Feb. 20, 2008
Baltimore, Md. - The Loyola men's and women's swimming and diving teams completed one their most successful campaigns in recent memory with 13 school records on the women's side and eight on the men's - along with big wins such as the men's first-ever victory over Marist.
"This is by far the most records we have ever set in a single season," says Head Coach Brian Loeffler. "The women's team nearly broke every record on the books."
Among those women records were Megan Royer's record in the 50 Free. Freshman Caitlin Cassidy first set the record with a time of 24.30, before Royer swam a 24.12 to top her teammate's time. The reverse happened in the 100 Free, where Royer's time of 53.59 set a school record, but Cassidy posted a 53.43 to put her name in the record book.
Cassidy also set Loyola records in the 100 Back (58.80) and 100 Fly (58.00), while Tori Kamauff set a pair of school records herself. Kamauff swam a time of 5:05.57 in the 500 Free, and a time of 2:07.98 in the 200 Back - both school records.
Kamauff also broke the 200 Free record with a swim of 1:55.09, but teammate Emily Benton bested that with a 1:55.07 for the current mark. Sophomore Megan Shovlin and freshman Kim Krzaczek also registered individual records with Shovlin setting the 1000 Free time at 10:32.22, and Krzaczek setting the 100 Breast time at 1:06.43.
The Greyhound women also swam well together, setting school relay records in the 200 Free (1:36.74), 400 Free (3:33.33), 200 Medley (1:47.88) and 400 Medley (3:57.61) Relay events.
The Loyola men, who posted a 13-4 dual-meet regular season record, finished the year with five individual school records and three relay records. Freshman Jacob Drannan led the record effort with two school records. Drannan set the Loyola mark in the 500 Free with a time of 4:33.89, and the 400 IM record with a time of 4:04.16.
Other men's records came from sophomore Brad Reeser, who swam a time of 21.12 to set a school record in the 50 Free, freshman Sam McQuaid, who set a school record in the 100 Back with a time of 52.22, and freshman Jake Swiggett, who posted a new school record in the 200 Back with his time of 1:44.06.
Loyola's men's relay records came in the 400 Free (3:06.57), the 800 Free (6:51.74) and the 200 Medley (1:33.23) Relay events. Overall, the Greyhounds set seven school records prior to the MAAC Championships and an additional 14 records at the conference championship meet. Loyola finished the year with 39 new Top-5 postings for the men and 39 new Top-5 postings for the women.
"Having so many new top five times shows how deep the talent on our team goes," says Coach Loeffler. "Most of these individuals will return next season. When we team them with the incoming freshman, we will be a formidable opponent."
Loyola's year, however, was much more than just Top-5 times and school records. The Greyhounds claimed 11 MAAC Champions - four coming from the women and seven from the men.
The women's champions included Royer, who also set a MAAC record in the 50 Free. Krzaczek claimed two MAAC titles, winning both the 100 Breast and 200 Breast, while Kali Solack took third in both of those events.
The women's 200 Free Relay team, behind Royer, Benton, Cassidy and Kamauff, not only won the MAAC title, but also set a MAAC record and a new Mangione Aquatic Center Pool record.
The Greyhounds also won the 200 Medley Relay (McQuaid, Fralinger, Torres and E.J. Verrico), 400 Medley Relay (McQuaid, Verrico, Reeser, Drannan), and 800 Free Relay (Torres, Jonathan Wertz, Reeser and Dranna) at the championships.
"I am extremely proud to call these individual MAAC Champions," says Coach Loeffler. "It is quite an honor to be considered the best in the conference in a particular event."
At the end of the championships, the Loyola men posted their highest point total since joining the MAAC, while the women registered their highest point total in eight years. For the first time in championship history, the MAAC named the same person as MAAC men's and women's Coach of the Year - Loyola Brian Loeffler. It was the third time he's been named women's coach of the year and the second time for the men.
"I am happy to accept this award on behalf of our entire staff," said Loeffler. "Mike [Hoffman], Liz [Chlebda], Marko [Turcinov], Lisa [Davey] and Maureen [Theis] all do an exceptional job in coaching the athletes."
The Greyhounds saw 31 athletes (16 men and 15 women) qualify for the ECACs with eligible times in 98 individual events.
"Last season we had 24 athletes qualify for ECAC's and were able to turn in two Top-10 team finishes," said Coach Loeffler. "Our goal this year will be to improve on these finishes from last year."
On top of Loyola's MAAC success and ECAC qualifiers, the emergence of freshman Phil Scholz, an S-11 category blind swimmer, as a Paralympic hopeful, has added to the year. Scholz came to Loyola in the fall and has been setting American and Pan-American records ever since.
So far this season, Scholz has set American records in the 50 Free (27.22), 100 Free (59.36), 200 Free (2:07.04), 500 Free (5:31.02), 1000 Free (11:52.69), 1650 Free (19:43.16), 50 Fly (29.58), 100 Fly (1:04.03) and 200 Fly (2:16.98). Six of those records - the 200 Free, 500 Free, 1000 Free, 1650 Free, 50 Fly and 100 Fly - were set at the MAAC Championships.
In addition, Sholz set the Pan-American long-course record in the 50 Fly with a time of 32.27. He also has long-course records in the 800 Free (10:39.89) and 1500 Free (20:47.20).
"Philip continues to improve and break records with every meet he competes at," noted Coach Loeffler. "I hope he can continue this positive progress towards a roster spot on the 2008 Paralympic team."