2016 MAAC Championship for swimming concludes: Anthone and Wright win individual titles

By Samuel Brouwere

Sports Reporter

The 2016 MAAC Championship for the Griffs’ swimming & diving team concluded, as the men’s team finished in fourth place with (432.5 points) and the women’s team finished in third place with (518 points). Even though the Griffs didn’t come in first place, Rebecca Anthone and Travis Wright won the individual title in their events.

Coach Scott Vanderzell spoke to the 2016 MAAC Championship by saying, “I thought we had a real strong meet from start to finish. They had great times. Even though the place was a little bit lower than before, but as a team we were very competitive.” The team overall was very competitive at MAACs, as many had strong performances in their events.

Coach Vanderzell also spoke to the individual victories by the two swimmers when he said, “To win like that gives motivation to the rest of the team. For them to do it that early in the meet it allowed others to step it up.” The victories were able to give the team extra momentum in their events.

Rebecca Anthone, a sophomore on the women’s team, came in first place in the women’s 500 free with a time of (4:56.34). She was a key swimmer for the women’s team this season. Anthone spoke to the victory when she said, “It was a great feeling. It was much unexpected, so it meant a lot to me.”

She also swam in other events. She finished in second in the women’s 400 free relay. Her relay team consisted of herself, seniors Alex Doody and Clare Battaglia, and junior Hannah Graesser, the team finished with a time of (3:32:08). She finished in sixth place in the women’s 1650 freestyle with a time of (17:26.79). She finished in the women’s 200 freestyle with a time of (1:52.04).

Anthone spoke to her season overall by saying, “I had a tough time at the beginning of the season. Due to me not doing well in dual meets, my confidence wasn’t where it should have been. However, I ended up progressing throughout the season and I ended up doing what I wanted to do.” She then spoke to what she plans to work on during the offseason by saying, “I want to work on my turns and my under waters off the wall. I also want to work on my breathing patterns for the mile, and longer racers for when I get tired.” Anthone, is only a sophomore and will continue to improve for the Griffs, as she was a key swimmer for the team during the 2015-16 season.

Travis Wright, a sophomore diver for the men’s team, won the men’s 1 meter dive and the men’s 3 meter dive. He won the men’s 1 meter dive with a score of (314.00). He also won the 3 meter dive with a score of (347.05).

Wright’s strong performance during the regular season, and at the MAAC Championship helped earned him the award of the 2016 Most Outstanding Male Diver for the MAAC. He won many events during the regular season and remained consistent during the course of the season, and kept this key consistency until the end.

Wright’s season is also not over yet. He will compete in the 2016 NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Zone Diving Meet in Annapolis, MD. At zones all the divers are fighting for a spot to go to NCAA championships Nationals. The total score of the events that he will participate in determines if he will advance to the NCCA Championship Final. He has a really strong work ethic, his record during the season shows that, so it should be expected that he will work hard at this meet. This will be the third consecutive year that the Griffs are sending a male diver to zones.

Everyone else on the team is heading into the offseason. Coach Vanderzell spoke to what the offseason looks like for his team when he said, “Right now we are looking to try improve on the little things that we need to get better at. We will take a little extra time to focus on technique, mechanics of our strokes and get ready for next year.”

Overrall the Griffs stayed competitive until the very end. Now they have an entire offseason to prepare for next year, so they can come back strong and possibly stronger than before.

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