BUFFALO, New York - The Marist women’s swimming and diving team won the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference title for the seventh straight year Feb. 13 at Erie Community College’s Burt Flickinger Athletic Center.

Marist took the 2016 conference championship with 976 points, breaking its record set last year for largest margin of victory and racking up the most team points since they had 1,015 at the 2000 MAAC Championships. The Red Foxes took the top spot by finishing 446 points ahead of Rider. Out of the 20 events at the entire meet, the Marist women had 15 gold medal winners.

The Marist swimming and diving program won its 29th MAAC title overall and 35th conference title overall. The women's program has now won a total of 21 of those 35 conference championships. 

Marist remained in first place for the entire four-day meet, leading by 130 points after the second day and was ahead by 277 points after the third day.

The women had top qualifiers during all event preliminaries in the morning session and the finals did not disappoint. Junior Meredith Wurtz set a school record in the 100-yard freestyle (51.27 seconds) and had a hand in three school records the past four days before she was named MAAC Women’s Swimmer of the Meet. She also anchored the first place 400-yard freestyle relay squad that clocked in at 3:27.63, more than five seconds ahead of the field.

Marist had a 1-5 finish in another distance freestyle event, as sophomore Sara Nestrowitz took the top spot (16:59.72). Senior Bethany Powhida won the 200-yard backstroke in 2:02.62, while sophomore Daniela Gomez completed the 200-yard butterfly in 2:05.42. Junior Isabella Morreale added another win in the breaststroke, swimming 200 yards in 2:19.13.

On the 1- and 3-meter diving boards, senior Renata Diotalevi and sophomore Megan Berardelli took the top two spots. Diotalevi won gold on the 1-meter board on Day Three with 268.15 points, while Berardelli racked up 296.95 points to place first at three meters on the opening night of the meet. Berardelli was named the MAAC’s Most Outstanding Diver after also taking second place at one meter with 254.00 points.

The Marist coaching staff swept the MAAC major awards, as Melanie Bolstad was named Diving Coach of the Year for the second consecutive season and Larry VanWagner earned the Women’s Coach of the Year honor. In her 27th season, Bolstad has now coached 21 Divers of the Year. VanWagner has now won the MAAC Coach of the Year award seven times.

The Red Foxes will continue their postseason at the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference Championships from Feb. 26-28 in Annapolis, Maryland.

Final Team Scores

1. Marist College – 976 points

2. Rider University – 530 points

3. Cansius College – 518 points

4. Iona College – 433 points

5. Siena College – 422 points

6. Fairfield University – 351 points

7. Niagara University – 233 points

8. Manhattan College – 166 points

9. Monmouth University – 97 points


Day Four Final Results:

 1,650-Yard Freestyle

1. Sara Nestrowitz – 16:59.72

2. Daniela Gomez – 17:07.44

3. Shannon Gordon – 17:12.93

4. Melanie Newton – 17:16.67

5. Deirdre Connor – 17:26.01

7. Alexandria Koukos – 17:39.47


200-Yard Backstroke

1. Bethany Powhida – 2:02.62

3. Colleen Lampe – 2:04.52

8. Breann Lydon – 2:08.33

9. Margaux Purvis – 2:04.65


100-Yard Freestyle

1. Meredith Wurtz – 51.27 seconds

2. Georgia Goldman – 51.94 seconds

4. Bridget Curley – 52.93 seconds   


200-Yard Breaststroke

1. Isabella Morreale – 2:19.13

6. Taylor Deubel – 2:24.98


200-Yard Butterfly

1. Daniela Gomez – 2:05.42

2. Sarah Mosca – 2:09.21

15. Kate Mosca – 2:15.94


400-Yard Freestyle Relay

1. Goldman, Curley, Powhida, Wurtz – 3:27.63



Marist women had the top qualifying times in all four events on the final day of preliminary events. Powhida clocked in at 2:02.84 in the 200-yard backstroke while Wurtz led a 1-2 finish in the 100-yard freestyle (51.71 seconds) along with sophomore Georgia Goldman and her time of 52.15 seconds. Senior Bridget Curley also cracked the top five (52.65 seconds).

In the 200-yard breaststroke, Morreale had a fist place time of 2:18.95 while junior Taylor Deubel finished fourth (2:25.45). After winning the 400-yard individual medley last night, Gomez was the top qualifier in the 200-yard butterfly (2:05.08).


Day Four Preliminaries Results: 

200-Yard Backstroke
1. Bethany Powhida – 2:02.84

6. Breann Lydon – 2:06.95

7. Colleen Lampe – 2:07.02

12. Margaux Purvis – 2:08.37


100-Yard Freestyle

1. Meredith Wurtz – 51.71 seconds

2. Georgia Goldman – 52.15 seconds

4. Bridget Curley – 52.65 seconds  


200-Yard Breaststroke

1. Isabella Morreale – 2:18.95

4. Taylor Deubel – 2:25.45


200-Yard Butterfly

1. Daniela Gomez – 2:05.08

3. Sarah Mosca – 2:09.11

15. Kate Mosca – 2:13.72