ANNAPOLIS, Md. - The Marist swim team will have four athletes participating in the Eastern College Athletic Conference's Long Course Meter Invitational on Thursday, Feb. 23. Junior Kate Conard (East Setauket, N.Y.), sophomore Maddie Arciello (Missoula, Mont.) and freshmen Greta Leberfinger (Chatham, N.J.) and Jason Ruddy (Lake Katrine, N.Y.) will swim in the new event hosted by the ECAC that will provide an opportunity for student-athletes to qualify for the United States 2012 Olympic trials.
Following outstanding efforts by all four swimmers at the recent MAAC Championships, the quartet will compete at the Invitational hosted at the United States Naval Academy's Lejeune Hall. Swimming on a 50-meter long course; Arciello will attempt to qualify for the Olympic trials in the 50-meter freestyle, Conard in the 400-m freestyle and Ruddy in the 200-m butterfly. Leberfinger, an NCAA B Cut qualifier, will compete in both 100- and 200-m breaststroke events.
Competing for a spot on the national scene is nothing new for all four of the Red Foxes as they have experience in either U.S. Senior or Junior National Championships. In 2011, Conard swam in the 2011 USA Swimming National Long Course Championships and missed qualifying for the 2012 Olympics in the 400-m freestyle by .48 seconds at 4:19.87. At the 2011 USA Swimming Junior Nationals, both Leberfinger and Ruddy competed, while Arciello swam at the 2009 Short Course Junior Nationals.
If any or all of these four Red Foxes qualify, they will be the first ever active Marist College student-athlete to qualify for a United States Olympic Trial.