By Emily Messina
This past Saturday the men and women’s swimming and diving team traveled to Susquehanna University to face off against the Crusaders. The Cardinals knew they were going to face fierce competition, but, led by captains Danny McLaughlin, Pat McMullen, Matt Wagner, and Nicole Castellano, Michelle Navarro, and Sara Pierce, they were ready for the challenge. The men’s meet has historically been a close one, however, this time they swam their way to victory by a clear and decisive margin of 157-105. And, they even swam the final relay as an exhibition race. The women also had a phenomenal meet with numerous standout swims, although they lost by a slim margin of 12 points to the female Crusaders, who have been Landmark Conference Champions for the past five years.
Catholic started off the meet on a high note by winning the 200-yard medley relay on both the men’s and the women’s side. The women’s team of Maddy Amann, Basira Knight, Rachael Zarlinski, and Rachel Chain took down Susquehanna by over two seconds. On the men’s side, Guido Saccaggi, Joe Cihak, David Lanetti, and Matt Wagner were also victorious. Wagner, a senior, had a strong finish to touch out his opponent. In addition to this impressive swim, Wagner continued on to lead the sprinters in the 50-yard and 100-yard freestyle. Following Wagner to the wall in an exhilarating 50-yard freestyle were juniors Joe Cihak and Mark Solace, respectively. Cihak also came in right behind Wagner in the 100-yard freestyle.
The Cardinals presence shined brightly when they swept both the men’s and women’s 1000-yard freestyle. The distance swimmers, Saccaggi, Lanetti, Peter Bajorek and Mary Margaret Deedrick, Valerie Sander, and Pippa Rogers all crushed their competition. Sander followed that swim up with a 2nd place finish in the 200-yard freestyle. In an unusual dual meet event, Sander took 2nd in the 400-yard individual medley for the women, and Saccaggi, Chris Contreras, and Tyler Hammett had a strong race for the men. Rogers went on to take 2nd in the 200-yard butterfly, only to her teammate, Emily Messina. Lanetti and Bajorek had a one-two finish in the 200-yard fly as well. Additionally, Lanetti grabbed the top stop in the 100-yard fly. Deedrick took 1st in the 500-yard freestyle, while Rogers followed shortly for 2nd. Saccaggi and Bajorek also touched one-two in the 500-yard free. Other standout swims included Zarlinski in the 100-yard backstroke and 100-yard butterfly, and Sam Hicks in the 200-yard freestyle and 200-yard backstroke. Ryan Marczinkowski stole both 2nd place finishes for the Cards in the men’s 100-yard and 200-yard breaststrokes. In addition, other solid swims from the team came from Maddy Amann, Liam Breslin, Rachel Chain, Nick Haas, Basira Knight, Michelle Navarro, and Andrea Perez-Hickman.
The diving team had a strong showing with sophomore divers Joey Soraghan and Kristina Noto and freshman Bingo LaHaye and Danny McInerney.
While the Cardinals and the Crusaders are competitors in the pool, they came together to raise money for the Wounded Warrior Project. Headed by Pat McMullen and Danny Csakai, from Susquehanna, the two teams raised over $5,000 for this great cause.
Based on the results from this meet, it is evident that the Cardinals are in for a really impressive season. The teams outswam Landmark Conference opponent, Elizabethtown on Saturday, November 14th. The women overtook the Blue Jays, 186-72, and their record moves to 3-2 overall. The men’s team were also victorious with a score of 184-69 and are now 4-1 for the 2015 season. Catholic swimming will be back in action at Goucher College this Saturday, November 21st at 1:00 PM.