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Spider Swim & Dive looks to lock up its tenth conference title in 11 years in Buffalo this week.
Photo Courtesy : Richmond Athletics
Spider Swim & Dive looks to lock up its tenth conference title in 11 years in Buffalo this week.
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Buffalo-Bound Spiders In Search of Tenth A-10 Title
Courtesy: Richmond Athletics
Release: 02/20/2012
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UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND, Va. - Richmond Swim & Dive commences its quest for a tenth conference title this week when it travels to Buffalo for the Atlantic 10 Championships, scheduled for Wednesday through Saturday at the Burt Flickinger Athletic Center on the campus of Erie Community College.

LOCATION: Buffalo, N.Y. | Erie Community College's Flickinger Athletic Center
Schedule of Events | Tickets

Directions | Weather | Buffalo Visitors Guide

2012 A-10 Championship Central Coverage
Live Event Results
Live Results | Live In-Meet Tweets
Social Media Barany's Blog | Facebook | Video | Photos
2012 Meet Previews | SpiderTV
Day 1: Wednesday, Feb. 22 Live Video | Recap | Results
Day 2: Thursday, Feb. 23 Live Video | Recap | Results
Day 3: Friday, Feb. 24 Live Video | Recap | Results
Day 4: Saturday, Feb. 25 Live Video | Recap | Results

The Championship Central grid above will be featured in every Swim & Dive recap posted on over the course of the week. Links will be updated as information becomes available.

Alumni, family and Spider fans at large looking for up-to-the-minute results are encouraged to follow this week's action via live results and the conference's live video stream. Additional insight will be offered through live in-meet tweets.

A written recap will be posted on following each day of action, as will photos and video. Event results will also accompany the daily recaps, and complete results will be posted following Saturday's fourth and final day of racing.

Head coach Matt Barany will continue his conference meet tradition of penning a meet blog as well. His daily blogs will be featured on the Swim & Dive page and archived via the link above.

This week's A-10 Championship marks the culmination of a 27-week season for Spider Swim & Dive. After opening the year on the road with a double dual against UNC Wilmington and Old Dominion in early October, the Spiders returned to the friendly confines of the Robins Center Natatorium the following week for a 163-117 rout of rival William and Mary.

Richmond returned to the water two weeks later with its second double dual of the season, this time on the road in nearby Fairfax against George Mason and a strong Toronto squad. While the Spiders were topped by Toronto, they had no problem dispatching the host Patriots by a score of 191-102.

The team closed out the front half of its 2011-12 slate in mid-November with a fifth-place finish among a competitive field at Maryland's Terrapin Cup.

After its 10-day training trip in sunny Sarasota, Fla., the Spiders opened up their second semester of action with a quad dual meet in Pittsburgh. The squad suffered a setback to Pitt and Maryland, but cruised past Villanova for an added sense of confidence heading into its home-finale against Rutgers.

In fitting fashion behind several strong swims by its seniors early in the meet, Richmond raced to a 163-135 "Senior Day" victory over the Scarlet Knights, marking the team's second win in as many weeks over a BIG EAST foe and what was a true marquee victory for the program.

Richmond would complete its regular season with a trip to Tobacco Road to take on another set of tough nonconference opponents in Duke and Clemson in Durham. Despite a loss to the host Blue Devils, the Spiders nearly knocked off the Tigers in a narrow and hard-fought 153-141 setback.

Over the past decade, the Spiders have captured 77 of a possible 130 individual titles (59%) and 43 of 50 relay titles (86%) at the A-10 Championship. The team currently holds eight individual and all five relay conference meet records, including three Spiders in Lauren Beaudreau (100 breast, 200 breast), Brooke Boncher (50 free, 100 fly) and current junior Lauren Hines (100 back, 100 free) who hold multiple records.

Five Spiders have also been selected as the conference championship's Most Outstanding Performer over the last decade, including multiple-time winners Mary Adams (2003, 2005), Jessica Witt (2006, 2008) and Lauren Beaudreau (2007, 2009). The Spiders have fielded eight Most Outstanding Rookie Performers during this span as well: Mary Adams, Boncher, Michelle Coombs, Jessica Witt, Beaudreau, Katie Sieben, Hines and current sophomore Mali Kobelja.

The full Spider Swim & Dive Decade of Dominance feature can be found here.

Speaking of junior Lauren Hines (Roanoke, Va./Hidden Valley), after sweeping the 100 and 200 back in the Spiders' dual-finale against Duke and Clemson, she was named A-10 Women's Performer of the Week by the conference office on Monday, Jan. 30. With Hines' award, the third of her career and her seventh overall after she finished 2009-10 with four Rookie of the Week nods, the Spiders have now earned league honors in each of the past three weeks.

Hines swept the back events for the second consecutive weekend at Saturday's double dual in Durham, touching in 55.83 to take the 100 back before returning for a win in the 200 portion of the event by more than a second with a time of 2:02.37.

In relay action, Hines opened the morning by leading off the Spiders' runner-up 200 medley relay that finished in 1:43.70 and less than a second off the Blue Devils' top time. The 2012 Olympic Trials qualifier would close out the day by leading her 200 free relay squad to a second-place finish in a time of 1:36.54.

Sophomore Mali Kobelja (Fort Wayne, Ind./R. Nelson Snider) was named A-10 Women's Swim & Dive Performer of the Week for the third time this season on Tuesday, Jan. 17. The second-year standout's seventh career weekly conference honor came on the heels of four top-three finishes at Pitt's quad dual meet that featured a strong four-team field consisting of the host Panthers, Maryland and Villanova.

Kobelja set a new season-best mark with her runner-up finish of 4:22.69 in the 400 IM while also winning her heat and securing second overall in the 200 portion of the event with a time of 2:05.55. She also took bronze in both the 100 and 200 breast races and clocked a 1:05.74 breast split to lead her 400 medley relay squad to a second-place showing ahead of Pitt and Villanova with a time of 3:52.11.

Following a pair of top-five showings in Richmond's win over Rutgers, freshman Allison Titley (Richmond, Va./Saint Gertrude) was named A-10 Women's Swim & Dive Rookie of the Week for the second straight week by the conference office on Monday, Jan. 23.

Titley turned in a strong second-place finish of 2:05.71 to lead the Spiders in the 200 fly. The local product's time was just .09 seconds off her season best. She would also touch in for a top-five finish in the 100 portion of the event with a time of 59.18.

With the conference championship now upon us, it is certainly worth noting that 12 Spiders have recorded top-10 times in the league in 2011-12. At least one Spider is featured in the top 10 in each swim event with at least three Spiders having turned in top-10 swims in seven races (50 free, 200 free, 500 free, 1,000 free, 100 back, 200 fly and 400 IM).

Sophomore Mali Kobelja leads the league in the 200 IM and 400 IM and is just three-hundredths of a second off the top time in the 100 breast. Lauren Hines sits second in both back events, while Charlotte Brackett boasts top-five finishes in the 50 free, 200 free and 100 back.

Three Spiders in senior Charlotte Brackett, junior Lauren Hines and sophomore Mali Kobelja have qualified for their respective countries' 2012 Olympic Trials.

Brackett (Bethel Park, Pa./Bethel Park) qualified for the British Gas Swimming Championships, scheduled for March 3-4 in London, after turning in a time of 26.72 in the 50 free at August's Super Sectionals in Pittsburgh, putting her well under the Trials qualifying standard of 26.88.

Hines charged to a first-place finish in the 100 back at July's Virginia Long Course Senior Championships in Cary, N.C. Her top time of 1:03.36 was sixth-tenths of a second under the Olympic Trials qualifying standard of 1:03.99.

Kobelja clocked an Olympic Trials qualifying time of 2:18.94 in the 200 IM time trials at August's Junior National Championships. Her time was more than a half-second under the qualifying standard of 2:19.49. Both she and Hines are set to compete in the U.S. Olympic Team Trials slated for June 25-July 2 in Omaha, Neb.

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