SMCM Janitorial Team Sweeps Regional Championship

Staff members from the physical plant and housekeeping staff from around the college have formed a Varsity Janitorial team to enter the 50th annual Maryland state Custodian Olympics held last weekend at the University of Maryland, College Park.  The head organizer of the competition reports that “each event is designed to test a professional cleaner’s overall skill, endurance, and most of all, patience.”  Our team emerged victorious on top of seven other competing teams including the reigning champions “Mount St. Mary’s Moppers” and the dreaded “Salisbury Scrubbers,” whose families had been in the cleaning industry for generations.  

After the teams emerged from the locker rooms with newly stocked supply buckets to stands full of cheering guests, the events started. The St. Mary’s College team, the “Seahawk Sweepers,” went on to set record-breaking performances in a pentathlon that involved a pre-set course of five events: removing overflowed trash bags, tag-team relay sweeping, cleaning out a dorm microwave with a limited supply of wipes, scrubbing skid marks out of a toilet bowl, and wiping off graffiti of genitalia drawn in permanent marker from wooden tables, all as fast as possible.  Some of the other scored speed events that the team took the gold in included separating the trash from the recycling accurately, and an obstacle course “Sticky Shoes” that involved navigating a mop bucket through a floor full of spilled soda without stepping in it or wheeling over it.  

The all-day event included many festivities for the spectators. There were vendors selling hats designed to look like you were wearing a trash can or dustpan on your head among others, as well as educational pamphlets on how to keep your workplace tidy and such.  One visitor commented that “The stadium was very clean; there was no trash left in the stands or on the hallway floors.”  It is unclear if this was the case because the venue was swarming with rival custodians trying to outdo each other, or if the spectators felt angry gazes as they were about to discard their empty soda cups on the ground and just decided to clean up their act.  

Per tradition, the winning team, our St. Mary’s College of Maryland, was awarded the revered golden-toilet trophy, which looks exactly like what you’re imagining it does.  In addition to the trophy, the sponsor Sysco pledged a lifetime supply of paper towel rolls and single ply toilet paper to the winning team, which will help the college to cut down on expenses.  The team captain made a speech, how it was “a great honor” and thanking “my team, my supervisor, all our families, and the select few students who wished us good morning when they saw us in the halls instead of running in the opposite direction.”

Seahawks Approach End of Strong Spring 2010 Season

This season is best described as a roller coaster of wins, losses, and emotion. With almost season-lasting winning streaks for some and heartbreaking losses for others, the Seahawks managed to play impressively despite rough beginnings due to weather for those on the fields. The season continues into finals week for some teams, while others have ended their Spring seasons to prepare for an even better performance in ’10-’11.

Men’s basketball once again played an incredible season, ending 26-4 under the direction of five-season coach Chris Harney. The team began in the Fall semester with three consecutive wins Nov. 20-22, continuing an impressive performance into the Spring with 15 wins and three losses by Jan. 23. After a conference game against Salisbury University on Jan. 23, the Seahawks began an uninterrupted winning streak that lasted an impressive 12 games. Taking the Capital Athletic Conference Championship from Wesley College on Feb. 27, the team moved into the NCAA Division III Tournament to take two victories before losing against Franklin & Marshall College 92-87 in the sectional semifinals.

Senior Camontae Griffin and junior Alex Franz were selected for the NABC All-Middle Atlantic Region Second Team, and Coach Harney was named Region Coach of the Year. Griffin was also selected as a client for Sports Management Worldwide, for representation in upper-level basketball.

Women’s basketball ended the season with 8-8 conference and 9-16 non-conference spreads in the run for the CAC Championship. Despite a rough four-streak loss in the beginning of the Fall season that began on Nov. 17 and a later five-game losing streak that left the Seahawks 5-13 by Jan. 27, the team resumed a strong performance with four wins and three losses to reach seed No. 4 before entering the CAC Championships. Unfortunately, the Seahawks were halted in the first round, losing 88-73 against the York College Spartans despite strong performances by junior guard Megan Seeman and senior guard Stephanie Saint-Aubin. Saint-Aubin was selected for the CAC All-Conference Second Team on Mar. 2.

Baseball had a rough season this semester, as the opening games against Randolph-Macon College, Christopher Newport University, the City College of New York, and Wilkes University were canceled due to the Jan. blizzard that left the Hawk’s Nest covered in snow and ice. Losing their chance for a starting home game, the Seahawks first played Salisbury on Feb. 27, almost a month after their intended starting date of Feb. 6. While the team was able to practice inside, running shifts in the Michael P. O’Brien Athletics and Recreation Center did not prepare them for outside play. Over the course of the season, baseball was not able to recover from its initial season slump, managing only a four-win streak in mid-Mar. and five singles victories in the face of 24 losses Feb. 27-Apr. 20, currently in an eight-game losing streak after a 6-3 loss against Chris. Newport. The team’s final game this Sunday against Washington College was cancelled, leaving the team with a 9-24 season.

Beginning their first seasons as varsity teams for the College, the men’s and women’s cross country teams ended their regular seasons in the Fall with a fourth-place finish out of six (men’s) and nine (women’s) teams at the CAC Championships at Heritage Farm Park, Maryland. The team hosted a 24-hour relay run Apr. 9-10 to raise money for equipment and Southern Maryland Vacations for Vets, ensuring that at least one runner was on the track for the entire period. Both teams will return to the starting line in the Fall semester.

Also beginning in the Fall semester, the men’s tennis team began with a three-meet winning streak that was followed by two losses after a close 5-4 match against Catholic University on Sept. 26. Ending the Fall portion of the season 5-2, the Seahawks smashed the competition in the Spring with a 9-0 shut-out against Lancaster Bible College on Mar. 6. The team alternated between victories and losses before reaching the CAC tournament 11-9, but took the season-ending loss against York 9-0 on Apr. 18. The team’s final game on Apr. 22 ended with a 5-4 post-season win against Goucher College.

Beginning the season on Sept. 18, women’s tennis left the Fall portion 4-2 after a 9-0 shut-out against Lancaster Bible on Oct. 13. While returning to the courts with a 5-4 home-game loss against Wesley on Mar. 24, the team managed to pull a balanced season, performing 6-7 in the Spring portion to bring the Seahawks 10-9 overall as they headed into the CAC Tournament. While taking a close first-round against York on Apr. 18, 5-4, the team lost 9-0 to Salisbury on Apr. 19, ending the season 10-10. The team’s last game against Goucher ended on Apr. 22 with a 7–2 post-season loss.

The men’s swimming team continued its season from the Fall semester, standing 4-2 before returning to the Somerset pool in January. While suffering three consecutive losses, including an incredibly close 101-104 performance against Salisbury, the Seahawks performed well at the CAC Championship hosted by the College during Valentine’s Day weekend, placing third out of seven teams. After a post-season invitational on Feb. 20, the team closed out the regular season until next Fall.

Standing 6-1 from the Fall season, women’s swimming performed well as they dived into Spring 2010. While losing two consecutive meets off the starting block, the Seahawks defeated the Salisbury Seagulls 133-72 on Jan. 23, standing 7-3 as they entered the CAC Championships hosted by the College. Placing third out of seven teams on the tournament’s first day, impressive comebacks on days two and three boosted the Seahawks into second place, topped only by the University of Mary-Washington. Women’s swimming closed out the season after hosting an invitational meet on Feb. 20.

Another team to be affected by weather this season, men’s lacrosse began the season with a 22-7 loss against No. 5 Roanoke College on Feb. 21, followed by a 7-6 loss at the Bullis School on Feb. 27. The team managed to turn around its performance with a three-win streak, followed by a loss against Denison University on Mar. 17, 10-7. Again, the team returned to optimum play with three impressive wins before taking a heavy loss to No. 1 Salisbury, 18-5. The team continued its impressive scoring to hold an 8-5 conference, 4-1 non-conference spread as the Seahawks walked into the CAC Championship first round.

The team managed a 13-8 victory over Wesley before taking an away-game loss to Stevenson University, 16-3, ending in the semifinals with a 9-6 spread for Spring 2010.
If there was any team at the College this season that made an impressive comeback, it was the women’s lacrosse team, beginning their season on Feb. 27 with a 14-6 loss against Washington & Lee University that propagated to a six-game losing streak by Mar. 17 in Orlando, Florida. Turning the tide that same weekend, the Seahawks managed a 15-8 victory over Kean University before returning north, coming back with a 19-9 victory over Virginia-Wesleyan College in non-conference action. Despite a 20-8 loss on Mar. 28 against Salisbury, the team continued its season with a six-game winning streak that included a CAC first-round win against Marymount University, 17-10.

The team ended its official season with a heartbreaking loss in the semifinals against Mary Washington, 15-14, on Apr. 20. After an alumni game on Apr. 25, the team plays next on May 1 against Chris. Newport, followed by a match against Randolph-Macon on May 5.

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.

Seahawk Sailing Wins 2009 ICSA Coed National Championship

After 36 races against schools such as Yale University and Georgetown University, the SMCM Sailing team won the ICSA Coed National Championship in San Francisco.
After 36 races against schools such as Yale University and Georgetown University, the SMCM Sailing team won the ICSA Coed National Championship in San Francisco.

On June 3, seven St. Mary’s sailors and their coaches competed in this year’s Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association/Gill Coed Dinghy National Championship. Three days and 36 races later, the Seahawks succeeded in taking first place.

Originally ranked fourth, the team faced warm breezes and good competition against schools such as Yale University, Georgetown University, Old Dominion University, and Boston College.
Alumna Jen Chamberlain, seniors Jesse Kirkland, Mike Kuschner, Kelly Wilbur, and juniors Maddie Jackson, Megan Magill, and Michael Menninger made up the team that represented SMCM, and prepared all year for this summer’s ICSA national championship.

“Winning a national championship is the end goal for every college sailing team. Sailing is unique that you do not match up with one other school at one time but up to 17 other schools every weekend. Throughout the seasons (fall, spring) you are constantly racing against the best so across the board everyone is improving all year,” Chamberlain said of the regatta.

Menninger said, “Before a big regatta, like every sporting event, people get nervous and I tried my best to stay calm and run through the motions.” And running, or rather sailing, through the motions is exactly what the team did. With A-Division up first, Yale’s performance momentarily broke the Hawk’s seven-point lead. Kirkland, Jackson, and Magill came back and finished 13-5 to tie the two leading teams. “We have been working all year towards the Nationals. After school ended, we continued our training at Point Lookout and then over in Santa Cruz, CA to better ourselves in the conditions present in San Francisco,” said Kirkland. And their year-round dedication continued to show as the event went on.

The Hawks continued to gain on Yale when the B-Division put the team ahead. However, after a photo finish by the A-Division, it was up to the B-Division to bring the team back down in points. “Most National championships come down to the last few races. In our case it came down to us and Yale at the end and our job was to beat them,” said Wilbur of the close scores. “After our second place finish at Team Race Nationals, the team kind of regrouped and we lit a fire under ourselves. We knew we were inches from the team race title and we just wanted more. We went sailing and had a great time and the outcome reflected our hard work and devotion,” she continued.

Since 1991, SMCM Sailing has won 11 national sailing titles.
Since 1991, SMCM Sailing has won 11 national sailing titles.

Chamberlain also described the extremely close competition towards the very end. “Turning a 9th [place] to a 7th [place] or a 12th [place] to a 10th [place] is so important because your goal is to have to lowest amount of points… St. Mary’s was leading for the first two days with a nice buffer of points between us and Georgetown and Yale. The third day Yale fought hard and had a lead over us in the final races.” Looking back on the final race Chamberlain recalls watching Kirkland and Menninger “so far ahead of the rest of the fleet really fighting it out. Yale was leading by three points going into the last set…very exciting.”

In the final race Chamberlain and Menninger posted a 6-1 over Yale’s 14-16, putting the Hawks in first place by twenty points over Yale. Yale competed hard Menninger comments, “With the competition being so tight, it was really close to the end.”

This is the third time in the college’s history to take the title. But according to Kirkland, “having everybody sail in the Championship, that was a true team victory.”