Cougars capture 4th sailing national title

Photo provided College of Charleston sailors Seppie McAdams (left), Juan Maegli (center) and Cory DeCollibus (right)

Another year, another national title for the College of Charleston sailing team.

The College of Charleston coed sailing team won its fourth Intercollegiate Sailing Association (ICSA)/Gill Coed National Championship title in St. Petersburg, Fla.

The Cougars, who won the ICSA/APS Team Race National Championship title a year ago in Austin, Texas, added another piece of hardware to their already bulging trophy case when the Cougars took home the Henry A. Morss Memorial Trophy on Thursday.

The Cougars also won the event in 1986, 2006 and 2007.

After 18 races and three days of intense sailing, the Cougars never fell out of first place during the 18-team national regatta held at the Magnuson Hotel Marina Cove.

“We felt confident going into it that we’d have a chance to win,” College of Charleston head sailing coach Ward Cromwell said. “There were a lot of great teams here — Yale, Georgetown, Dartmouth and Boston College. We knew it was going to be a battle.”

The Cougars turned in a three-day combined score of 215 points for a 20-point victory over second-place Georgetown (235 points). Dartmouth (256) was third followed by, fourth-place Brown (265) and fifth-place Boston College (291).

“It was truly a group effort,” Cromwell said. “We sailed really well the last three days. Ben (Spector) was able to stay consistent in B-Division and Juan (Maegli) and Cory (DeCollibus) were unbelievable in A-Division. The conditions were windy and choppy making for really long courses. They were just very consistent over the last three days.”

Maegli, a senior All-American skipper and two-time Olympian, combined with crew Seppie McAdams, a former Wando High School standout, in races 1-5 and senior Cory DeCollibus in races 6-18. The trio won by a 41-point margin over second-place Boston College (110 points) in A-Division.

In B-Division, the Cougars made some adjustments to their rotation as senior All-American Ben Spector skippered races 1-12 and 15-18 along with senior All-American Mac Mace in races 13-14. The Cougars placed fifth with 146 points, behind Brown (88), Stanford (97), Georgetown (101) and Dartmouth (141).

Spector and Mace were joined by the crew work of sophomore Ali Blumenthal in races 1-8, senior Brooks Clark in races 9-12, senior Sarah Somes (in races 13-16) and senior Jeff Aschieris (17-18).

“We definitely put our best players in on the final day,” Cromwell said. “We were a little disappointed after the team race championship. Our team was eager to win this event after falling short of making the Final Four in the team race. It feels pretty good to come back and win the coed championship.”

Highlights of the event will be broadcast July 12 on ESPNU at 6 p.m.