GREENSBORO, N.C. – Four University of Connecticut swimmers will compete in this week’s AT&T Winter National Championships, set to take place from Dec. 3-6 at the Greensboro Aquatics Complex in North Carolina.
Sophomore Tara O'Prey (Ridley Park, Pa.), junior Jeff Magin (Brookfield, Conn.) and seniors Lachezar Shumkov (Sofia, Bulgaria) and Katy Munzenmaier (Lake George, N.Y.) will all represent the Huskies in the national event that kicks off on Wednesday.
“It’s a great meet because the best U.S. swimmers that aren’t at the World Championships are there,” UConn swimming coach Bob Goldberg said. “It’s a high quality meet and the experience for all of them is going to be valuable as they prepare for this season’s conference meet.”
Magin and Shumkov mark the two representatives on the UConn men’s swimming and diving team, which currently stands at 2-1 in its dual meet schedule this year. Magin, who was named to the All-Conference team last year as a sophomore, has continued to improve in the backstroke events this season, tallying career-best times throughout the fall. He will race in the 100 and 200-yard backstroke at the championships this week.
“Jeff has been swimming great,” Goldberg said. “He’s not tapered, but he’s putting up his career-best times. I think he’ll do fabulous.”
Shumkov has been one of UConn’s most reliable performers in the breaststroke events since arriving in Storrs in four years ago. The Bulgarian native, who will swim in the 100 and 200-yard breaststroke at nationals, holds several Connecticut schools records and he was tabbed as a team captain earlier this season.
“Lachezar has been Mr. Consistency for four years here,” Goldberg said. “He’s still swimming great and I think he’ll put up some really great times this week.”
Munzenmaier has excelled as a senior this season for the Huskies and she is coming off perhaps her best meet ever for Connecticut. The UConn captain set a record in her 200-yard freestyle lead-off at the Louisville Invitational last month, swimming it in an impressive time of 1:47.92. That time currently stands as the 52nd-best time among Division I female swimmers. She will compete in the 200 and 500-yard freestyle events down in North Carolina.
“Katy has been establishing new territory this season,” Goldberg said. “Her 200-yard freestyle time at the Louisville Invitational was astounding, and the work she’s put in has really showed up.”
O’Prey is the youngest of the four UConn swimmers to compete this week, and Goldberg says the exposure at nationals will pay dividends for her down the road.
“She is much younger that the others, but I think it will be a great experience to compete with some of the best this week,” Goldberg said.
O’Prey, who has been a valuable asset in the 200-yard medley relay all season, will swim in the 100-yard butterfly at the meet. She placed in the A-Final of that event of the Louisville Invitational, finishing eighth with a time of 56.14.
Those interested in following the action this week can click HERE for a complete schedule of all 35 events at the Winter Nationals.