Men’s swimming earns 11th consecutive NESCAC crown

Last weekend, men’s swimming and diving (8-2) earned its 11th straight NESCAC title, beating rival Amherst by 112 points, scoring 1936.5 points to Amherst’s 1824.5. Connecticut College came in third with 1098 points, followed by Tufts, Middlebury and Bowdoin with 1080, 904.5 and 769.5 points, respectively.

The meet was a tight contest starting from Day One, with co-captain Tom Vieth ’13, Chris Faux ’13, Nels Snyder ’16 and Daeus Jorento ’13 opening the meet by taking third in the 200 freestyle relay in 1:23.20, coming in behind Conn. College and Amherst.

Jake Tamposi ’16 followed this relay by rallying the Ephs with a first-place finish in the 50 breaststroke, touching in a time of 25.82, just ahead of Middlebury’s Stephan Koenigsberger, who finished with a time of 25.99.

In the 500 freestyle, the men had several huge swims, with Vieth taking first with a national qualifying time of 4:28.36, followed by Christian Gronbeck ’15, who finished in a time of 4:31.28. Co-captain John Armstrong ’13 and Chris Weihs ’15 also had strong swims, finishing in times of 4:37.95 for sixth and 4:38.72 for eighth, respectively.

The 200 IM was another incredibly strong event for the Ephs, who placed six swimmers in the top eight. Paul Dyrkacz ’13 touched first in a time of 1:50.15, followed by Tim Lattimer ’15, who finished in a time of 1:52.32. Knox Young ’16 completed the sweep in a time of 1:53.10. These three also performed extremely well in the 400 IM, with Dyrkacz again taking the top spot. Lattimer came in third in 4:00.15,  and Young placed fourth in 4:01.71.

The Ephs once again came out strong in the 200 backstroke, with David Taylor ’13 finishing in sixth in a time of 1:51.53, followed by Dan Druckman ’15, who touched at 1:52.87, which was good enough for seventh place. Seth Montgomery ’16 finished first in the ‘B’ final, touching with a time of 1:52.79.

The 200 breaststroke was probably the men’s strongest event, where they again placed six of the top eight swimmers in the ‘A’ final. Dyrkacz again finished first in a time of 1:59.68, followed by Lattimer, who touched in 2:03.12, and Chris Corbett ’13, who completed the Ephs’ sweep with a time of 2:05.62.

The men came out strong and took second in the 400 medley relay. David Taylor ’13 started the men off fast, swimming his leg in 51.06. Dyrkacz and Thad Ricotta ’15 both turned in impressive legs as well, touching with times of 55.72 and 49.03 respectively. Vieth anchored the relay with the freestyle, and the men touched in at a time of 3:20.67, good for second behind Amherst’s time of 319.56.

Diver Rohan Bhatt ’15 had a very strong meet as well, placing fourth in the one-meter diving event and third in the three-meter diving event.

At the end of Day Three, the men had narrowly edged out Amherst, coming away with their 11th consecutive NESCAC title.

Dyrkacz had an especially impressive meet, garnering him the title of Swimmer of the Meet and Senior High Point scoring honors. He broke a NESCAC record in the 200 breastroke with a time of 1:59.68, beating his personal best by a slim .02.

For most of the men, this was the last meet of the season, and for many seniors the last meet of their career. “[Last] weekend was a success in every sense of the word,” Armstrong said. “We set out with specific goals and accomplished great things”

The men now look to Div. III Nationals, which will take place in Houston, Texas, on March 19 to 22, where at least six swimmers, depending on call-ups, will compete to continue the already outstanding season.