POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. – The men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams are set to compete at the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Championships this weekend, with hopes of earning Marist its 100th MAAC title.

The women’s team will look to defend its championship title for the fifth year in a row, while the men’s team looks to make another run at the championship after last season’s fight to the finish.

“This is what we have worked toward all season,” said Head Coach Larry Van Wagner. “We’re looking forward to some great competition, and we’re hoping to bring home our program’s 27th and 28th conference titles.”

Last season, the men’s competition was split by a four-way tie, coming down to the final event of the MAAC Championships. The men placed second overall, with a score of 559.5 points, just 16.5 points behind Rider. In the women’s 2013 victory, the Red Foxes took home the conference title with 801 points.

This season, both the men’s and women’s teams boast an 8-3 record heading into the postseason.

“We have a lot of strong athletes returning to the Championships this season with hopes of either contending their previous first-place finishes, or bettering their times from last year,” Van Wagner said.

Junior John Spitzer (Fairport, N.Y.) leads the MAAC in the 50-yard freestyle (20.98), while junior Jason Ruddy (Lake Katrine, N.Y.) leads in the 200-yard individual medley (1:54.74).

Senior Maddie Arciello (Missoula, Mont.) leads the conference with the top times in the 50-yard freestyle (23.85), 100-yard freestyle (51.84), and 200-yard freestyle (1:53.61). Freshman Colleen Lampe (East Setauket, NY.) also leads the conference, taking first in the 100-yard backstroke (56.98).

Marist leads the conference in all five women’s relays, each recorded at the H2ounds Invitational. The 200-yard freestyle relay, consisting of Arciello, senior Emily Miles (Long Valley, N.J.), sophomore Bridget Curley (Endwell, N.Y.), and freshman Meredith Wurtz (Lafayette Hill, Pa.), lead the MAAC with a time of 1:36.86. The 200-yard medley relay, consisting of Lampe, freshman Isabella Morreale (Short Hills, N.J.), Miles, and Wurtz, lead with a time of 1:46.50. The 400-yard freestyle relay, made up of Arciello, Curley, Lampe, and Wurtz, posts a first-place time of 3:28.90. The 400-yard medley relay, consisting of Lampe, Morreale, Miles, and Arciello, is listed first with a time of 3:50.06. Lastly, the 800-yard freestyle relay, made up of Arciello, Wurtz, Lampe, and senior Bonnie Orr (Fresno, Calif.), leads with a time of 7:42.43.

At the 2014 MAAC Championships, Arciello, senior Sean Molloy (Slingerlands, N.Y.), Miles, and sophomore Bethany Powhida (Delmar, N.Y.), as well as the women’s 200-, 400- and 800-yard freestyle relays, and the 200- and 400-yard medley relays will all be looking to contend their first-place finishes from last year’s conference meet.

“We’ve looked forward to this all season,” said Associate Head Coach/Diving Coach Melanie Bolstad. “We've had a great season full of competition, and now it’s time for all the teams' hard work to pay off.”

Day one of the MAAC Championships is set to kick off at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 15. Be sure to check out GoRedFoxes.com for results and updates after each session, as well as @MaristAthletics for live updates via Twitter. Also check our Instagram and Facebook accounts for further coverage.

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