It wasn't an earth-shaking event.
Duke is not exactly a men's swimming power, and UMBC's victory over the Blue Devils came in an invitational meet.
But Retrievers swimming coach Chad Cradock was still basking yesterday in the glow of the win, which came the weekend before Thanksgiving in the Patriot Invitational at George Mason's Jim McKay Natatorium.
"That was fun," said Cradock, whose team has the month of December to savor the recent victory.
After all, Duke is Duke, and beating the Blue Devils is special for a swimming team on the rise, such as UMBC's.
UMBC won the meet with 827 points, UNC-Wilmington was second (694.5), and Duke (643) was third in the 11-team field.
UMBC was led by three swimmers who broke five meet records while winning six events.
Carlos Canepa won three freestyle events, each in meet-record time: (200 meters in 1 minute, 41.06 seconds, 500 in 4:34.05 and 1,650 in 16:00.88).
Geza Szabo twice broke meet records while winning the 200 butterfly (1:51.58 and 1:49.03). He also won the 100 butterfly (50.75 seconds).
And Jakub Sroczynski took the 200 backstroke, also in meet-mark time (1:49.86).
It just so happens that the Retrievers will spend a week in Orlando, Fla., training Dec. 26-Jan. 1, which turns out to be something of a reward for the big Patriot Invitational victory.
"We'll be working toward our goals of winning the [Eastern College Athletic Conference] and Northeast Conference championships, as well as qualifying people for the NCAA championships," Cradock said. "We're also shooting for two straight 10-win seasons. I think we're more well-rounded and have more depth than last year."
The Retrievers are 3-2 in dual meets this season, including a 131-105 victory over Towson (now 7-1).
UMBC's two dual meet losses came to Navy and American University.
The UMBC women's swimming team couldn't duplicate the men's outstanding effort in the Patriot Invitational, finishing third to Duke (980.5 points) with 559 points.
The Retrievers' Astrid Sperling turned in an NCAA "B" qualifying time of 2:00.87 in the 200 backstroke and broke the meet record in that event.
Also playing key roles in the third-place effort were Lindsey Prather, Holly Wittsack and Elyse Gibson.
In all, the Patriot meet is being called the most successful swimming competition ever for the UMBC men and women.
The Retrievers broke eight meet records, four school records, established one NCAA qualifying time, and had three USA Swimming National championship qualifying times, along with 127 ECAC qualifying times.
Alston piles up honors
Charles Alston, Bowie State's gifted 6-foot-6, 275-pound defensive end, received a third top award in 24 hours yesterday, being named to the 2002 American Football Coaches Association Division II All-America team.
Alston becomes just the third Bulldogs player in 23 years to be chosen a Division II All-American, the others being defensive backs Victor Jackson in 1980 and Marco Tongue in 1981.
Alston, followed by NFL scouts for two seasons, also was invited to play in the 2003 Division II Cactus Bowl and was named to the 2002 Daktronics All-South Region team.
Dawud Drew turned last Sunday's Ben Williams Classic championship basketball game into a one-man show at Baltimore City Community College.
Drew scored a school-record 46 points to lead the Community College of Baltimore County-Dundalk to a 105-92 victory over Baltimore City CC.
Drew also had 23 rebounds for the Lions (8-2), who average 97.5 points a game and are tied for first place in the Maryland Junior College Athletic Conference with a 3-0 record.
Big Loyola day
Basketball nostalgia will be the name of the game at Loyola College at 2 p.m. Sunday. The school will observe the 30th anniversary of its Mason-Dixon Conference championship and subsequent trip to the NCAA College Division South Atlantic regional tournament.