Swimming Seahawks Splash Into CAC Championship Action

Senior Rachel Hotchko finished second in the 100-m freestyle during the CAC Championship meet, held at the College Valentine’s Day weekend. (Photo by Brendan O’Hara)
Senior Rachel Hotchko finished second in the 100-m freestyle during the CAC Championship meet, held at the College Valentine’s Day weekend. (Photo by Brendan O’Hara)

“Swimmers, take your mark” began the 2010 Capital Athletic Conference Men’s and Women’s Swimming Championships, hosted by the College on Valentine’s Day weekend.

St. Mary’s College of Maryland hosted the CAC championships for its fourth consecutive year, as athletes from the University of Mary Washington, York College, Hood College, Marymount University, Gallaudet University, Salisbury University and St. Mary’s attended the event.

The start of the Championships was pushed back to Friday evening, as Governor O’Malley declared Maryland to be in a State of Emergency, preventing non-emergency personnel from driving on the roads.  At 4 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 12, the Championships began timed finals, the first event that excluded individual preliminaries to correct for lost time.

The next two days consisted of preliminaries at 10 a.m. and finals at 6 p.m. on Saturday, and 5:30 p.m. on Sunday for both men and women events.  Friday’s event consisted of the 200-meter free relay, the 500-meter free, the 200-meter individual medley, the 50-meter free, and and lastly the 400-meter medley relay.

After these events, the St. Mary’s women’s team stood in third place after Mary Washington and Marymount Universities. Mary Washington won four of the five events. On Saturday there were seven events; the 200-meter medley relay, the 400-meter individual medley, the 100-meter fly, the 200-meter free, the 100-meter breaststroke, the 100-meter backstroke, and the 800-meter free medley. Mary Washington won four of these events, followed by the Seahawks winning two and Marymount winning the final event.

With wins in the 400 individual medley and the 100 butterfly, the St. Mary’s women’s team bumped Marymount out of second place.  The final six events, consisting of the 1650-meter free, the 200 back, the 100 free, the 200 breast, the 200 fly and the 400 free relay, took place on Sunday.

Overall, the St. Mary’s women’s team had their “highest point total ever,” reported Coach Andre Barbins, now in his 12th season with the Seahawks. Their score of 628.5 led them to coming in second to Mary Washington’s 926.5 points. Marymount came in third with 470 points, closely followed by York College. Salisbury, Gallaudet and Hood placed fifth, sixth and seventh, respectively.

The St. Mary’s fans enjoyed watching and supporting their swim teams. “I thought it was a well organized event with a very competitive atmosphere,” said first-year College student Marie Rau.  Second-year Katie Lackler appreciated “the support she saw between the teammates in every race, especially during the longer relays.” The St. Mary’s women’s swim team came together well throughout the season. “The seniors did a great job” and the “freshman really stepped up throughout the year,” said Coach Barbins. “The overall conference performance was great.”

Men’s swimming came in third place during the event for the second season in a row, besting Salisbury University by one point with a final score of 390.  First-place Mary Washington scored 984 points, followed by York College with 664.  Junior captain Jackson Webb set a school record for his 1:58.22 time in the 200 butterfly, and freshman Evan Wollman took first place in the 200 breaststroke to earn his first All-CAC award.

“I think we performed really well during champs.  We came out strong on day one and we were able to stay strong throughout the weekend,” said Aaron Page, a junior on the men’s swimming team.  “We know that everyone comes in swimming their best, but we are ready to swim with our best, too.

Both teams continue their seasons with last weekend’s Seahawk Invitational, their final meet before the NCAA division III Championships during the week of Mar. 17 in Minneapolis, MN.

Students Gain Valuable Experience Designing Boyden Gallery Exhibit

The energized atmosphere bursting throughout the Boyden Art Gallery was palpable on Wednesday, Jan. 27. At 5:00 p.m., the Gallery hosted the opening night of “What Lies Beneath?: A Student-Designed Exhibition.”

“What Lies Beneath?” came out of the class Curatorial Studies Practicum, taught by Professor Cristin Cash. Mary Braun, the gallery director and collections manager, along with Erica Maust, assisted the students throughout the class and exhibition. The student design exhibition takes place in the Boyden Gallery, located in Montgomery Hall of St. Mary’s College of Maryland.

Each student from the curatorial class chose three pieces of artwork from the College’s collection, and then selected a perspective that they wished to research further based on their chosen pieces. The exhibition consists of ten sub-exhibits that each focus on a perspective of artwork, ranging from provenance to medium/materials to belonging.

Two years ago, Cash had the idea of students learning and participating in the curatorial process of art museums. That class assisted with the research and development of the exhibition, but did not follow it through to the end. According to Cash this was the “first time the class followed through with the exhibition,” which made it very rewarding for her because she was able to watch her students learn.

Cash was amazed at how everyone started with the same instructions, but by the end “each exhibit has its own voice.”  Around 5:30, senior Shauna Southerland, a student in the curatorial class, introduced the idea and concept of “What Lies Beneath?: A Student-Designed Exhibition.”

She said that the concept started with “words on a chalkboard” then grew into ideas, which were changed and modified relentlessly and meticulously.

Southerland and the nine other students “wanted to include transparency and how art can be viewed” into their exhibition. That gave shape to the meaning of this exhibition being an art show about how an art show is produced.

The exhibition helps non-artists and curators understand the processes that go into an art museum while also displaying the end product. Sophomore Anna Danz, another student part of the exhibition, said, “People from across the departments all seemed to understand and enjoy the artwork, which was one of our goals from the very beginning of the class.”

The exhibition offered an opportunity for the community to take part in the show, through a Viewer’s Choice mini exhibition. The Viewer’s Choice gives the audience the chance to complete the show by picking the final two pieces of artwork and a perspective they want researched based on the artworks. The exhibition also offered a scavenger hunt. The Viewer’s Choice and the scavenger hunt winner will both be revealed on Wednesday, Feb. 17 2010 at 5:00 p.m.

More information on “What Lies Beneath?: A Student-Designed Exhibition” can be found on their blogspot, http://whatliesbeneathsmcm.blogspot.com/ or on Facebook.

Choirs, Brass Ensemble Play to Full House

On Friday, Nov. 13, St. Mary’s Jazz Combo, conducted by Don Stapleson, performed in Montgomery Hall. The ensemble performed with special guest Sandy Mahoney. They performed music by Johnny Mercer, Chuck Mangione, and Chick Corea. (Photo By Matt Molek)
On Friday, Nov. 13, St. Mary’s Jazz Combo, conducted by Don Stapleson, performed in Montgomery Hall. The ensemble performed with special guest Sandy Mahoney. They performed music by Johnny Mercer, Chuck Mangione, and Chick Corea. (Photo By Matt Molek)

The voices of St. Mary’s College Chamber Singers echoed through the recital hall in Montgomery Hall to start off the Choir and Brass Ensemble Concert on Friday, Nov. 6. Many students, families and locals attended either the 4:00 p.m. or 8:00 p.m. performances.

The concert consisted of the St. Mary’s College Chamber Singers, the St. Mary’s College Choir and the St. Mary’s Brass Ensemble.

The recital hall did not accommodate the entire audience. Many fans listened from outside in the hallway during the 8:00 p.m. performance.

“The whole room was full, and the doors and hallway in back were all full of eager people who wanted to hear everyone singing, which was great,” said first-year Ryan Thompson, a member of the choir.

First-year Megan O’Hern enjoyed the College Chamber Singers’ opening performance of “O Magnum Mysterium” by Tomas Luis de Victoria. “I love it when they sing it forte,” she said. “It’s so powerful.”

The Chamber Choir also performed Morten Lauridsen’s rendition of “O Magnum Mysterium,” followed by “Ave Maria,” by Josquin Desprez and Anton Bruckner.

The lively beat of “Elijah Rock” by Moses Hogan pleased the crowd immensely,  said Thompson. The final song sung by the Chamber Choir was “The Battle of Jericho,” also arranged by Moses Hogan. After intermission, the Choir and the Brass Ensemble came on stage to perform John Rutter’s “Gloria.”

Combining the Choir and the Brass Ensemble enhanced their sound, reverberating it throughout the recital hall. Larry Vote, the choir’s conductor, was satisfied with the choir’s performance. He said that the Choir and Brass Ensemble “came together naturally.

“I’m very pleased; [the] students showed great focus and energy,” he said.

The St. Mary’s College of Maryland Choir, Chamber Singers, and Orchestra will perform Handel’s “Messiah” on Dec. 6 at 4:00 p.m. at the Immaculate Heart of Mary’s Church located in Lexington Park.