Strong performances surface heading into MAAC Championships

By Samuel Brouwere

Sports Reporter

The Griffs’ swimming & diving team’s just keep on swimming. Both the men’s team and women’s team have been performing really well as of late. Both teams have won two straight meets, beating the Gannon Golden Knights and rival Niagara Purple Eagles.

Coach Scott Vanderzell gave his thoughts on the consecutive victories by saying, “I thought it was great for our team growth. It showed a lot of what we had been working on during all of the first semester, including the time we took on the training trip to focus on waist work and intensity. Overall it was nice meets on both sides.”

In the meet against the Golden Knights, the men’s team squeaked out a 103.5-101.5 victory. That score was achieved by many victories in key events for the team. Senior Spencer Bray won the men’s 1650-yard freestyle with a time of (16:58.52). Sophomore Collin Zapisek won the men’s 500-yard freestyle with a time of (4:57.40). Junior Wyatt Sintay won the men’s 100-yard breaststroke with a time of (1:00.33). Also Greg Staebell, Wyatt Sintay, Dan Dirrigl, and Cameron MacDonald came out victorious by winning the men’s 400-yard medley relay with a time of (3:33.20), this also broke the Golden Knight’s pool record for the event.

The women’s team won over the Golden Knights by a score of 117-88. The score was achieved by many first place finishes in key events and even some broken records. Freshman Cassie Brousseau broke a Canisius record for the event, when she came in first place in the women’s 100-yard backstroke, as she finished with a time of (57.67). Sophomore Rebecca Anthone won the women’s 1650-yard freestyle with a time of (18:13.40). Senior Alex Doody came in first in the women’s 500-yard freestyle with a time of (5:23.91). Junior Marissa Watroba won the women’s 100-yard breaststroke with a time of (1:10.78). Also Cassie Brousseau, Marissa Watroba, Katelyn Battaglia, Hannah Gresser set a time record for the Golden Knight’s pool, as they came out victorious in the women’s 400-yard medley relay with a time of (4:07.11).

The men’s team beat the rival Purple Eagles in a close contest by a score of 153-147. The Griffs squeaked out a big win over their rival by winning some key events. Freshman James Pokornowski won the men’s 1000-yard freestyle with a time of (10:04.99) Greg Staebell won the men’s 100-yard backstroke with a time of (53.76). Wyatt Sintay won the men’s 100-yard breaststroke with a time of (59.76). Sophomore diver Travis Wright came up big for the Griffs, as he won the men’s 1 meter dive with a final score of (312.90). Pokornowski and Wright were named Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Swimmers of the week for their performances.

The women’s team won big over the Purple Eagles by a score of 189-98. The team won many key events. Cassie Brousseau, Marissa Watroba, Katelyn Battaglia, and Hannah Graesser came out victorious in the women’s 200-yard medley relay with a time of (1:52.06). Clare Battaglia won the women’s 1000-yard freestyle with a time of (10:59.72). Cassie Brousseau won the women’s 100-yard breastroke with a time of (1:04.99). Rebecca Anthone won the women’s 200-yard freestyle with a time of (1:57.91). Freshman diver Vivian Mroz helped the team by winning the women’s 1 meter dive with a final score of (219.74).

The men’s and women’s team have every right to feel confident going into the MAAC Championship next week, as they are coming off two consecutive big wins. When asked about the confidence level of the team following two straight wins, sophomore Thomas Kirch said, “The confidence level is really high right now. We did really well this season and had really good times. We are a really good team, I feel that we have a lot of potential for the MAAC and it’s going to be a really fun time.”

The MAAC Championship is what the Griffs have been working towards all season. They are performing really well, as of late. One swimmer that the Griffs will be depending on is Rebecca Anthone, as she has won many key long distance events this season for the team. When asked about her expectations for the MAAC Championship she said, “I think as a team we’re going to do really well. I think that once we are all tapered and come together we will all do well.”

Coach Vanderzell gave his thoughts on the MAAC Championship when he said, “It’s a battle. Every year it’s a battle, so we’re going in there with a good mind set and looking forward to racing.” It’s going to be a tough challenge for the Griffs, but they are swimming well and are confident and that should only benefit them at the 2016 MAAC Championship next week.

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