Swimming

2023 MAAC Championships: Rider Men, Niagara Women Looking to Repeat Championship Titles

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By Nicole Miller on SwimSwam

2023 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Championships 

  • February 8th – 11th, 2023
  • Burt Flickinger Center at Erie Community College, Buffalo, NY
  • SCY 
  • Event Page
  • 2022 Men’s Champions – Rider (10th straight)
  • 2022 Women’s Champions – Niagara (1st)
  • 2022 Results (SwimCloud) 
  • MAAC Records

The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championships (MAAC) is set to kick off on February 8th as one of the first Division I Swimming and Diving conference championships of the 2022-2023 season.  

Men’s Preview: 

On the men’s side, the Rider men are looking for their 11th straight MAAC title after winning their 10th consecutive title last season. At the 2022 meet, the team combined for a total of 706, finishing over 100 points ahead of the field. A majority of Rider’s top swimmers from last season are set to return this year, led by Lucas Racevicius, who won the 200 IM (1:47.25) and placed 2nd in both the 100 (48.12) and 200 (1:44.57) backstroke at the meet. 

2022 MAAC Freshman of the Year and Diver of the Year Sean Binning is also set to return for Rider, after winning the 1M diving event at last year’s championships. Binning also contributed a second place finish on the 3M event to give his team a big leg-up in scoring last year, something that could prove critical again this year. 

After finishing 3rd at the 2022 Championships, Marsit’s men are looking to be one of Rider’s biggest threats to repeating their title. The team still has 2022 50 freestyle and 100 freestyle winner Ahmed Sallam on their roster. Though Sallam has not hit his times of 20.01 and 44.04 from that meet, he still has shown strong performances this season, throwing down consistent times. Senior swimmer Adam Kapusta has also been a strong performer for the Red Foxes all season, winning all three of his events at the team’s meet against Bryant. 

For divers, Marsit brings Carson Barry, the most recent MAAC Diver of the Week, who placed 7th and 8th in the 1 and 3 meter events, respectively, at the 2022 Championships. The graduate student already finished 3rd on the 1 meter at the  ECAC Championships this season, putting him in a good position. 

Other notable swimmers to watch out for on the men’s side include Mount St. Mary’s breaststroke duo of Aidan Grady and Jacob Wallace. In the team battle, defending runners-up Fairfield may also make a push for the title. However, their top scorer from last season, MAAC Champion Joseph Stewart has been off of his times in his signature distance events. If Stewart and his teammates find their stride, it could prove dangerous for the field. 

Women’s Preview: 

On the women’s side, the field looks to be much tighter, with a big battle shaping up between defending champions Niagara University, 2020 Champions Fairfield, and Iona. 

After placing third in the 50 freestyle last season, Niagara’s Paige South has already swam a best time in the event by over .2 this season, making her a potential title threat. In fact, South has already posted best times in 5 events this season, many of which place her at the top of the conference. She’ll have some tough decisions to make as it looks like she could lead Niagara to points in almost any combination of events. Niagara also returns two-time MAAC runner-up Megan Smith, who currently ranks in the top five in the conference in both the 200 IM and the 400 IM. However, her path to claiming the conference title in the 200 IM may not be clear as Canisius College’s Lana Janson currently leads the conference by over a second in the event with her time of 2:03.50 from mid-season. 

Fairfield also returns one of its top scorers in Erini Pappas, who won both the 200 IM and 400 IM last season in addition to finishing 2nd in the 200 backstroke. League runner-up in the 100 breaststroke Alison Sposili is also set to return for this season’s championships, looking to improve upon her position from last year. Fairfield boasts a good amount of depth in their breaststroke group with Cailey Stockwell also being one of the top breaststrokers in the league this season. A large amount of the team’s points will depend on how they perform in the IM and breaststroke events, so those groups need to be on their A-game if the team wants to reclaim their title. Another area where Fairfield will have to thrive at the championships is their diving, Both Alexis Gaulin and Lia Oppenheim contributed points for Fairfield in the diving events last season, with Gaulin finishing 2nd in the 1M. With both divers returning this season, they’ll need to have another big contribution to help the team’s point total.

Iona is another team that has been on the rise this season and could be a dark horse contender for the title. The team returns Isabella Nicholson, who finished 2nd in the 200 freestyle at the 2022 MAAC Championships. In addition, freshman Victoria Novinsky has been an impact swimmer, ranking as the fastest swimmer in the 200 backstroke (2:01.45) in the MAAC this season and the 2nd fastest 100 backstroker in the conference behind the aforementioned Pappas. The freshman also holds the potential to challenge for a conference title in the 200 butterfly, which would be a huge point grab for the team. 

Another swimmer to watch out for is Monmouth University’s Camryn McHugh, who won all three of her events at last season’s championships to score 60 points. McHugh took home conference titles in the 100 backstroke, 200 backstroke, and 100 butterfly last season, all of which are events she currently ranks at the top of the conference in this season. 

The relays may be the deciding factor in the team race with double points up for grabs. Currently, Niagara leads the conference in the 200 freestyle, 400 freestyle, and 200 medley relays, while Iona leads in the 800 freestyle and 400 medley relays. Last season, Niagara saw several strong relay performances, including a meet record in the 200 medley relay (1:34.04). 

SwimSwam’s Predictions: 

Women

  1. Niagara University 
  2. Fairfield University 
  3. Iona College

Men: 

  1. Rider University
  2. Fairfield University
  3. Marist College 

2022 Team Scores: 

Women: 

  1. Niagara University 582.5
  2. Iona College 554
  3. Fairfield University 548 
  4. Marist College Swimming/Diving 482.5
  5. Monmouth University 442.5 
  6. Siena College 299.5
  7. Canisius College 294 
  8. Rider University 261
  9. Manhattan College 105 
  10. Saint Peter’s University 81

Men: 

  1. Rider University 706
  2. Fairfield University 585
  3. Marist College Swimming/Diving 532 
  4. Iona College 420
  5. Monmouth University 383 
  6. Niagara University 327
  7. Canisius College 251 
  8. Saint Peter’s University 238
  9. Manhattan College 123

SwimSwam: 2023 MAAC Championships: Rider Men, Niagara Women Looking to Repeat Championship Titles

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