On Saturday, Oct. 20, Marist Head Swimming Coach Larry VanWagner reached a career milestone with his 300th dual win with a home sweep of Canisius at the McCann Natatorium. The only head coach in the history of the men's program reached win number 300 with 229 victories via men and 71 via women's action.
In the season-opening meet for Marist Swimming & Diving program, the fans in attendance at the McCann Natatorium were witness to outstanding performances by both the men and women squads, as well as history, as Head Coach Larry VanWagner earned his 300th career dual meet victory.
The women defeated Canisius 182-113, while the men came out ahead of the Golden Griffins, 177-121. Senior Kate Conard (East Setauket, N.Y.) and juniors Maddie Arciello (Missoula, Mont.) and Nick Spinella (Franklin Square, N.Y.) led the Red Foxes with three individual wins a piece.
WOMEN: Marist 182 - Canisius 113
In women's action, the Red Foxes earned a commanding 69-point victory over the Golden Griffins with 11 wins out of 14 non-exhibitioned events.
Following a win in the meet-opening 200-yd medley relay by the team of freshmen Bethany Powhida (Delmar, N.Y.) and Bridget Curley (Endwell, N.Y.), junior Emily Miles (Long Valley, N.J.) and senior Katie Larkin (Huntington, N.Y.) with a time of 1:51.49, Conard began the individual winning for the Red Foxes in the 1000-yd freestyle.
Conard eased to a victory in the 1000-free with a time of 10:25.95; she was followed in second place by junior Bonnie Orr (Fresno, Calif.), who came in at 10:40.32. This distance duo finished 1-2 in the 500-yd freestyle later on in the meet with times of 5:07.58 and 5:14.36, respectively. Conard earned her third event victory in the 200-yd butterfly as she came from behind to pass teammate Erica Vitale (Sterling, Conn.) in the final 50 yards. Conard finished at 2:10.66, while Vitale timed in at 2:13.98.
Vitale would later finish first in the 200-yd IM with a time of 2:15.29.
Arciello joined Conard as a three-event winner in the pool, as she swept the shortest three freestyle races; the 50 with a time of 24.72, the 100 with time of 54.15 and the 200 at 1:57.09. The 200-yd freestyle race was hotly-contested as Arciello held off her classmate Orr for the .09 second victory.
Larkin and Miles also earned individual wins for the Red Foxes on the afternoon as Larkin won the 100-yd breaststroke in her first competitive event since the 2010-11 season with a time of 1:10.48. Miles took first place in the 100-yd butterfly as she lead a trio of Red Foxes for a 1-2-3 finish with a time of 1:00.05.
In diving action, the duo of sophomore Kimberly Tobias (San Jose, Calif.) and Chelaine Eliazar (Honolulu, Hawaii) went 1-2 in both the 1- and 3-meter boards. In the 1-meter event, Tobias took first place with a 239.62 point total, while increasing her total to 242.17 in her 3-meter victory.
MEN: Marist 171 - Canisius 121
In men's competition, the Red Foxes earned the 50 point victory on the strength of 11 victories in 15 non-exhibitioned events.
The winning began early as the "A" relay team of Caleb Camp (Chapel Hill, N.C.), Brian Shannon (Baldwin, N.Y.), Jason Ruddy (Lake Katrine, N.Y.) and John Spitzer (Fairport, N.Y.) took a 1.68 second victory in the 200-yd medley with a final time of 1:37.30.
Spinella earned Marist's first individual event win, when he came out atop the 200-yd freestyle with a time of 1:45.67. Throughout the course of the meet, he would also take first place finishes in the 200-yd IM at 2:01.79, as well as in the 200-yd backstroke. During that backstroke race, Spinella led Dylan Cummings (Midland Park, N.J.) and Camp for a clean sweep of the top three positions. Spinella finished the race with a time of 1:54.83.
Cummings had his time to shine in the 100-yd backstroke when he took first place on the strength of a 53.23 result. In this, his first-ever collegiate individual event, Camp would finish a close second at 53.98.
Ruddy finished first in the 100-yd butterfly with a time of 52.37, while recording a 1:53.36 time in the 200-yd race. He closed the 200-yd event with a final split time of 28.62, nearly four seconds clear of the next closest split.
In sprint action, Spitzer took first place in the 50-yd free at 21.70, while posting a time of 48.14 in the 100-yd event.
Junior Sean Molloy (Slingerlands, N.Y.) and freshman Josh Dodway (Niskayuna, N.Y.) split wins in the two diving events. Molloy cruised to a 50.7 point victory in the 3-meter board at 306.52, while Dodway earned his first-ever collegiate win in the 1-meter, as he held off teammate Jacob Baker (Shavertown, Pa.) 254.77 to 247.57.
After the final scores were announced, the fans and teams both erupted and gave a loud round of applause in recognition of the entire Marist coaching staff, who aided in Coach VanWagner's career milestone.