Keller repeats as SUNYAC’s top diver

BUFFALO – Fredonia State’s’s dominance in springboard at the conference level, especially among its women, continued at the 2014 SUNYAC Swimming & Diving championship meet, which concluded Saturday night at the Burt Flickinger Aquatic Center.

Senior Ashley Keller was named the meet’s Outstanding Female Diver for the second straight year after winning Saturday’s 1-meter final. It’s the ninth straight year a Fredonia State women has won the award.

During early the same stretch, Fredonia State men have won 5 of 12 Outstanding Male Diver awards, including one more this year.

Keller had Blue Devil company on the awards podium. Her winning score was 457.35 points, followed by senior teammate Katelyn Haley in second with 437.85, junior Heather Colby in third with 428.70, and senior Breena Cogliandro in fifth with 408.90. In addition, freshman Sam Kowalewski won the consolation final with 369.05.

The points accumulated by the divers enabled the Blue Devils to finish fifth in the SUNYAC team standings. The swimmers and divers combined for 404 points, five points behind fourth-place Oneonta. Geneseo won the SUNYAC title.

The top swimming performance Saturday was turned in by senior Larissa Dobson, who broke the school record in the 200-yard breaststroke during Saturday preliminaries. Her 2:24.44 was the fastest time during preliminaries and eclipsed Stephanie Andrasek’s 2:26.01 set at last year’s SUNYAC meet. Dobson came back at night to swim 2:26.25, good for third place.

The other Saturday night swimming finalist was junior Stephanie Rosa, who finished fifth in the 200 backstroke in 2:10.04. Her preliminary time was 2:12.03.

Fredonia State’s 400-freestyle relay finished sixth Saturday night. The quartet of junior Rachel Morgano, sophomore Jami Barber, junior Ellie Brion and Rokos combined for a time of 3:39.84.

In the men’s events, Fredonia State overcame the previous night’s adversity to finish second in the team standings.

Having lost a potential 57 points due to two disqualifications Friday, the Blue Devils rallied from as far back as fourth place Saturday to finish with 497 team points. They trailed only Geneseo (848 points), which reclaimed its SUNYAC title after a rare non-title last year. The Blue Knights had won the previous 14 team tiltes before last year.

Oneonta finished third with 492 points while defending-champ Cortland was fourth with 488.

Fredonia State student-athletes won two individual titles during Saturday’s finals – freshman Adam Clouthier in the 200 breaststroke, and freshman Jeff Matter in 3-meter springboard diving. Matter was named the Outstanding Diver of the Meet, Fredonia State’s fifth in 12 seasons while senior John Estanislau was selected winner of SUNYAC’s James Fulton Award.

The comeback was attained with a second-place finish in the final event of the meet, the school-record setting 400 freestyle relay. The Blue Devils barely made the final; they had the eighth-fastest preliminary time earlier Saturday.

Estanislau and Clouthier posted No. 1 seed times during preliminaries Saturday morning.

In the 100 freestyle, Estanislau, a senior, had a preliminary time of 46.51 seconds while senior Adrian Van Hall was sixth fastest in 47.65 seconds. Estanislau finished third and Van Hall eighth, respectively, during finals Saturday night.

Clouthier broke a school record in the 200 breast stroke with his 2:07.74 preliminary time Saturday. He replaced Mike Mitchell on the Blue Devil record board. Mitchell was clocked in 2:08.78 in 2011. Clouther lowered his school record even more at night with a first-place time of 2:07.28..

Fredonia State’s other individual swimming finalist was senior Eric Jordan, whose preliminary time of 1:58.99 placed him fifth heading into Saturday’s final. Jordan trimmed additional time in the final to finish fifth in the event in 1:58.42.

The Blue Devils’ second-place 400 freestyle relay quartet consisted of Estanislau, sophomore Liam Jones, senior David Adamczak and Van Hall. Their 3:08.05 was a new school record by two-hundredths of a second and was nearly 11 seconds faster than Fredonia State’s Saturday morning qualifying time.

It was Estanislau’s final SUNYAC race and was the culmination of four strong seasons. The Fulton Award he received – Fredonia State’s first since 1988 – is awarded annually to a senior male who received past All SUNYAC honors, showed improvement over four seasons, and excelled academically.

Matter’s winning 3-meter springboard diving score was 524.80 points. Freshman teammate Arron Carlson finished fourth with 472.70 points while sophomore Rafael Santiago finished eighth with 401.85. A fourth Blue Devil diver, freshman Jacob Storms, won the consolation final with 429.75 points.