Swimming & Diving Opens Strong at MAAC Championships

The Loyola men's and women's swimming and diving teams opened the 2008 MAAC Championships with two MAAC records that included individual and relay titles. Both the men and women are positioned in third after the Thursday evening finals at the Mangione Aquatic Center.

The Greyhound women began the Day One finals session with a big win in the 200 Freestyle Relay. Megan Royer, Emily Benton, Caitlin Cassidy and Tori Kamauff teamed up to win the event in 1:36.74 - breaking not only the MAAC record, but also the school record and pool record at Loyola.

"Today we continued our season that has been filled with historic accomplishments," said Loyola Head Coach Brian Loeffler. "Our women's relay started the meet in amazing fashion, setting a MAAC, POOL , and School record. I am so proud to be a Greyhound this evening, the team is swimming and diving so well."

Royer also became an individual MAAC Champion on Thursday, winning the 50 Freestyle in 24.12. In fact, the Greyhounds went 1-2 in the event with Cassidy tapping in at 24.30 to finish as runner-up, while Royer's time was good enough for another school and MAAC record.

"I figured we would do well in the women's sprint events after the record setting relay," added Loeffler. "Meg and Caitlin put on quite a show with their 1st and 2nd place finishes."

Cassidy wasn't the only Loyola runner-up; however, as Kamauff garnered 17 points for the Greyhounds with her second-place finish in the 500 Freestyle. Kamauff swam a school-record time of 5:05.57 to take second in the event.

On the men's side, the `Hounds picked up significant points in the 500 Freestyle to get them going in the finals session. Jacob Drannan broke the Loyola record en route to a win in the 500 Free (4:33.89), while Jonathan Wertz (4:42.12) garnered 15 points for his fourth-place finish, and Zachary Oster (4:45.95) added 13 points for his sixth-place showing.

"Jacob had one of the more amazing swims of the evening," said Loeffler in reference to his come-from-behind win. "To see him come back from a body-length lead to win the 500 was impressive to watch."

Brad Reeser, who broke his brother's mark in the 50 Free (Ryan Reeser), added 13 points with his sixth-place finish in the event, while the 400 Medley Relay team closed the evening with a solid second-place finish. Sam McQuaid, Matthew Fralinger, Ozzy Torres and Reeser posted a time of 3:26.22 in the relay.

Freshman Phil Scholz added to the day with two more American records at the S11 category. Scholz swam a time of 2:07.04 in the 200 Free, and then posted a time of 5:31.02 in the 500 Free for the Greyhounds.

The Loyola men have 167 team points and are behind Rider and Marist, while the women have 196, only 10 points back of Rider and 27 points back of first-place Marist.

Day Two of the MAAC Championships begins with the 200 Medley Relay preliminaries at 9:30 a.m. Friday's finals are scheduled to commence at 5:30 p.m.