Men’s swim surges to 8th at NCAAs

After a slow start the first day of the Div. III NCAA National Championships on March 20 to 23, men’s swimming and diving (8-2) rallied to capture eighth place, tying its performance from last year. Kenyon took home top honors from the meet.

On the first day, Christian Gronbeck ’15 was one of two Ephs who qualified for the day’s finals, swimming a 4:34.11 in the 500 freestyle, which was enough to earn him 15th place. Paul Dyrkacz ’13 also helped put the Ephs on the board, finishing 14th in the 200 IM in a time of 1:50.76. After Day One, the men’s team was in 18th place.

On Day Two, the 200 freestyle relay placed 15th. Co-captain Tom Vieth ’13, Chris Faux ’13, Daeus Jorento ’13 and Alex McCarter ’16 combined to turn in an impressive time of 1:23.01, with both Faux and Jorento wrapping up their careers with that swim. On the individual side, Tim Lattimer ’15 and Dyrkacz both scored in the 400 IM. Dyrkacz came in ninth in a time of 3:54.95, followed by Lattimer, who dropped three seconds off his best time to come in 12th with a time of 3:56.84. After Day Two, the Ephs pulled to 13th place overall.

On Day Three, David Taylor ’13 had one of the best swims of the meet for the Ephs, placing 13th in the 100 backstroke in 49.94. Jake Tamposi ’16 also had an impressive individual swim, finishing in a time of 56.58 in the 100 breaststroke. He earned a swim in the finals and took 16th place that night. In the 800 freestyle relay, the quartet of Vieth, Dyrkacz, Thad Ricotta ’15 and Chris Weihs ’15 charged ahead of its seed time, swimming a time of 6:38.66 to break the school record by nearly two seconds and place fifth overall. Weihs led the relay in his best time, 1:41.23, with Vieth bringing it home in 1:38.8. After Day Three, the Ephs moved up to 11th place.

On Day Four, Gronbeck captured the ninth-place spot in the mile, finishing in a time of 15:46.06. Taylor had another impressive swim, breaking the oldest College record set in 1999, the 200 backstroke, in a time of 1:49.21, which was enough to get him 12th place. Dyrkacz broke his own school record in the 200 breaststroke, finishing in a time of 1:58.28 in the morning’s preliminary heats. During finals, Dyrkacz added a little bit of time, but still held on for second place, finishing in a time of 1:59.28. Lattimer also earned a podium spot, finishing in sixth place in the 200 breaststroke, clocking in at 2:02.42.

“Even though we started off the meet slower than we hoped, all in all the men did an excellent job of staying focused throughout the meet,” Vieth said. “We had a number of strong swims across the board and had several seniors finish their careers on a very high note.”

Over the course of the meet, the men moved from 18th place to eventually capture the eighth place spot.

With the conclusion of the Championship meet, the men will graduate 15 seniors: Chris Corbett ’13, Andrew Derosiers ’13, Jason Hernandez ’13, Daeus Jorento ’13, Chris Picardo ’13, Graham Righi ’13, Scott Symonds ’13, Phillip Treesh ’13, Alexander Verschoor-Kirss ’13, co-captain John Armstrong ’13, Dyrkacz, Faux, Jorento, Taylor and Vieth. Five seniors made appearances at Nationals.

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