Men’s swimming set to make a splash

Men’s swimming and diving returns plenty of talent this year and looks to compete with the best teams in the region and the country. The team lost five All-Americans to graduation in the spring, but the first-year class is solid and the returning swimmers are strong and unified under the leadership of captains Ben Bullitt ’08 and Matt Neuber ’08. The Ephs aim to continue their dominance of the NESCAC and improve at NCAAs this season.

“The men are still strong within the league and hopefully at an NCAA level,” said Head Coach Steve Kuster.

The team is coming off one of its most successful seasons ever. During the dual meet season, the team posted a 7-1 record; the lone loss came at the hands of Div. I Army in November, only a few weeks after training had started. In the post-season, the Ephs claimed a fifth consecutive NESCAC championship team title with a 711.5 point margin of victory, 16 event titles and a total of over 2000 points for the second straight year.

At NCAAs, seven conference and school records were broken en route to Williams’ fourth place finish. Additionally, the team tallied the highest point total in Williams history and came as close as it has ever been to finishing third nationally. Ten swimmers earned All-American honors, including Norman Scott ’09, who stunned the competition as he won the 100 Butterfly.

Several of last year’s top swimmers will not be on the roster this winter. Former captain Nick Gallucci ’07, Brett Marinelli ’07 and five time All-American Steve Spinelli ’07, three of the four members of the NCAA fourth place 400 free relay team, will be noticeably absent. The final piece of that relay team, Rob Hannigan ’11, is also not swimming this year. Finally, former captain Dave McManic ’07 will be missed as the backstroke leg on the medley relay.

Nevertheless, Scott and fellow All-Americans Chris Millen ’08, Alexander Wentworth-Ping ’08, Michael Kirwan ’08, Tyler Bonewell ’09 and Bullitt form a solid core for the team. The tall sprinter Ben Wampler ’11 is expected to help fill the void left by last season’s senior sprinters.

Alongside Wampler will be fellow first-years Gary Roberson ’11 at distance freestyle Worth Macdonald ’11 at backstroke and Andrew D’Ignazio ’11. Additionally, the team looks forward to seeing diver Josh Cantor ’08 return after a two year hiatus from the squad.

With these additions, the team has a positive outlook on the season, but knows that a lot of work is ahead. “We have a good team on paper, but we have to go out and prove it,” Bullitt said.

Williams races against Conn. College at home on Sunday at 12 p.m.

Leave a reply

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