Feb. 15, 2008
Baltimore, Md. - The Loyola men's and women's swimming and diving teams moved into second place with a solid night at the MAAC Championship Meet. The Greyhounds won two relays and two more individual events to create a three-team logjam at the top of the standings after 30 events at the Mangione Aquatic Center.
Friday's evening session began with a big win from the men in the 200 Medley Relay. The Greyhounds, behind Sam McQuaid, Matthew Fralinger, Ozzy Torres and E.J. Verrico swam the event in 1:33.24 en route to a first-place finish.
"E.J. had an amazing leg to secure the victory for us in the first event for the men," said Head Coach Brian Loeffler. "This helped to set the tone for the day."
Fralinger would match that effort with a MAAC title in the 100 Breast. Fralinger posted a time of 57.09, but more importantly for the Greyhounds, Colin Chenet took third (58.31) and Verrico took fourth (58.36) to give Loyola its first lead of the night in the team scoring.
Other key point scorer for the `Hounds on Day Two included runner-up finishes from Jacob Drannan, who took second in both the 400 IM (4:04.16) and 200 Free (1:42.18), as well as Ozzy Torres, who took second in the 100 Fly (50.43). Those silver-medal performances gave Loyola 17 points in each event.
Marist would later re-take the lead, but the Loyola men ended the evening the same way they began. The Greyhounds captured the 800 Free Relay behind four solid performances from Torres, Jonathan Wertz, Brad Reeser and Drannan. The foursome swam a time of 6:51.74 to end Day Two less than 10 points out of first place.
On the women's side, freshman Kim Krzaczek took gold in the 100 Breast, setting a new Loyola record with a time of 1:06.43. Classmate Kali Solack took third in the event in 1:07.76. Those points were big for Loyola, who narrowly pulled ahead of Rider in the team standings after the race. The Greyhounds expanded on that margin and threaten Marist at the close of the day.
The Greyhounds posted big points with a number of bronze-medal performances, including Megan Shovlin swimming a 10:32.22 in the 1000 Free, Caitlin Cassidy posting a time of 58.00 in the 100 Fly, and Emily Benton taking third in the 200 Free. Benton's time of 1:55.07, edged out teammate Tori Kamauff, who placed fourth in 1:55.09.
"At the beginning of the meet I knew this would be a three team race for the men's and women's titles," said Coach Loeffler. "Rider and Marist are both swimming very well - tomorrow should be a thrilling finish with the teams so close at the top."
Marist leads both the men's and women's competition heading into the third and final day on Saturday. The Red Foxes have a slim margin on the Loyola men, leading 520 to 511. Rider is close behind with 509 team points.
On the women's side, the points are even closer with the Greyhounds only four points back of Marist, while Rider is 23 points off the pace. Saturday's competition begins with the 1650 Free preliminaries at 10 a.m. Finals begin at 6 p.m.