The Canisius College men's and women's swimming and diving teams welcome their conference opponents to the Erie Community College Burt Flickinger Center in Buffalo, N.Y. for the MAAC Swimming and Diving Championships, Feb. 16-18. Both Golden Griffin squads will look to build off this season's success at the conference championship.
At last season's conference championship, the Canisius men earned its best finish in program history, placing fifth overall with 411 points. The Golden Griffin women scored 256 points, their highest point total since the 1996-97 MAAC Swimming and Diving Championship. At the end of the three-day championship, both squads combined to break 26 program records.
In his first appearance at the MAAC Swimming and Diving Championships last season, junior Shawn Parkhurst captured individual crowns in the 1000 freestyle and 200 butterfly. Parkhurst became the first Golden Griffin to win an individual title since Cory Hull won the 500-freestyle event in 1997. He also became the first Griff to earn a pair of first-place finishes since the 1997 MAAC Championship.
This season, the Golden Griffin men went undefeated in a pair of home duals against MAAC opponents. The Griffs opened and closed their 2011-12 home slate against conference opponents Marist and rival Niagara. On Nov. 6, the Griffs defeated Marist, 165-135, at the Burt Flickinger Center. To end the season, host Canisius defeated Niagara, 159-84, at the Koessler Athletic Center on Jan. 21.
Posting a 6-3 dual record, the Golden Griffin men set a pair of program records, including four individual and a pair of relay KAC Pool records. In the 200 freestyle, Parkhurst recorded a time of 1:44.28 to set the new school record. Junior Matt Moessinger broke Parkhurst's record in the 100 butterfly with a time of 51.22 versus Marist.
At home, the Canisius men posted a 3-1 record. At the KAC, senior Steve Pochatko broke his own 100 backstroke record in the midst of the record-setting 400 medley relay race versus Niagara. Joining Pochatko in the 400 medley relay team was juniors Tyler Carver, Moessinger, and Mike Disco. In addition, Pochatko, Moessinger, Carver, and freshman Nick Sereday set the 200 medley relay pool record. On the 3-meter board, freshman Eddie Quarantillo set the KAC pool record with a score of 347.25.
On the season, the Canisius women went 2-1 against MAAC foes. At the Griffs' home opener on Nov. 6, they fell to reigning MAAC champion Marist, 179-118. The Golden Griffins would go onto to dominate their remaining conference opponents. On Jan. 14, the Griffs cruised to a 74-39 victory over the Siena Saints at the KAC. Closing out the season at home, Canisius snapped an 18-year drought against rival Niagara with a 151-92 victory on Jan. 21.
Freshman Marissa Oakey has emerged for the Golden Griffin women this season in the freestyle events. The freshman set four programs records in the 500, 1000, and 1650 freestyle, and the 400 IM in her first year. In addition, she set four KAC Pool records in the 200, 500, 1000, and 1650 freestyle. Oakey was also a part of the record-setting 400 freestyle relay team of senior Kara Powalski, sophomore Leah Villari, and junior Annelise Gunn-Taylor versus Niagara on Jan. 21.
Men's results at MAAC Championship under Vanderzell
2011: 5th (411.5 points)
2010: 7th (268 points)
2009: 8th (208 points)
Women's results at MAAC Championship under Vanderzell
2011: 8th (256 points)
2010: 8th (175.5 points)
2009: 7th (187 points)