Fairfield Freshmen Score 72% of Team’s Points En Route to MAAC Title


The 2018 MAAC Men’s and Women’s Championships wrapped up on Saturday. Rider senior Zack Molloy broke another league record as he led the Broncs to their 7th-straight conference title. Meanwhile, at the other end of the spectrum, Fairfield won their first-ever MAAC title on the strength of their electric freshman class, including 2 more freshman wins on Saturday, with just enough experience to get them over the top.

Molloy won his 3rd individual race of the meet, the 100 free, in 43.10. That broke his own MAAC Record of 43.47 set at last year’s meet. That is an NCAA “B” qualifying standard, though based on historical invite times, it’s unlikely to be invited to the NCAA Championships. Molloy now owns the MAAC record in the 50 free (set earlier this week), 100 free, 200 free, and 500 free. In total, Rider broke 8 MAAC Records at the meet, including 4 relays (1 of which didn’t even include Molloy). They wrapped the meet with a win, and conference record, in the 400 free relay with a 2:58.58. Molloy anchored that relay in 42.69.

Courtesy: Rider Athletics

On the women’s side of the pool, Fairfield finished the meet with wins in 5 of the day’s 6 events. The story of the meet for Fairfield has been the freshmen class, which was highlighted again on Saturday. Freshman Sara Ostensen dropped 10 seconds from her seed to win the women’s 1650 free, which became a key win in the team battle: Marist picked up 2nd-through-5th place points in that event.e

Later in the session, Fairfield freshman Morgan Hansen won the women’s 200 fly in 2:03.65, followed by teammate (and classmate) Ostensen, who took 2nd in 2:05.88.

In between, Fairfield junior Kelly Cordes won her 2nd individual event of the meet in the 100 free (51.76), and sophomore Colleen Young won the 200 breaststroke in 2:20.86 (part of another Fairfield 1-2).

To put into perspective what the Fairfield freshmen did this week, they occupied 14 out of the team’s 20 relay spots, won 6 individual events, and were responsible for 385 out of 532 of the team’s individual points: 72% of the scoring.

They finished the day with another relay win, the 4th of the meet, in the 400 free relay in 3:28.61. There were 3 freshmen on that relay.

Other Day 4 Winners:

  • Marist sophomore Evan Nilsson won the men’s 1650 free in 15:29.81.
  • Rider junior Luke Musselman won his 3rd individual event of the meet, taking the 200 backstroke in 1:47.25. Last year’s event winner, Justin Carey, didn’t swim the event at this year’s meet,though Musselman’s time was about a second-and-a-half better than Carey’s for last season. That derailed what would have been one of the biggest head-to-head matchups of the meet: Carey broke MAAC Records in the 100 back and 100 fly on Friday.
  • Bryant senior Benjamin Schulte won the men’s 200 breaststroke by more than 3 seconds with a 1:58.01. That completes an 11-for-12 career for Schulte at the MAAC Championships. The 2016 Guam Olympian won all four 100 and 200 yard breaststrokes at the MAAC Championships in his career, as well as 200 IM titles in 3 of those seasons. The lone blemish was a runner-up finish in this year’s 200 IM, finishing behind the aforementioned Musselman by less than half-a-second.
  • Bryant freshman Matthew Mays won the men’s 200 fly in 1:49.13.
  • Canisius senior Travis Wright won the men’s 1-meter event with a score of 353.20. He and fellow Canisius senior Kris Santos both broke the old MAAC Record in a 1-2 finish.
  • Iona junior Maria DiBella won the women’s 200 backstroke in 2:04.00 – the only non-Fairfield win on the final day of the meet.

Award Winners

Men Women
MAAC Most Outstanding Swimmer Zack Molloy, Rider Sara Ostensen, Fairfield
MAAC Most Outstanding Diver Travis Wright, Canisius Breanne Hatter, Rider
MAAC Swimming Rookie of the Meet Matthew Mays, Bryant Sara Ostensen, Fairfield
MAAC Diving Rookie of the Meet Dillon Walles, Rider Esabelle Gervasio, Marist
MAAC Swimming Coach of the Year Steve Fletcher, Rider Anthony Bruno, Fairfield
MAAC Diving Coach of the Year Ian O’Rouke, Canisius

Final Team Scores

Men’s Scores Women’s Scores
1 Rider 718 Fairfield 718
2 Marist 668 Marist 658
3 Bryant 538.5 Iona 482
4 Canisius 413.5 Canisius 481
5 Iona 377 Rider 421
6 Saint Peter’s 270 Niagara 284
7 Monmouth 166 Siena 218
8 Fairfield 163 Monmouth 175
9 Niagara 161 Manhattan 1152
10 Manhattan 150 Saint Peter’s 74

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4 years ago

Fairfield finally succeeds after Janelle is no longer the coach and the team isn’t so beat down

4 years ago

So impressive that shows what good recruiting and coaching can do

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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