The Fairfield University Women’s Swimming & Diving team captured their second straight Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference championship as they dominated all four days of their competition in Buffalo, N.Y. Even more impressively, the Stags held the top position all four days as they finished with 776 points as second place Marist College finished with 646 points, which is a 130 point margin of victory. Rider University rounded out the top three with a third place finish and 551.5 points.
This win for the Women’s Swimming & Diving team felt familiar, simply because the final day of competition started the same exact way as it did in 2018. Sophomore Sara Ostensen dominated the 1650 Yard Freestyle as she finished with a time of 16:50.59. Even moreso, Fairfield’s Shannon Feely ‘22 finished second clocking in at 17:12.06 and three other Stag swimmers, Sarah Herbold ‘21, Delaney Walsh ‘21 and Haleigh McLaughlin ‘21, all finished in the top-10, starting the final day of the competition off right.
To continue the wins, Maria Nitti ‘21 placed first in the 100 Yard Freestyle with a final time of 51.74 and Samantha D’Alessandro ‘22 finished only two spots behind Nitti as she grabbed third-place, clocking in at 52.61.
Junior Colleen Young captured yet another first-place finish for Fairfield in the 200 Yard Breaststroke with a final time of 2:18.57 as Oreoluwa Cherebin ‘19 finished third with a time of 2:23.05 along with Emily Vlass ‘19 placing fifth at 2:23.19.
For the 200 Yard Butterfly, teammates Morgan Hansen ‘21 and Ostensen placed first and second, registering times of 2:02.90 for Hansen and 2:05.28 for Ostensen. This was the fourth event that the Stags had captured first place as well as the second/third place which showcased how they dominated the MAAC competition.
This trend continued as Fairfield entered their final event, looking to win all five events in the MAAC Tournament and bring home a second straight MAAC championship.
The Stags never lost their stride as they capped their MAAC tournament with a win in the 400 Yard Freestyle Relay as D’Alessandro, Nitti, Herbold and Kelly Cordes ‘19 finished their relay at 3:29.76 to make the biggest statement on the biggest stage.
After the event, Hansen was named the MAAC Championship Women’s Most Outstanding Swimmer as she recorded three individual wins in the 200 Butterfly, 200 Individual Medley while she set a new MAAC Championship record in the 100 Butterfly, for which her time was 55.38.
Also for a second straight year, Coach Anthony Bruno took home 2019 MAAC Coach of the Year, which was decided by his peers.
Bruno has a young core at his disposal for next season as the heart of the main contributors for this MAAC title run were sophomores, which is an exciting sight to see.