WASHINGTON - The Catholic University of America women's swimming & diving team has been selected third in the 2017-18 Landmark Conference preseason coaches' poll, released by the league office on Thursday afternoon.
The Cardinals earned 48 points in the poll, trailing the University of Scranton which received 58 points for second place. Susquehanna University, the reigning seven-time Landmark Champions, secured the top spot with 68 points.
Catholic returns all five of its All-Conference honorees from the 2016-17 season. The squad's leading individual point scorer from last year championships, Basira Knight (46.5), returns to the pool for her senior campaign. Knight captured a silver medal in the 100-breaststroke and earned bronze in the 50-freestyle while touching in fifth in the 200-breaststroke.
Knight was a member of Catholic's runner-up 200-medley relay team and its third-place 400-freestyle relay foursome. Knight was joined by junior Emily Messina on the 400-free relay. Messina tallied 45 individual points for the Cardinals last year with a silver of her own in the 200-butterfly. She completing a third-place finish in the 100-butterfly. Junior Pippa Rogers touched in behind Messina with a fourth-place finish in the 200-butterfly followed by senior Brooke Krajewski in seventh.
Senior Madison Amann returns to the water after she led off the second-place 200-medley accompanied by Knight, junior Rachael Zarlinski and senior Rachel Chain. Amann serves as the 2017-18 women's team captain along with Krajewski and Messina.
The Cardinals finished last season's championships in third place with 559.6 points, only 19 points behind the Royals. They graduated just one scoring team member as Head Coach Paul Waas has tacked on 10 rookies in the quest to rise in the conference standings.
Catholic begins it's 2017-18 dual meet schedule on the on the road, facing Salisbury University at 1 p.m., on Saturday, October 21. They take conference rival Scranton in their home opener on Friday, October 21 at 5 p.m., as part of Catholic University's Cardinal Weekend.
During the season, Catholic matches up against Division II Barton College (Nov. 4) and Division I Howard University (Jan. 27). The Cardinals also participate in the annual Yellow Jacket Midseason Invitational the first weekend in December.
The Landmark Conference Championships are set for February 16-18 at the Germantown Indoor Aquatic Center in Boyds, Md.
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