For the third consecutive season, the Canisius College men's and women's swimming and diving teams will welcome their conference opponents to the Erie Community College Burt Flickinger Center in Buffalo, N.Y. for the MAAC Swimming and Diving Championships, Feb. 14-16. Both squads will look to build off of last year's successes at the event in pursuit of their first conference championships.
At last year's championships, the Golden Griffin men and women recorded their highest point totals and best team-finishes in school history. The men secured a second-place finish with 587.50 points, while the women finished fifth with 331.50 points.
For the Golden Griffin men, the 400-yard freestyle relay team of former Griff Steve Pochatko, and current Griffs Shawn Parkhurst, Matt Moessinger, and Nick Sereday led the team to its best finish with a second-place performance to edge out Marist for second overall. The team would also set the school record with a time of 3:05.77.
The Golden Griffin men finished last year with a pair of conference champions with Parkhurst taking the 1000-yard freestyle title and Pochatko winning the 100-yard backstroke crown. Parkhurst captured his third conference title at last year's meet, defending his crown in the 1000 freestyle. The junior protected his title with a first-place finish of 9:12.43, setting the school, pool, and MAAC records, while breaking his own school record by nearly eight seconds.
After dropping four duals to open the 2012-13 season, the Golden Griffin men rattled off seven straight wins to conclude their regular season. During the regular season, the Griffs saw one school record broken by Parkhurst in the 200-yard freestyle (1:43.23). The senior broke his own record on Dec. 4 at the Cleveland Dual, the only time he raced in the event this season.
Since the mid-season break, Parkhurst and Sereday have captured first-place finishes in each race they swam in against Gannon on Jan. 12, Niagara on Jan. 19, and SUNY Fredonia on Jan. 26. The break also marked the return of Moessinger to the lineup, who placed first in the 200-yard butterfly at SUNY Fredonia.
On the women's side, the Golden Griffins' lineup has been strengthened by the development of freshmen Clare Battaglia, Alex Doody, Alicia Wheeler, and Audrey Mulhisen. Battaglia has recorded first-place finishes in 17 of 23 races this season, while going undefeated in all seven individual races on the road against MAAC opponents - Siena, Niagara, and Marist.
With eight combined top-finishes in the 1- and 3-meter events, Mulhisen, set school record in the 3-meter (259.40) at SUNY Fredonia on Jan. 26. In 18 performances on the board, the freshman has finished in the top-three spots in all but one. Mulhisen and sophomore Taylor Epstein are currently seeded in the top-five of each the 1- and 3-meter events.
Last season, the Griffs earned their first coaching accolade in program history. Assistant coach Meili Carpenter was named the 2012 MAAC Men's and Women's Diving Coach of Year, as selected by the conference head coaches. Carpenter continues to transform the diving program with a pair of divers reaching the A-finals in the 1-meter event and three divers competing in the A-final of the men's 3-meter event. Each of the Griffs' six divers have recorded personal bests this season in each of the 1- and 3-meter dives.
Defending their conference crowns will be the Rider men and Marist women. The Rider men captured their first MAAC title since 2004, while the Marist women secured their eighth title in a span of nine championships.
Men's results at MAAC Championship under head coach Scott Vanderzell
2012: 2nd (587.5 points)
2011: 5th (411.5 points)
2010: 7th (268 points)
2009: 8th (208 points)
Women's results at MAAC Championship under head coach Scott Vanderzell
2012: 5th (331.5 points)
2011: 8th (256 points)
2010: 8th (175.5 points)
2009: 7th (187 points)