Men’s swimming achieves undefeated season

Men’s swimming (7-0-1, 4-0 in the NESCAC) entered its first championship meet of the season at the Middlebury Invite on Jan. 31 where a number of swimmers were racing in their last meet of the year and produced impressive performances. On Jan. 24 and 25, the men downed MIT and Middlebury, respectively, in dual meets to complete an undefeated season for the first time since 2007-2008. At the Middlebury Invite, Zihan Su ’17 opened the meet with an incredibly fast 200 IM, touching in a time of 1:55.35, better than two seconds ahead of the next closest competitor. In the 50 free, Jason Ring ’16 won the event in 21.57, while Mike Cassidy ’18 touched close behind with a time of 21.73. Mitchell Towne ’16 and Cody Niles ’17 then went on to swim the 1650 free, clocking times of 16:15.71 and 17:39.34 and touching third and fourth, respectively.

Cassidy continued his stellar weekend with a second-place finish in the 200 free, touching the wall in a time of 1:45.51. Matt Gibson ’17 set a new pool record in the 200 back in time trials before clocking a time of 1:49.50 later in the weekend. Gibson’s 100 back was also incredibly fast as he won the event by almost two seconds. Towne also swam well in his 500 free, finishing in 4:38.46, only behind distance standout and co-captain Christian Gronbeck ’15. On Jan. 25 at Middlebury, the men began the meet with a victory in the 400 medley relay. The quartet of Tim Kostolansky ’18, Tim Lattimer ’15, Benjamin Lin ’16 and Alexander Nanda ’15 touched the wall in a time of 3:30.28, almost five seconds ahead of the nearest competition. Gronbeck won the 200 back in a time of 1:58.46, while Grant Johnson ’17 put up a remarkable time of 4:44.18 in the 500 frees, narrowly earning him the victory. The Ephs then swept the 100 IM, placing first through fourth. Lin secured the victory with a time of 52.31, which earned him a new school record in the event. The final tally saw the men win by a comfortable margin, 190.5 to 103.5 Against fourth-ranked MIT on Jan. 24, the men prepared for one of their toughest tests of the season. The meet began with the 200 medley relay, which has been a strength for the Ephs all season long. The quartet of Jake Tamposi ’16, Thad Ricotta ’15, Lin and Johnson raced to the wall in a time of 1:32.64, out-touching the MIT team by just two tenths of a second. Gronbeck continued the momentum by winning the 1650 free by nearly 24 seconds, touching the wall in a time of 16:06.64. Will Brown ’15 performed well in his trademark event, the 200 free, despite several incredibly fast swims by MIT in the event. Brown touched the wall in second place in a time of 1:44.27, narrowly ahead of two MIT swimmers.

Lin then continued his dominance in the backstroke events, winning the 100 back in a time of 49.69, a season best time. In the 100 breast, Tamposi touched the wall first in a time of 57.28. Ricotta then went on to win the 200 butterfly in a time of 1:51.54. Diver Rohan Bhatt ’15 dominated on the boards, winning both the 1-meter event and the 3-meter event. Ultimately, the meet was down to the final individual event and the last relay. Lattimer won the 400 IM with a time of 4:01.61 and several Ephs close behind him sealed the victory for the Ephs. The Ephs are now preparing for their next championship meet, the NESCAC Championship, which will take place Feb. 20 to 22 at Middlebury. “Our last meet was the Middlebury Invitational, and although the meet was unscored, we had a lot of fast swims during the three sessions that got the team excited for the beginning of the championship season. 24 of us head off to the Nescac Championship next weekend, also at Middlebury, where we look forward to defending our NESCAC title and having several national qualifiers,” Gronbeck said.