Men’s swim cruises to 12th consecutive NESCAC title

Last weekend, men’s swimming and diving (6-2) traveled to Bowdoin to compete for its 12th straight NESCAC Championship. After three tightly contested days, the men continued their conference dominance, claiming the NESCAC title with a final team score of 1849, nearly 100 points ahead of the nearest challenger, Amherst, who took second with 1750 points.

The men started strong on Day One, finishing the day with a cumulative total of 636.5 points, well ahead of Conn. College, who finished the day in second with 566 total points. The quartet of Alex McCarter ’16, Grant Johnson ’17, John Hammond ’16 and Alexander Nanda ’15 helped set the tone for the meet by racing to second place in the 200 freestyle relay with a very fast time of 1:23.26, just ahead of rival Amherst, who touched third in a time of 1:23.52. In the 50 breaststroke, Jake Tamposi ’16 and Jon Yin ’16 led the way with first and seventh place finishes, respectively. Tamposi, who touched in a time of 25.59, not only took the top spot, but also set a new pool and school record in the process, and he narrowly missed the NESCAC record by .03 seconds. The 500 freestyle also saw several solid performances from the Ephs on Day One, with Thad Ricotta ’15 and Christian Gronbeck ’15 taking first and second, respectively. Co-captain Sean Sutherland ’14 touched in seventh place after swimming a personal best college time in the morning. Standout Ben Lin ’17 then continued the record-setting evening for the Ephs by winning the 50 backstroke in a time of 22.70, which was enough to set a new school and meet record. The 200 IM was by far the strongest event of the night for the men, with four swimmers placing in the top eight. Nathaniel Boley ’17 touched first in a time of 1:50.24 followed closely by Timothy Lattimer ’15, who took second with a time of 1:50.36. Colin Hogan ’17 took fifth and Andrew Nemeth ’15 took sixth in times of 1:52.76 and 1:53.56, respectively.

Day Two was equally strong for the men as they finished in the top spot for the day once again with a total score of 1288.5, ahead of second-place Amherst, who finished the day with 1196 points. In the opening swim of the night, the 200 medley relay, the quartet of Lin, Tamposi, Ricotta and Johnson held on to the second-place spot, narrowly out-touching Amherst but falling to Conn. College. The men touched in a time of 1:30.77, which is good enough to put them in the top 10 nationally. Gronbeck continued his solid performances in the distance events by cruising to first place in the 1000 freestyle in a time of 9:18.03, which was good enough to earn him a new school and meet record in the process. In the 400 IM, Williams

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once again demonstrated its dominance of the IM events by taking three of the top four spots. Lattimer touched first with a time of 3:57.81, followed by Peter McDonald ’16, who touched third in a time of 4:00.70, and then by Hogan, who took the fourth spot in 4:01.17. The 200 freestyle also turned out to be a dominant event for the Ephs. Johnson took the third-place spot with a time of 1:40.55, while Will Brown ’15 took sixth. McCarter and Sutherland followed in seventh and eighth, respectively. Tamposi also continued his sweep of the breaststroke events with a convincing win in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 55.98. This time was once again fast enough to earn Tamposi pool and school records, and just narrowly missed the conference record of 55.93. The men also had a blistering performance in the 100 backstroke, with Lin and Boley taking second and third in times of 49.33 and 50.11, respectively. Lin’s time proved fast enough to be a new school record.

The Ephs stayed strong on the third day of competition and finished out the meet in the top spot overall, ahead of second place Amherst and third place Conn. College. The evening began with an outstanding performance by distance superstar Gronbeck, who cruised to victory in the 1500 with a time of 15:39.53, over 10 seconds ahead of his nearest competitor. The men then continued the evening with another batch of outstanding swims in the 200 backstroke. Boley had a late charge to surge to victory, narrowly out-touching Loring Bowen of Conn. College to win the event in a time of 1:48.23. Lin added a little bit of time in his night swim to take third, but his morning swim of 1:47.25 was enough to earn him NESCAC, pool and school record honors. McCarter also had an incredible swim, touching fourth in a time of 1:49.32 followed by Hogan, who took sixth in a time of 1:49.64. Lattimer then continued to carry the momentum of the meet with a convincing win in the 200 breaststroke with a time of 2:01.73, well ahead of second place.

Overall, the weekend was incredibly successful. The men shattered eight school records, countless personal bests and various other meet and pool records on their way to their first-place overall finish. Now, men’s swimming and diving is looking forward to March 19 to 21, when it will compete at the NCAA Div. III National Championship in Indianapolis, Ind., and hope to best its eighth-place team finish from last year.


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