BUFFALO, N.Y. - The Marist men's swimming and diving team stands in first place after the first day of competition at the 2013 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Championship at the Burt Flickinger Athletic Center on the campus of Erie Community College. Junior Sean Molloy (Slingerlands, N.Y.) became just the third Red Fox in the last 10 years to win a diving title as he came in first in the 3-meter board. A school record-breaking performance by sophomore Jason Ruddy (Lake Katrine, N.Y.) and a second place finish by the 200-yd freestyle team added to Marist's Day 1 highlights.
Overcoming a 20-minute delay during the fourth round of dives due to a power outage, Molloy completed an outstanding performance in the 3-meter board to earn a 23.05-point victory. In capturing his first career MAAC title, the junior finished with a score of 283.45. He was joined in the A-Finals by freshman Josh Dodway (Niskayuna, N.Y.), who took third place at 255.60 and sophomore Jacob Baker (Shavertown, Pa.), who finished sixth at 237.20.
Ruddy augmented Molloy's diving performance with the swim of the day for the Red Foxes in the 200-yd IM. After earning the number one seed from a preliminary race of 1:51.62 in the morning, the sophomore came back in the evening and broke a 10-year school record with a final time of 1:50.65; Matthew Castillo set the old mark of 1:51.18 in 2003. Junior Nick Spinella (Franklin Square, N.Y.) followed up Ruddy's third place finish with a fifth at 1:52.72.
Similar to the IM swimmers, a pair of Red Foxes finished amongst the top six in 500-yd freestyle. Sophomore Bill Drennen (Collegeville, Pa.) came in at 4:36.27, good enough for fourth, while classmate Sean Sullivan (Huntington, N.Y.) took sixth at 4:40.19.
In the final individual race of the night, John Spitzer (Fairport, N.Y.) came in fourth place in the 50-yd freestyle at 20.83. A personal-best time for the sophomore, he slots in second all-time in the Marist record books, just 0.03-seconds shy of number one. Classmate Spencer Kelley (Weston, Conn.) came in fourth in the Consolation Final at 21.50.
In relay action, the 200-yd freestyle relay team of Tyler Ferraro (Southbury, Conn.), Spinella, Kelly and Spitzer was out-touched in a hotly-contested race by Rider, 1:23.27 to 1:23.32. Spitzer, who entered the anchor leg of the relay with his Red Foxes in third, compiled a scorching final 50-yd segment at 20.28. That time helped Marist pass Bryant University for second and cut 0.49 seconds off of Rider's lead.
After the first day of the championship, the Red Foxes pace the field with 191 points. They lead Rider by 17 points and third place Canisius by 39.5.
The 2013 MAAC Championship will continue on Friday morning at 10 a.m., with the qualifying heats of events 17-26. The finals for the same events will be held Friday evening, with the first race scheduled to begin at 6 p.m.
Men's Standings (Through Event 12) 1. Marist - 191 / 2. Rider - 174 / 3. Canisius - 151.5 / 4. Saint Peter's - 130 / 5. Loyola - 125 / 6. Bryant - 101 / 7. Fairfield - 85 / 8. Manhattan - 77.5 / 9. Niagara - 57 / 10. Iona - 39.