On Sunday, Feb. 20, the Drew University women’s swimming & diving team captured its first Landmark Conference title in team history on Sunday, Feb. 20, coming from behind in the final night at the Germantown Indoor Swim Center.
The Rangers racked up 755.5 points to beat out five-time defending conference champion Catholic University by 38 points.
Drew’s Rich Munson was honored as the Landmark Conference Women’s Coach of the Meet, marking his first such honor with the Rangers. Munson was also awarded Coach of the Year in the Landmark Conference. In addition, Katerina Poulathas (’25) earned the Women’s Rookie of the Meet Award after leading the Rangers with 56 points, winning two events and taking third in another. She became Drew’s fourth Landmark Conference Women’s Rookie of the Meet winner and its third in the past three years, following Amira Hadri (2021) and Katie Cashin (2020).
The title capped a perfect year for the Rangers, who also posted their first undefeated dual meet season with a 6-0 record.
“Our women’s team was outstanding all weekend long,” said Munson. “They handled the pressure of each race and I could not be prouder of what they accomplished.”
“We won 11 of the 18 events, including every relay, which is a huge accomplishment,” said Munson. “They broke the oldest school record on the books in the 200-breaststroke. It’s a great day to be a Ranger, and these ladies proved it!”
The meet was a true battle, as the lead changed hands four times Sunday night. The Rangers entered the evening in third place, trailing Catholic by 10 points and Scranton by 15 points.
They moved past Scranton in the first event of the night — the 1,650 freestyle — but fell behind by 37 points to the Cardinals.
Undeterred, the Rangers made their comeback over the last five events and took the lead with three left. Catholic moved back in front by five points after the 200-breaststroke, but the Rangers pulled away in the last two events. A victory by Sydney Everhart (’22) in the 200-butterfly helped push Drew ahead by 30 points heading into the final event of the night, the 400-freestyle relay. The top seed in the event, the Rangers clinched their historic championship with a three-second victory, as Grace Aboussleman (’23), Hadri, Cashin, and Mackenzie Garcia Hynds (’22) touched in 3:33.40.
The Rangers captured four events that night, including a victory by Poulathas in the 1,650-freestyle to start the evening. She won by 14 seconds with a time of 17:43.38. Poulathas also won the 500 earlier in the meet and took the bronze in the 100-butterfly. Cashin registered a victory in the 200-backstroke, clocking a time of 2:08.09. She led a 1-2 Ranger finish in the event, as sophomore Charlotte Wells took a close second with 2:08.57. Everhart claimed her second Landmark title in the 200-butterfly, as she also won the event in 2019. She was timed at 2:11.62.
In addition to Wells’ silver, the Rangers came away with a pair of bronze medals. Sam Trodick (’25) took third in the 200-breastroke and twice broke the aforementioned oldest school record at Drew. In preliminaries, she edged the former mark of 2:29.45 set by Siobhan Mulvey in 1999 with a time of 2:29.24. Then in the finals, she reduced her time to 2:28.12. Trodick closed out the meet with both breaststroke records after setting the record in the 100 on Saturday. Hadri also came in third, posting a time of 53.76 in the 100-freestyle.
Six additional Rangers picked up big points by qualifying for the A finals. Harper Sensiba (’25) placed fourth in the 1,650-freestyle (18:16.68), then came back to finish fifth in the 200-butterfly (2:18.23). Emilie Tobin (‘25) placed fifth in the 200-breaststroke (2:30.97) while Garcia Hynds (‘22) took sixth in the 100-freestyle (53.87). Alex Edwing (’23) was seventh in the 200-backstroke (2:14.59), as was Madie Kessel (’24) in the 200-butterfly (2:25.76).
In the B finals, five swimmers also contributed to the team score. Zoey Geoca (’24) placed 10th in the 1,650-freestyle (18:59.94) and 16th in the 200-backstroke (2:24.12) while Tori Newton (’24) took 12th in the 200-back (2:35.91). Courtney Cushman (’25) came in 13th in the 200-back (2:18.21) while Eliza Lockwood (’25) (1,650-free, 19:52.04) and Victoria Kuenzel (’25) (100-free, 56.00) each posted a 14th-place showing.
Drew’s climb to the top of the mountain started when Munson became head coach in the 2015-16 season. After finishing in sixth place the previous season, his squad took fifth in his first year at the Forest. They moved up to fourth in 2017 -– the best finish at the Landmark Championships in team history to that point -– and repeated that performance over the next three years before placing third last season. They broke through with the title this year, winning 11 of 18 events, including all five relays.
After winning its first-ever Landmark Conference title, the Drew University women’s swimming & diving team has placed a program-record nine student-athletes on the All-Landmark Team.
First Team All-Landmark honors are awarded to everyone who finishes first at the Landmark Championships while second-place finishers earn Second Team All-Landmark recognition.
Seven Rangers earned First-Team All-Landmark Conference honors:
Junior Grace Aboussleman – 200-freestyle relay, 200-medley relay, 400-freestyle relay, 800-freestyle relay
Junior Katie Cashin – 400-IM, 200-backstroke, 200-freestyle relay, 200-freestyle relay, 400-freestyle relay, 800-freestyle relay
Senior Sydney Everhart – 100-butterfly, 200-butterfly, 200-medley relay
Senior Mackenzie Garcia Hynds – 100-backstroke, 200-freestyle relay, 200-medley relay, 400-freestyle relay
Sophomore Amira Hadri – 100-backstroke, 200-freestyle relay, 200-medley relay, 400-freestyle relay
Freshman Katerina Poulathas – 500-freestyle, 1650-freestyle, 800-freestyle relay
Freshman Sam Trodick – 200-medley relay
Three Rangers were also named to the All-Landmark Conference Second Team:
Senior Mackenzie Garcia Hynds – 200-freestyle
Sophomore Amira Hadri – 50-freestyle
Sophomore Charlotte Wells – 200-backstroke