The Canisius College men's and women's swimming teams completed day two of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Swimming and Diving Championships on Friday evening at the Burt Flickinger Center in Buffalo, N.Y. Through 30 events, the Golden Griffin men and women are both currently in fourth place with 354.50 points and 294 points, respectively.
The highlight of the night for the Golden Griffins came in the men's 1000-yard freestyle race. With a combined six Griffs in the A- and B-finals, including four in the A-final, the men's team was poised to score a large sum of points. Did they ever.
All six earned top-ten finishes for 91 total points with the Griffs completing a sweep of the top-five spots in the 1000-yard freestyle. Leading the way was senior Shawn Parkhurst, who secured his third consecutive MAAC individual title in the race. In the win, Parkhurst became the first Griff to capture four conference crowns. In 2011, the senior became the first Griff swimmer to capture a pair of conference titles with wins in the 1000-yard freestyle and the 200-yard butterfly.
Parkhurst captured a first-place finish in the race with a time of 9:19.62 followed by freshman Spencer Bray (9:22.31), sophomore Sam Hansen (9:34.64), sophomore Sean Wurster (9:34.69), and junior Corey Petrie (9:36.69). Bray, Hansen, Wurster, and Petrie each set personal bests in their performances. In addition, senior Robby Novak placed ninth overall (9:43.99).
The Griffs' 91 points moved the team into sole possession of first place through 16 events with 242.5 points followed by Marist in second with 210 points. The competition quickly heated up from that point forward with a new leader on top.
After 30 events, the race for the top spot on the men's side consists of four teams. Rider currently leads the men's events with 384 points with second to fifth place separated by a total five points. Saint Peter's is currently second (359.50 points) followed by Marist (358.50) and Canisius (354.50).
On the women's side, reigning champion Marist leads the field with 591 points followed by Rider (402), Loyola (306), and Canisius (294).
The evening session led to the fall of a combined six Golden Griffin all-time school records, including two relays and four individual marks. The men and women each broke the school record in the 800-yard freestyle relay. The individual marks that fell included the men's 100-yard breaststroke, and the women's 100-yard butterfly, 400-yard IM, and 100-yard backstroke.
The Golden Griffins closed day two with a pair of school record-breaking performances in the 800-yard freestyle relay. The women's relay team of freshmen Alex Doody and Clare Battaglia, junior Leah Villari, and sophomore Marissa Oakey improved the program mark by more than three seconds in their fifth-place finish (7:45.89). The men's relay team of Petrie, Parkhurst, Wurster, and Bray would also place fifth (6:49.78) with a record-breaking performance to trim two seconds off the all-time mark.
To open the evening session, the 200-yard medley relay team of freshman Claire Battaglia, senior Annelise Gunn-Taylor, junior Anna Schena, and sophomore Kelli Graber placed eighth with a season best time of 1:51.40. The men's relay of Parkhurst, fellow seniors Tyler Carver and Matt Moessinger, and sophomore Nick Sereday followed with a third-place finish of 1:33.44 to move into second on the program all-time list.
For the second time at the conference championships, Battaglia broke her own school record. This time, the freshman set the school mark in the 100-yard backstroke finals (58.10) in an intense battle with Bethany Powhida of Marist, who captured first with a time of 57.64. Earlier in preliminaries, Battaglia broke her previous mark in a time of 58.55.
The freshman class continues to leave its mark in their debut at the MAAC Championships, as Doody broke the 400-yard IM record held by Oakey with a ninth-place finish (4:37.22). Racing previously in the 200-yard IM during the regular season, Doody made her career debut in the 400-yard IM preliminaries (4:40.53).
In the 100-yard butterfly preliminaries, Schena broke her own record in a third-place finish (58.15). The junior would place fourth overall (58.40) in the A-finals trailed closely behind by freshman Alicia Wheeler in tenth (58.56). Schena would also place fifth (10:24.74) in the 1000-yard freestyle with Oakey joining her in sixth (10:26.04).
Carver cut close to a second off his time from the 100-yard breaststroke preliminaries (57.63) to finish seventh overall in the finals with a time of 56.79. Senior Mike Disco finished 14th (58.73) and junior Andrew Edbauer took 15th (59.14) in the B-finals.
Hansen finished sixth in the 400-yard IM A-finals (4:06.83) after setting a personal best in the preliminaries with a third-place seeding. Also setting personal bests were Villari and junior Adam Swift in the 200-yard freestyle. Swift finished 13th overall (1:44.11), while Villari improved a mark from two years ago with a ninth-place finish (1:56.26).
In the finals of 1-meter diving, senior Alexa Gigliotti represented the Griffs on the podium in eighth place (182.61). Freshman Audrey Mulhisen improved on her preliminaries scores to finish ninth overall (214.92) and Epstein placed 12th (174.33).
The Blue and Gold will conclude the 2013 MAAC Swimming and Diving Championships on Saturday, Feb. 16 with the preliminary action to start at 10 a.m.
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