BALTIMORE - Loyola University Maryland sophomore Ben Cono has qualified for the 2016 NCAA Division I Swimming & Diving Championships in the 100 and 200 breaststroke events, becoming the first-ever Greyhound to advance to the NCAA Division I Championships.
Cono, ranked 33rd nationally in the 100 breast and 39th in the 200 breast, will compete in each of the trial events at the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center in Atlanta. The 100 breast will be contested on Friday, March 25 and the 200 breast will take place on Saturday, March 26. Each of the trials sessions begin at 10 a.m., with the consolation and finals set for 6 p.m. both of those days.
A native of Smithfield, New York, and a transfer from NC State, Cono became Loyola’s first-ever individual Patriot League Champion this year, winning the 100 breast in 52.92. He followed that up with a runner-up finish in the 200 breast the next day, touching just 22-hundredths of a second shy of Navy’s Marlin Brutkiewicz and finishing with a time of 1:55.70.
For his performance at the Championship, Cono became the Greyhounds’ first swimmer or diver to be named to an All-Patriot League Team since Loyola joined the conference for the 2013-14 season, as he was one of 18 men to be named to the first team.
So far this season, Cono has won all 10 of the 100 breast events he has competed in and five of the six 200 breast events. His Patriot League Championships performance in the 100 breast tied the meet record and set Loyola’s all-time program record, while his time of 56.50 at Lehigh broke the Jacobs Pool record.
Cono also owns Loyola’s school record in the 200 breast with his time of 1:55.70 from the Patriot League Championships.
A total of 270 participants (235 swimmers and 35 divers) will compete at the NCAA Championships. Student-athletes qualified for the swimming portion by meeting the established minimum time for the events in which they entered.
ESPN3.com will stream the finals sessions on Friday and Saturday live, while ESPNU will air a 90-minute show at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 6.