Ephmen win 14th straight NE title

The Williams men’s swimming and diving team topped the scoreboard at New Englands for the 14th consecutive year as it won the three-day competition, compiling 1602 points, the second-highest point total ever.

Though they pushed Williams the first day, the Middlebury Panthers could not come close to the Ephs’ point total, placing second with 1289. Amherst (third, 1064.5 points), Tufts (fourth, 705) and Wesleyan (fifth, 631.5) rounded out the top five teams.

Williams swimmers qualified for finals at an amazing rate; 22 of 23 swimmers made it back in all of their events. John Cole ’00, Alex Poole ’00, Brian Strickler ’01 and Geoff Allen ’01 began the meet with a second place finish in the 200-yard freestyle relay. Their time of 1:25.47 was good for a National B cut.

Senior Bevan Londergan was the top Eph in the 50-yard breaststroke, placing sixth (27.96). Elliott Gansner ’02 was right on his heels in eighth place (28.10) and Greg Kim ’02 dominated the consolation final to finish ninth (27.39).

Daniel Morales ’02 claimed seventh place in the 50-yard butterfly (23.88), while Fulton Breen ’03 placed 14th (24.79). In the 50-yard backstroke, Mike Simerman ’02 was lone Williams representative; he placed tenth (25.57).

The 500-yard freestyle was a solid event as Jeff McBride ’02 (4:36.64) and Ben Doob ’02 (4:41.56) went 2-3 with a pair of National B cuts. Paul Friedberg ’01 placed seventh (4:47.69), Jeremy Faust ’01 was 21st (4:51.91) and tri-captain Pat Burton ’00 was 22nd (4:52.39).

The 200-yard individual medley was also a very strong event for Williams. Cyrus King ’00 placed second in 1:54.18 and Brian Stricker ’01 was fourth in 1:56.37, both National B cuts.

In addition, Seth Borland ’03 was seventh (1:57.31), tri-captain Don Wood ’00 placed 12th (2:00.20), Pat McCurdy ’02 touched in 14th (2:01.52), Jason Frink ’00 finished 19th (2:01.73) and David Lewis ’03 was 23rd (2:04.75).

Cole and Allen finished fifth and sixth in the 50-yard freestyle with times of 21.69 and 21.81. Jason Oraker ’00 was 12th (22.21), Poole was 14th (22.37) and Breen was 22nd (22.80).

Wrapping up day one, Williams’ only diver, tri-captain Chris Wendell ’00, placed sixth in the one-meter, and the 400-yard medley relay of King, Kim, Morales and Allen placed second with a National B cut of 3:28.21.

Williams started day two with a second place finish in the 200-yard medley relay, as King, Kim, Morales and Allen swam a 1:36.19. The time is a National B cut.

Williams swimmers snagged several top places in the 400-yard individual medley. Todd Gamblin ’02 led the charge, finishing second in 4:07.84. Doob was right behind to finish third in 4:08.17 and Borland touched just a second later (4:09.16) for fourth. All three swims were National B cuts. McCurdy also had a solid swim for the Ephs, taking ninth (4:17.52).

Friedberg was the top 100-yard butterflier for Williams as he finished sixth (52.61). Morales was the next Eph finisher in tenth (52.98), and Frink touched 11th (53.31). Cole and Faust tied for 14th as they both swam 54.10.

McBride recorded the Ephs’ first victory of the meet as he won the 200-yard freestyle in 1:42.04, a National B cut. Burton placed 17th (1:48.18), and Oraker was 24th (1:49.50).

Kim led a strong contingent of Williams swimmers in the 100-yard breaststroke, placing seventh in 59.92. Londergan, Wood and Strickler claimed places 10 through 12 for the Ephs, with times of 1:00.47, 1:00.70 and 1:00.78, respectively.

Rounding out the field for the Ephs, Gansner placed 19th (1:01.42) and Lewis was 20th (1:01.80).

King swam to first place in the 100-yard backstroke, breaking the meet and pool records along the way, as he clocked 51.84, a National B cut.

Gamblin and Allen also had B cuts in this event as they swam times of 53.35 and 53.52 for fourth and fifth places. Simerman swam a 54.60 for tenth and Poole finished 17th (55.02).

Winding up day two Williams finally got a relay victory as King, Friedberg, Morales and McBride won the 800-yard freestyle relay in 6:55.12, a National B cut. It was Williams’ first relay victory in three years.

Williams’ best night of competition was the third and final one. Starting the evening King swam a National A cut of 1:51.53 for second place in the 200-yard backstroke. Gamblin was right on his heels, finishing third in 1:53.11, a National B cut. Simerman touched in tenth (1:58.89).

McBride and Doob could only compete with each other in the 1650-yard freestyle.

The two pulled way ahead to finish first and second with National A cut times of 15:59.38 and 16:03.72. McBride’s swim was a meet and school record. Also having a quick swim, Burton placed sixth (16:38.27).

Morales was the top finisher in the 100-yard freestyle, touching fourth (47.94). Allen and Cole had strong swims in the consolation final, taking 10th and 11th places with times of 47.83 and 48.20. Poole swam a 48.83 to tie for 18th and Oraker went 48.91 for 20th.

The Ephs were victorious again when Strickler won the 200-yard breaststroke in a National B cut time of 2:07.47. Kim had a strong swim to take fourth in 2:09.24, a B cut. Williams dominated the consolation final, taking places nine (Gansner, 2:11.80), 10 (Borland, 2:12.12), 11 (Londergan, 2:12.92), 15 (Lewis, 2:13.88) and 16 (Wood, 2:14.11).

Williams was also atop the victory podium in the 200-yard butterfly, a title that Frink claimed. His winning time of 1:55.85 was a National B cut. Friedberg had a strong swim for fifth place (1:58.48), while Faust placed seventh (2:00.43) and McCurdy was tenth (2:00.73).

Back on the boards, Wendell flipped and spun to ninth place on three-meter. In the final race of the meet the 400-yard freestyle relay of King, Cole, Morales and Allen placed second to Middlebury with a National B cut of 3:07.49.

Reflecting on the weekend, Coach Steve Kuster was quite pleased. “The guys swam their hearts out. I feel very good about the win and everything we were able to accomplish this weekend,” he said.

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