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  • Isabella Custodi

Leighton and de Villard Dominate at Swim and Dive MAAC Championships

By Isabella Custodi, Sports Reporter


The Canisius women’s swimming and diving team finished fourth while the men took home sixth at the MAAC Championships in Geneva, OH on February 14-17.


Freshman Evie Leighton had great success in her events. She earned a bronze medal in the 500 free with a time of 4:59.19 beating her personal record by over five seconds. In the 200 freestyle, Leighton took home first place reigning herself MAAC Champion with her finishing time of 1:50.08. Leighton couldn’t believe her success, “Touching the wall, looking at the clock was truly an unreal experience, I was in shock when I found out that I was MAAC Champion as a freshman.”


Three relay school records were broken for the women. Leighton competed in the 800 relay with Breanna McLaughlin, Reilly King, and Ashley Allaire, where they placed second. In the 200 medley relay, Leighton, Hannah Brainard, Cassandra Ercoli, and Jordan O’Connor took home fifth place. Leighton, Brainard, O’Connor, and Allaire competed in the 400 free relay placing third. In the 400 free relay, Leighton was marked the fastest 100 free time in Canisius history.


Leighton believes she wouldn’t have succeeded if it weren’t for her friends and their determination. “Breaking multiple program records couldn't have been done without the help of my teammates as we all did our part in the relays. I truly am so proud of my teammates for their efforts as it was something we all wanted to do,” says Leighton.


For the men, freshman Marin de Villard was named Rookie of the Meet, the first ever Canisius swimmer to receive this title. 


De Villard had five top ten placements this weekend and broke multiple records. He placed sixth in the men’s 500 free with a personal best of 4:31.37. In the 100 backstroke, de Villard earned a silver, breaking another program record with a finishing time of 48.03. He took home second in the 200 backstroke as well, breaking his own record from earlier in the season, a time of 1:45.06. 


In the 200 medley relay, de Villard, Sam Vidal, Bronson Benes, and Alexander Hiltbrant took home fourth setting a new record with a time of 1:29.53. Taking home third in the 400 medley relay, de Villard, Vidal, Benes, and Hiltbrand beat last year's MAAC Championship time by around three seconds.



The women ended with 332 points while Niagara was first with 697 points. Marist took home first for the men with 664 points, with a far lead from Canisius’s 317 points.


Canisius swim and dive has officially finished out their season and will pick up again in the fall.



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