The Canisius College men's and women's swimming and diving teams will open their 2012-13 seasons at the Western New York Invitational on Saturday morning at the Alumni Arena Natatorium, hosted by the University at Buffalo. Including the host Bulls and Golden Griffins, the field includes St. Bonaventure and MAAC rival Niagara.
Canisius returns 17 men and 13 women to their lineup from the 2011-12 season. Last season, the Golden Griffins set 26 new school records at the MAAC Men's and Women's Swimming and Diving Championship. Both squads recorded their highest point totals and best team finishes at the conference championship, as the men finished second overall with 587.50 points and the women placed fifth with 331.50 points.
The Golden Griffin women return most of their fifth-place finishing squad. Returning to the Griffs this season is sophomore Marissa Oakey. As a freshman last season, Oakey set four individual school records and was a part of four school record-setting relay teams. At the 2012 MAAC Championship, Oakey placed second in both the 1000 and 1650 freestyle races. Also returning for the Griffs are juniors Anna Schena and Leah Villari.
Among the returning Golden Griffin men, senior Shawn Parkhurst will be relied on to lead the way in the absence of 2012 graduate Steve Pochatko. Last season, Parkhurst set three individual school records and was a member of four school record-setting relay squads. A three-time MAAC champion, the senior defended his 1000 freestyle title at last year's conference championship. Joining Parkhurst will be fellow senior Matt Moessinger, who set a pair of school individual records and was part of four record-breaking relay teams this past season. The emergence of sophomores Sam Hansen and Nick Sereday in their first year of competition last season will give the Griffs strength in their underclassmen.
In addition, the Griffs welcome a combined 12 newcomers, six men and six women, to the Golden Griffin swimming and diving family. The newcomers for the men include freshman Spencer Bray, sophomore Garrett Graesser, freshman Austin Hill, freshman Jacob Kohler, freshman Scott McLaughlin, and sophomore Jake Pisano. For the women, the newcomers include freshman Clare Battaglia, freshman Alexandria Doody, sophomore Mary Hoak, freshman Audrey Mulhisen, and freshman Alicia Wheeler.
The first session of the Invite will begin at 10 a.m. with eight events, including the 200 medley relay, 500 freestyle, 200 individual medley, 50 freestyle, 200 butterfly, 100 breaststroke, 200 backstroke and 200 freestyle. The second session will start at 3 p.m. and consists 100 freestyle, 1000 freestyle, 100 backstroke, 200 breaststroke, 100 butterfly, 400 individual medley and 200 freestyle relay. Both the one- and two-meter diving events will be performed on Saturday simultaenously.