Swim teams finish strong at conference championship meet

RYAN GAULE
STAFF WRITER

Junior Paige Agnello led her team to its fourth straight second-place finish in the Landmark Conference Swimming and Diving championships at Marywood University Sunday.
Agnello has been a staple in the Royals’ lineup, earning her second Landmark individual title for her efforts in the 200 breaststroke. Scranton finished the tournament with 574.5 points, second only to Susquehanna University, which won its fourth straight title after tallying an impressive 718 points.
Fellow junior and teammate Alexis Walsh finished right behind Agnello in the 200 breaststroke, losing by only 0.34 seconds. These two swimmers will likely lead the Royals as they go into their senior year next season.
As for the current seniors, Sara Franciscovich finished fourth in the 200 free while Colleen McMahon finished eighth in the 200 breaststroke.
The Royals will have seven swimmers returning next season for their senior years as they look to avenge four straight runner-up finishes to Susquehanna.
The men’s swimming team did not enjoy the same success last weekend.  Their 348 points were good for fifth place out of seven teams.  The Merchant Marine Academy won its seventh straight title, finishing with 950 points.
Although his team struggled, senior John Hughes continued to put his name in Scranton’s record books.  Hughes finished second in the 200 breaststroke in a school record-breaking time of 2:06.91.  He also swam the second leg of the 400 freestyle relay, which finished in fourth place overall.
Sophomore Grant Owens finished fifth in the 100 free with a time of 0:48.18, while junior Mike Ambrose finished sixth in the 200 breaststroke with a time of 2:09.98.
There was another positive to be taken from the Royals’ performance this past weekend at Marywood:  overall, the Royal men set two individual and two school relay records. Aside from his record-breaking performance in the 200 breaststroke, Hughes also broke his own record in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 0:57.21.
Hughes was also a member of the 200 and 400 medley relay teams that set new records of 1:36.30 and 3:32.73 respectively. Owens and juniors Matt Flint and Ryan Holmes joined Hughes in the 200 medley, while Owens, Flint and junior Brendan McCrossan contributed to the 400 medley.
The Royals will have nine returning seniors next season as they look to rebound from a disappointing finish to this season, in which they posted just a 6-5 record.
The men’s and women’s squads combined for a 15-8 record in the 2013-14 season. The women will look to build on this season’s success while the men hope for improvement next year.

Contact the writer:
ryan.gaule@scranton.edu

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