Fairfield Women, Rider Men Jump Out to Day 1 Leads at MAAC Champs

Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Championships – Men and Women

  • Wednesday, February 13 – Saturday, February 16
  • Erie Community College, Buffalo, NY (Eastern Time Zone)
  • Defending Champion: Rider men (7x) & Fairfield women (1x) (Results: 1234)
  • Live results
  • Live Video
  • Championship Central

Last season, the Fairfield women opened a new era of MAAC swimming, winning the conference title with 72% of their points coming from freshmen. This season, that group is now sophomores, and they opened the 2019 MAAC Championships on fire again, sweeping the day’s events on the women’s side of the pool.

On the men’s side, Rider, buoyed by a 1-2-5 performance on the men’s 1-meter springboard, opened up a day 1 lead as they seek an 8th-straight conference title, but if the opening action is any indicator, they’re in for a fight this year. They have only a 9 point lead over Bryant, who won the meet’s opening race.

Women’s Day 1 Recap

Fairfield swept the two relays that made up the entirety of the day 1 schedule for the MAAC women. In both cases, all 4 members of last year’s relay were underclassmen; in both cases, Fairfield entered slightly different lineups this year anyway; and in both cases, this year’s relays were a little slower than the meet-record setters last year.

But in both cases, it didn’t matter, as Fairfield was unchallenged in either race.

In the 200 medley, senior Kelly Cordes (26.94), junior Colleen Young (28.98), sophomore Morgan Hansen (24.39), and sophomore Maria Nitti (23.09) combined for a 1:43.40. That’s .05 seconds off their conference record set last season. Young is the new addition to this year’s relay, though she was actually faster than the swimmer she replaced, Victoria Krivitsky, was last year by 4-tenths.

Rider took 2nd in that race in 1:45.26, while Marist was 3rd in 1:45.74.

The 80 free relay was an even bigger runaway by Fairfield, winning by almost exactly 8 seconds (7.99) over Marist. The team of Sara Ostensen (1:52.12), Sarah Herbold (1:52.84), Maria Nitti (1:53.50), and Kelly Cordes (1:52.28) combined for a 7:30.74 win. That missed their record of 7:29.06 from last year. This time Nitti was the new leg, but her split was again faster than that of the swimmer she replaced from last year’s relay.

Nitti and Cordes both pulled double duty on the evening.

Women’s Team Scores After Day 1:

  1. Fairfield – 80
  2. (TIE) Rider/Marist – 66
  3. (TIE) Iona/Niagara/Canisius – 54
  4. Monmouth – 50
  5. Siena – 48
  6. Saint Peter’s – 32
  7. Manhattan – 32

Men’s Day 1 Recap

For the 2nd time in the last 3 seasons, Bryant pulled out a win in the 200 medley relay. They swam 1:28.11, holding off Rider’s 1:28.57.

The winning Bryant relay included Matthew Mays (22.81), Tavish Boyle (24.31), Micah Ornelas (20.88), and Matt Zichelli (20.11). The middle two legs of Boyle and Ornelas were the difference makers in the relay: they combined for a 2.1-second margin over Rider, which they needed because Rider’s anchor Vincent Gibbons closed fast, splitting 19.38 to nearly run down Zichelli.

Rider won this relay in a MAAC Record last year, and only graduated their butterflier, but that, combined with 7-tenths add by their breaststroker Carter Paules, was enough to swing the race.

Rider swept the rest of the day’s events on the men’s side. Sophomore Dillon Walles won his first conference title in the 1-meter, scoring 263.25. That put him 3 points ahead of his senior teammate Joe Warker (260.20). Trevor Hazlewood from Bryant scratched out a 3rd-place finish, 1 point behind Warker, and depth on the boards from the Bulldogs kept the scoring close on day 1.

Rider added a swimming win by topping the 800 free relay in 6:35.82. The relay of Daniel Bonge (1:40.51), Luke Musselman (1:38.55), Vincent Gibbons (1:39.36), and Justin Carey (1:37.40) won by 3 seconds ahead of Marist. Musselman and Carey had the two fasastest splits of the entire field.

Men’s Team Scores After Day 1:

  1. Rider – 125
  2. Bryant – 116
  3. Marist – 83
  4. Canisius – 64
  5. Fairfield – 60
  6. Iona – 58
  7. Monmouth – 56
  8. Niagara – 44
  9. Saint Peter’s – 42
  10. Manhattan College – 33


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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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