Canisius College men's and women's swimming and diving teams concluded the 2013 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Swimming and Diving Championships on Saturday evening at the Burt Flickinger Center in Buffalo, N.Y. The Golden Griffin women secured their highest finish and most points total in conference championship history after setting program standards last season, placing fourth overall this year with 391 points. The Griff men recorded a top-three finish for the second consecutive season, securing a third-place finish off 534.5 points.
The Golden Griffins combined to break 14 individual records and five relay records. Claiming seven of the individual records on the women's side were freshmen Clare Battaglia and Alex Doody with three each, and both juniors Anna Schena and Kelli Graber credited with one each. The men set six individual marks, including three by senior Shawn Parkhurst, two by freshman Spencer Bray, and one by senior Tyler Carver.
Leading the way for the Griffs was Parkhurst, who became the first Golden Griffin in program history to capture five MAAC individual titles. On Saturday evening, the senior earned his second title this year with a first-place performance in the 200-yard butterfly after winning the 1000-yard freestyle on Friday evening.
In the 200-yard butterfly finals, Parkhurst swam to a first-place finish in a time of 1:48.16, setting the MAAC and school record. In a three-way battle with reigning champion Jason Ruddy of Marist and Valer Lebedevs of Saint Peter's, Parkhurst pulled away in the final 50 yards to take first place by almost a whole second with Ruddy in second (1:49.20) and Lebedevs in third (1:51.01).
Besides the conference record in the 200-yard butterfly, Parkhurst also owns the 1000-yard freestyle record (9:12.43) after winning last year's conference title.
Parkhurst opened Saturday's final session with a second-place finish (15:29.07) in the 1650-yard freestyle, breaking his record from the 2010-11 season in making the cut for NCAA-B consideration. He was only 2.5 seconds behind eventual champion Brennan Morris of Loyola (15:26.35), who continues to hold the MAAC record off his winning performance last year.
In the 1650-freestyle, Parkhurst once again shared the podium with sophomore Sean Wurster and junior Corey Petrie, who each established personal bests. Wurster finished fourth overall (16:06.06) and Petrie sixth (16:12.61) with senior Robby Novak taking ninth in a personal best of 16:20.58.
The Griffs found themselves in first with 408.5 points for the second time at the MAAC Championships following a distance event. After scoring 91 points off six swimmers in the 1000-yard freestyle on Friday evening, the Griffs tallied 54 points off four swimmers in the 1650-freestyle.
The race for the top spot would heat up once again with a new team in first place.
For the second time at the conference championships, Bray set a program record. In his sixth-place finish (1:52.67) in the 200-yard backstroke, Bray broke his own record for the second time on the day after initially breaking it in the preliminaries.
Battaglia followed Bray's record-breaking performance in the 200-yard backstroke with one of her own. Taking third overall, Battaglia set the school record for the second time after breaking it earlier during the preliminaries to qualify for the A-finals. In addition, sophomore Leah Villari set a personal best in the event to move into second on the Griffs' all-time top-ten list (2:07.93) with a ninth-place finish.
The Griffs' final individual record to be broken at the conference championships was Doody, who improved her own school record in the 200-breaststroke preliminaries with a 10th place-finish (2:28.60). Doody would remain in tenth through the B-finals portion (2:29.62).
In the women's final race of the evening, the 400-yard freestyle team of Doody, Graber, sophomore Marissa Oakey, and Battaglia secured fourth-place finish with a school record of 3:32.47. Among the Griffs' four record-breaking relays, Doody swam in each of them. Doody broke her third individual record at the conference championships with a time of 53.75 in the opening 100-yards of the freestyle race.
The final event of the evening was the men's 400-yard freestyle relay. The team of Parkhurst, Carver, Disco, and Sereday placed fourth-overall (3:06.24) to slide into second on the Griffs' all-time list. In the opening leg of the relay, Parkhurst broke the 100-yard freestyle school record with a time of 46.02 to bring his total to three individual records set at this year's MAAC Championships.
Setting a personal best, sophomore Nick Sereday placed ninth (46.92) in the 100-yard freestyle finals with sophomore Sean Stegemoller taking 15th (48.02). Earlier in the preliminaries, Stegemoller set a personal best (47.58) in 15th place.
The Griffs occupied four spots in the 200-yard breaststroke finals with sophomore Sam Hansen in seventh (2:06.74), Carver in 11th (2:06.53), senior Mike Disco in 14th (2:09.70), and junior Andrew Edbauer in 15th (2:10.06). Edbauer set a personal best in the event, moving into fourth on the Griffs' all-time list.
Three Griffs competed in the finals of the 100-yard butterfly, as Schena took sixth (2:08.64) followed by freshman Alicia Wheeler in tenth (2:09.13) and sophomore Sara Nungesser in 16th (2:12.26). Both Wheeler and Nungesser set personal bests in the B-finals.
In the 1-meter diving finals, sophomore Eddie Quarantillo finished third overall (269.25 points) with Jake Kowalski finishing 13th (201.05) and Joel Kowalski 14th (195.55).
Both reigning conference champions defended their titles, as Rider won the men's title and Marist retained the women's crown. The Rider men now hold three conference titles, while the Marist women secured their ninth title in a span of ten years.
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