Last weekend, several members of men’s swimming and diving (8-2) finished out their seasons in spectacular fashion, leading the pack at the Middlebury Invitational and kicking off this year’s championship season. The men returned to Middlebury after a win over them on Jan. 26 196-102. Prior to that win, the men decisively dispatched Tufts 184-105 after routing Wesleyan 213-61 on Jan. 20. Just one day prior, the Ephs picked up their first win, following their tough loss to MIT, against Springfield 189-106.
Chris Picardo ’13 started the meet off strong with a fourth-place finish in the 200 IM, finishing in a time of 2:00.64 and narrowly being out-touched by Eric Liao ’14, who finished in 2:00.40 for third.
Peter McDonald ’16 helped continue the Ephs’ strong performance by coming in second place in the mile freestyle event in a time of 16:18.40, behind Christian Gronbeck ’15, who won the event in 16:07.49. Alex Flick ’16 finished out the men’s domination of the mile by coming in fourth in a time of 16:54.03.
McDonald continued his outstanding performance by placing first in the 400 IM in a time of 4:06.12, ahead of Chris Corbett ’13, who came in at 4:14.07 for second.
In the very strong 100 butterfly event John Hammond ’16 turned in an incredible performance, coming in third in a time of 52.36. Liam Gallagher ’14 also performed well, coming in with a time of 53.46, which was enough to get him a ninth-place finish. Picardo rounded out the Ephs’ performance, coming in at 55.28 and placing 14th.
Scott Symonds ’13 turned in a very fast time in the 500 freestyle, finishing in a time of 4:57.75. Flick also had a very solid swim, dropping 11 seconds from his in-season time to finish out his season with a 4:44.57, which was enough to earn him fourth place.
In the 100 breaststroke, the Ephs once again led the pack, with Chris Greeno ’14 capturing first in a time of 59.88 and Martin Soderstrom ’14 following in second in a time of 1:00.11.
Dan Druckman ’15 had some of the strongest swims of the meet, claiming the pool record in the 200 backstroke in a time of 1:51.6 and taking second place in the 100 backstroke in a time of 52.42.
“We had a larger than normal group finishing their season at the Midd. Invite this year, which made for an exciting atmosphere,” co-captain Tom Vieth ’13 said. “The twelve guys that were rested were certainly the focal point of the meet, and they did not disappoint. We had some great swims across the board, highlighted by a pool record from Druckman and our four seniors finishing off their careers. It was a great start to our champsionship season.”
On the weekend of Jan. 26 the Ephs were also at Middlebury to finish out the duel meets for the season.
The Ephs started strong with a Williams sweep in the 1000 freestyle; Gronbeck came in first by nearly 20 seconds in a time of 9:38.36. Second was Adrien Downey ’15, who finished in a time of 9:57.76, and then Jake Tamposi ’16, who touched in 10:05.37.
Knox Young ’16 also had an outstanding meet, winning both the 100 backstroke and the 200 IM in 54.79 and 1:59.23, respectively.
On Jan. 20, the Ephs notched two decisive wins over conference foes, defeating Tufts and Wesleyan with scores of 184-105 and 213-61, respectively. Paul Dyrkacz ’13 won the 200 freestyle in a time of 1:41.40 and the 400 IM in a time of 4:01.28, while Vieth took first in the 500 freestyle in a time of 4:40.14. Co-captain John Armstrong ’13 also turned in an impressive performance, snaring first in the 1650 freestyle in a time of 16:33.17.
Springfield fell to Williams on Jan. 19 by a margin of 189-106, in the men’s first victory of their doubleheader weekend. To contribute to the win, three Ephs swept the 500 freestyle, with Dyrkacz in first with a time of 4:33.51, Alex McCarter ’16 in second in 4:49.99 and Will Brown ’15 in third in 4:54.39.
The men now look forward to the NESCAC Championship meet on Feb. 22-24 at Wesleyan, where they will try to continue the strong end of season performances that began at last weekend’s invitational.