the National Swimming and Diving Championships in Shenandoah, Texas. Anderson finished with a time of 3:50.55.
Seeded fourth in the event entering the championships with a time of 3:57, Anderson destroyed his career best by seven seconds in the final. He led the race from start to finish. He shattered the previous NCAA Division III record of 3:51.45, broken in 2009 by Alex Beyer of Washington University.
“Alex represented all of the Eagles in the best way possible tonight,” said UMW head coach Abby Brethauer. “We could not be more proud of his national championship. To do it in record setting fashion makes it even more special.”
Anderson joins Shannon Hutcherson (women’s swimming, 1993), Myra Simpson (women’s track, 1996), and Paul Bristow and Dan Uyar (men’s tennis doubles) as an individual national champion at UMW.
Also in the weekend NCAA competition, Anderson finished second in the 200-yard butterfly, narrowly missing a second national title by .07 of a second.
He was a member of several relay teams that finished well in Division III competition. The 400-medley relay team, also made up of Michael Yelmgren, Peter Slattery and Nick Eckhoff, placed 12th with a record time of 3:21.72. The men’s 800-free relay, including Eckhoff, Jack McHugh and Sean Mayer, finished in 18th place at 6:52.20. The 400-free relay team, including Mayer, McHugh and Eckhoff, finished 21st with a time of 3:05.70.
In other competition, junior Amber Kerico picked up her second All-America title an 11th place finish in the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 2:20.25.
Overall, the Eagle men finished the championship in 19th place with 47 points, while the women placed 38th with 10 points.