Iona Women Break MAAC Record in 400 Medley Relay on Day 3

Metro Atlantic Conference (MAAC)

Friday night finals will feature the men’s and women’s 100 fly, 400 IM, 200 free, 100 breast, 100 back, 400 free relay, and then women’s 3-meter diving. 

Heading into day three, Fairfield has just a four point lead ahead of 2nd place Niagara, who finished 7th at the MAAC Championships. On the men’s side, Rider has the lead over Fairfield, who finished 6th at the MAAC Championships in 2020. The Niagara men are also on the rise. After placing 9th in 2020, the men are currently seeded 4th. This is Niagara’s first full season under coach Eric Bugby.

Women’s Recap

In the 100 fly, Camryn McHugh (55.33) of Monmouth held off Ashley Benkert (55.35) of Iona. This marks McHugh’s lifetime best in the event. Her previous best was from the 2020 MAAC Championships when she tied for 2nd (55.86) as a sophomore. Jess Shine of Siena touched 3rd (56.28), improving on her 6th place finish from 2020 (56.75).

Erini Pappas of Fairfield has swept the IM races at the MAAC Championships. She won the 400 IM (4:26.02), two-seconds ahead of Niagara’s Megan Smith (4:28.07), who finished 2nd in the 200 IM last night. In 3rd was Jordyn Deubel of Marist, who finished 4th in the event in 2020. 

In the 200 freestyle, Katrina Wardner won by two-second (1:50.71), which was just a touch slower than her split leading off the 800 freestyle relay on Wednesday (1:50.55). Finishing 2nd was Iona’s Isabella Nicholson (1:52.30), who finished 8th in 2020 (1:57.16).

Julia Moser of Iona delivered the fastest splits in the 100 breaststroke (29.45/33.37) to win the 100 breaststroke (1:03.22). Taking 2nd was Tahlia Botha of Monmouth (1:04.15). This same duo had the two-fastest breaststroke splits in the 200 medley relay, 28.54 and 29.00, respectively. In 2020, Botha was 2nd (1:04.21) and Moser was 4th (1:04.85) in the 100 breaststroke. 

McHugh of Monmouth, who was part of the winning 200 medley relay team swimming backstroke (25.64), and winner of the 100 fly earlier in the session, won the 100 backstroke in 55.26 seconds, owning the fastest splits in the field (26.67/28.59). In 2020, McHugh was 2nd in the event (55.33). 2nd place Marist’s Veronica Stureborg (56.50) was 6th in 2020 (57.53). Also returning to the A-final from 2020 was Monmouth’s Maggie McMillan in 6th (57.68), and Luiza Da Silveira of Iona who finished in 8th (57.78).

Grace Reeves of Marist won her 2nd event on the diving board, winning the 3-meter (239.45), exactly 20 points ahead of Niagara’s Sydney Sarkis (219.45) and teammate Madison Sweeney, who tied for 2nd. In 2020, Reeves was 5th (210.50) and Sweeney was 4th (210.75). 

Iona College won the 400 medley relay (3:45.91), nearly two-seconds ahead of Monmouth University (3:47.76). In en-route to winning the conference title, Iona broke the MAAC record (3:46.90), which was set by Saint Peter’s University in 2014. 

Iona’s winning and record-breaking lineup:

  • Da Silveira (57.62)
  • Moser (1:03.10)
  • Benkert (54.45)
  • Nicholson (50.74)

By the end of the session, Niagara pulled ahead of reigning conference champions Fairfield University, heading into the final day of MAAC Championships. 

Women’s Scores After Day 3

  1. Niagara University, 431.5
  2. Fairfield University, 425
  3. Iona College, 348
  4. Marist College, 325.5
  5. Monmouth University, 283.5
  6. Siena College, 238.5
  7. Canisius College, 211
  8. Rider University, 199
  9. Manhattan College, 87
  10. Saint Peter’s University, 58

Men’s Recap

Conor Mullin (48.18) of Iona and Jack Ruggieri (48.73) of Rider finished 1st and 2nd in the 100 fly. In 2020, this duo finished 4th (49.00) and 5th (49.24), respectively. Their times from Friday night are lifetime bests for both of them. 

In the 400 IM, Fairfield’s Ed Hunt dropped a massive personal best to win the event. Prior to the MAAC Championships, Hunt had not gone sub-4:00 in the 400 IM, and took the crown tonight in 3:55.57 seconds. David Rucci of Rider took 2nd (3:58.73) to round out the swimmers sub-4:00. Rucci placed 6th in the 200 IM on Thursday. 

Iona’s Michael Faughnan, who had the fastest 800 freestyle relay split (1:38:08) won the 200 freestyle in 1:37.56 seconds. This was his first time sub-1:38. The 200 freestyle has gotten significantly deeper since 2020. At the last MAAC Championships, the 8th place finisher touched at 1:44.45. This year, 8th place was 1:41.12.

Luke Cillie of Saint Peter’s University posted a 54.99 to win the 100 breaststroke, which is an NCAA B-cut. In 2020, Cillie was 2nd in the event (54.23). He held off Fairfield swimmers Peter Sloan (54.79) and Chris Ford (55.34) for the win. Sloan was 3rd in the event in 2020 (54.74) and Ford was 13th (57.21). Cillie was 2nd in the 200 IM on Thursday. 

Callan Smith of Monmouth won the 100 backstroke (47.40) after taking 2nd in the 200 freestyle (1:38.30) earlier this session. Smith nearly broke the MAAC record in the 100 backstroke (47.35), which was set in 2019 by Justin Carey of Rider. Smith also won the 100 backstroke in 2020 (47.86). In 2nd was last night’s 200 IM champion, Lucas Racevicius (48.12). 

In the 400 medley relay, Rider won by a little more than one-second (3:17.88) ahead of Marist College (3:18.97). 

Helping Iona win the conference title:

  • Racevicius (48.23)
  • David Cooper (55.76)
  • Ruggieri (49.25)
  • Joseph Gerwatowski (44.64)

Men’s Standings After Day 3

  1. Rider University, 473
  2. Fairfield University, 378
  3. Marist College, 353
  4. Iona College, 290
  5. Monmouth University, 240
  6. Niagara University, 239
  7. Canisius College, 165
  8. Saint Peter’s University, 164
  9. Manhattan College, 94

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