Feb. 16, 2012
BUFFALO, N.Y. - The Loyola University Maryland swimming and diving team swept the men’s and women’s 50-yard freestyle titles and captured the men’s 500-yard freestyle title on the first day of the 2012 MAAC Championships at the Burt Flickinger Athletic Center at Erie Community College Thursday.
Junior Jeffrey Rowe won the men’s 50 free title in 20.59, while sophomore Caitlin Cronin broke the school record with her winning time of 23.62. She replaces Caitlin Cassidy’s mark of 23.91 from 2009 atop the record board.
“I was very disappointed this morning with a 24.0 [in the prelims],” Cronin said. “My goal for this meet was to go 23.0 – so I had that in the back of my mind. I was pretty shocked when I saw my time was 23.6, so it was a bonus that I got first. I was really happy with that."
“I was just trying to reach my goal of breaking 21.0," Rowe said. "This was the first time that I had done that, so it felt really good. [Lovro Bilonic - 2011 winner in 20.86] beat me by a lot last year, so to see that I can get this much better is encouraging."
In the 500 free, junior Brennan Morris stretched his undefeated individual event win streak to 25-straight races, touching first in 4:27.49. The victory marks the eight MAAC title for the Lutherville, Md., native, while it is also his third-straight conference crown in the event.
Loyola began the finals round with a pair of third-place finishes in the 200 freestyle relay. The Greyhounds’ quartet of senior Lauren Mari, senior Mary Henkels, freshman Brianna Keelan and Cronin took third in the women’s race, narrowly missing the school record mark of 1:35.81, touching in 1:35.89. On the men’s side, the team of sophomore Julien Brice, senior Tony Florida, sophomore Michael Kelly and Rowe combined to finish in 1:23.87.
Sophomore Michael Brown then scored for the Greyhounds in the 1-meter diving competition, finishing eighth with 198 points. Freshman Erin Calderoni followed that up with an 11th-place finish in the 500 free (5:08.74).
On the men’s side, junior Ryan Shovlin was 11th in 1:56.09.
In the 50 free, Loyola scored 43 points on the women’s side and 33 on the men’s side. Led by Cronin’s individual title, Mari took sixth in 24.22, while Henkels was ninth in 24.46 and Keelan was 16th in 25.04. On the men’s side, Rowe won the title, Brice was ninth in 21.24 and Kelly was 13th with a time of 21.75.
In 3-meter diving, sophomore Ellie Mixa finished ninth with a score of 199.70 and senior Jessica Brown came in 14th with 143.75 points.
The Greyhounds concluded the session with another pair of third-place finishes in the 400 medley relay. Loyola’s women’s team of Henkels, freshman Maya Olivieri, sophomore Erin Shea and Cronin combined for a time of 3:52.77. On the men’s side, Morris, Rowe, senior Patrick Mukri and Brice finished in 3:23.93.
Following the first day of competition, the Greyhound women sit in third place with 132 points, while the men are fourth with 123 points. Marist leads the women’s competition with 216.5 points and Rider is second at 176.5 points. On the men’s side, Rider leads all competition with 217 points. Marist is second at 150 points and Canisius is third with 125.
Events will continue tomorrow, with preliminaries beginning at 10 a.m.