SportsHigh School


Canisius 200 freestyle relay team places 1st at State Championships

Super 7 athletes of the week
Posted at 7:13 PM, Mar 22, 2018

It's always a dream to end your high school swimming career on a high note. For three Canisius swimmers, that's exactly what they did.

"I'm just glad that it kind of came full circle, like a 360," said Jake Ruffolo. "I'm just really glad that it ended the way it did because if it didn't we would've been like ugh."

Seniors Ruffolo, Christian Balkin, Mac Granto and junior Dan Bowen make up the 200 free style relay team that competed at the State Federation championships in Long Island.

After placing third in the prelims, Canisius earned a spot in the finals and despite having a good initial showing, didn't really have any expectations.

"We knew this was our best chance to make something happen," said Balkin. "We definitely felt like we were strong coming in, but did we think we were gonna get first? No."

But they proved themselves wrong. One by one, each jumped into the pool and as Bowen, the anchor, was finishing the race, the nerves set in.

"I couldn't even watch," said Granto. "I had to look up at the scoreboard the whole time.

Bowen outraced the guys beside him and touched the wall first, a time of 1:24.88, good enough for first overall and the third fastest free relay time in state history.

"I knew because of my long arms that I'd out touch him no matter what," said Bowen. "We all worked hard to achieve one final goal and we achieved it at the end of the day."

The relay team also finished third in the 400 freestyle relay with a time of 3:08.43, another league record and All-American consideration time.