The men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams both trekked out to Buffalo, N.Y. on Wednesday, Feb. 8th to compete in the four-day Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championships.
The women’s team took first place after the first day and held on through the tournament to take home the MAAC championship. The Stags put up 609 total points throughout the 40-event meet, which placed them in first by just four points over Niagara University.
Erini Pappas ‘25 earned the Women’s Most Outstanding Swimmer of the meet after breaking the school record in the 200-meter backstroke with a time of 1:59.55 according to the official recap. Three Stags won their races on the final day, one of which was Pappas, along with Alison Sposili ‘25, who finished the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:19.59 and Erin Hoyland ‘25, who won the 1650-meter freestyle clocking in at 17:14.09.
Fairfield also had two divers hit two of the top five spots in the one-meter event with Alexis Gaulin ‘24 scoring 213.05 points and Lia Oppenheim ‘25 scoring 181.20 points through their six dives to take fourth and fifth place in the event. The women’s 400-meter freestyle relay team also set a school record with a time of 3:26.84 which got them to second place in the final event of the meet and secured Fairfield’s MAAC championship. The freestyle team was composed of Pappas, Viola, Lily Barker and Syndey Scalise. Lastly, Fairfield coach Jacy Dyer won the Women’s Swimming Coach of the Year after she led Fairfield to the championship.
The men’s team did not fare as well, although they still finished fourth and held the position from day two on. The team was 19.5 points behind third-place finisher Niagara University and was 90 points behind first-place finisher Rider University according to the official standings of the event. Alexey Belfer ‘24 set a school record in the 100-meter freestyle with a time of 44.43, which garnered second place in the event. Fairfield also had a strong showing in the 1650-meter freestyle, holding the second and third place spots with Joseph Stewart ‘25 finishing in 15:42.23 for the silver and Joey Nizzardo ‘25 collecting the bronze with a time of 15:51.51 according to the event’s official recap.
The Stags also had some more points contributors with top-eight finishes in their respective races through Oliver McLaughlin ‘26, who finished in eighth in the 200-meter backstroke, completing the race in 1:52.14. Tim Regan ‘26 placed seventh in the 100-meter freestyle with a time of 46.06. The Stags had a pair of top eight finishes in the 200-meter backstroke with Chris Ford ‘23 taking fifth with a time of 2:01.13, and Jeff Vlass ‘25 taking seventh with a time of 2:05.18.
Another pair of top eight finishers were graduate student Evan Fair and Hans Tristan Lim ‘24, who also took fifth and seventh respectively. Fair clocked in at 1:50.85 and Lim at 1:54.71. In the final event, which was the 400-meter freestyle relay, the team took a school record with Stewart, Regan, graduate student Peter Gori and Belfer taking fourth place with a time of 3:02.34.
Both teams had some success throughout the season with the women’s team able to close on a higher note. However, both teams still set multiple school records and will continue to prepare for their next season. For more information, go to fairfieldstags.com.