Men’s swimming wins big at ’Herst; King, Allen establish new records

The Williams men’s swimming team had an extraordinary win this past weekend at Amherst, where it dominated the Lord Jeffs 145-92 en route to upping its season record to 3-0. It was the first win for the men’s team at Pratt Pool since 1992.

Though Amherst won the first relay, Williams’ 400-yard medley relay teams took second and third. Todd Gamblin ’02, Greg Kim ’03, Jason Frink ’00 and Alex Poole ’00 finished second with their time of 3:34.50. Mike Simerman ’02, tri-captain Don Wood ’00, Paul Friedberg ’01 and Jason Oraker ’00 placed third in 3:40.57.

Williams swimmers captured the top two places in the 1000-yard freestyle as sophomores Jeff McBride and Ben Doob swam times of 9:55.45 and 9:57.06, respectively. Senior tri-captain Pat Burton placed fourth in the 1000 with his time of 10:10.05.

Cyrus King ’00 was the top Williams finisher in the 200-yard freestyle as he placed second in 1:44.27. Daniel Morales ’02 captured third place in the race with a time of 1:45.73, and first-year Zach O’Brien took fourth with his 1:47.15.

Geoff Allen ’01 set a Pratt Pool record in the 50-yard freestyle as the won the event in 21.43. John Cole ’00 and Poole placed fourth (22.22) and fifth (22.63), respectively, for the Ephmen.

Williams had another 1-2 finish in the 200-yard individual medley, with Seth Borland ’03 and Brian Strickler ’01 leading the way. Borland won the event in 1:59.83, while Strickler was second in 2:00.22.

Wood picked up fourth place for the Ephs with his time of 2:02.03. Heading into the one-meter diving competition the Ephs were already up by 20 points.

Tri-captain Chris Wendell ’00 was the top Eph finisher in the one-meter competition, taking second place with 268.35 points. This score surpasses the NCAA qualification standard. Chris Abbott ’03 took third place for Williams with a score of 129.15.

Frink led the Williams butterfliers as he placed second in the 200-yard butterfly with a time of 1:57.43. Friedberg was third in 2:01.54 and Jeremy Faust ’01 took fifth place with his time of 2:03.25.

Allen won his second event of the day as he captured the 100-yard freestyle in a time of 47.25. Morales was right on his heels, finishing second in 47.96. Cole swam a 49.31 to take sixth place.

The 200-yard backstroke saw the top two Williams swimmers beat the Amherst pool record for first and second places.

King blasted past the record by an amazing five seconds, winning the race with a time of 1:52.90. Gamblin’s second place time of 1:56.29 also surpassed the old record. Both swimmers’ times were B-cuts for the NCAA Championships. Simerman also swam a strong race for the Ephs, capturing fourth place with his 2:00.58.

Accustomed to sweeping multiple events in their meets, the men finally got a sweep against Amherst in the 500-yard freestyle. McBride led the way as he won the race in 4:45.63. Doob finished in 4:51.74 to take second place and Burton flew through the last 50-yards of his race to touch out Amherst’s top swimmer and take third place in 4:58.11.

When the cheers over the 500 freestyle died down, Wendell and Abbott had another 2-3 showing on the three-meter diving board. Wendell scored 256.20 points to take second place, while Abbott’s total of 119.70 was good for third.

A strong field of Williams swimmers captured second through fourth places in the 200-yard breaststroke. Elliott Gansner ’02 led the way with 2:12.74 for second. Strickler swam a time of 2:13.17 to take third, and Borland was fourth in 2:15.09.

A victory in the last relay was not needed, but the men were not about to give the relay to the Jeffs. In a fight to the end, King, Poole, Morales and Allen pulled out a victory and another Pratt Pool record with their time of 3:12.39.

Williams’ team of Oraker, Gamblin, Frink and Cole finished third in 3:18.28 and Simerman, Justin Stach ’03, Nate Krissoff ’03 and Borland captured fifth in 3:22.56.

Reflecting on what propelled the men to such an outstanding victory, McBride noted a couple sources of inspiration.

One was from within the men’s team, as some individuals had outstanding days and swam a lot faster than usual. In particular McBride noted that Doob inspired the team with his outstanding swims.

McBride also said that support from the crowd — alums, the women’s team and parents — really carried the team along. “It’s inspiring to go to an away meet and have more fans than the home team.”

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *