Ephs down Panthers in senior meet

Dragan Vujovic '19 competes in the breaststroke against Middlebury in the senior meet. Photo courtesy of Sports Information.
Dragan Vujovic ’19 competes in the breaststroke against Middlebury in the senior meet. Photo courtesy of Sports Information.

Men’s swimming and diving finished out the regular season with a victory against Middlebury on Saturday. After a tough loss the previous evening against the MIT Engineers, the Ephs rebounded well to finish the season on a high note.

“The MIT meet showed us that we have to be better moving forward and the resuts will serve as motivation in the coming weeks. The Middlebury meet was the end of the regular season and the seniors’ last dual meet, and I’m pleased with the depth we showed,” commented co-captain Seth Montgomery ’16.

The men got out to a fast start against Middlebury. In the 400 medley relay, two Eph teams came in the fastest to secure gold and silver. Then, in the 1000 freestyle, Jack Ferguson ’17 and Peter McDonald ’16 took second and third, respectively.

In the 200 freestyle, Eph swimmers Knox Young ’16, Alex McCarter ’16 and Jamie Finnegan ’19 completed a 1-2-3 sweep. Thereafter, Timothy Kostolansky ’18, John Freeman ’17 and co-captain Seth Montgomery ’16 delivered another sweep of the 50 backstroke. Though Middlebury’s Stephan Koenigsberger stole the 50 breaststroke for the Panthers with a time of 27.65 seconds, he was followed closely by Jack Melnick ’19.

The Ephs won back momentum in the 200 butterfly, taking the top four places. The sprint freestyle events, though, were closely contested. Jack McLaughlin of the Panthers challenged the Eph sprinters but was touched out in both the 50 and 100 freestyles. Freeman would go on to win the 50 in 21.84 seconds, and McCarter took the 100 in 47.95 seconds.

Robby Bradford ’19 won his first collegiate event in the 200 backstroke for Williams in a time of 1:59.62. Zihan Su ’17 would grab the second place for the Ephs.

Connor McCormick won the 200 breaststroke for the Panthers before the Ephs struck back in the 500 freestyle. In that race, Kenny Liu ’19, Dan Needham ’18 and Mike Cassidy ’18 all swam strong races to beat out Middlebury’s Michael McGean, who had earlier won the 1000 freestyle.

The final two events were quick ones for Kostolansky. In the 50 butterfly, he won by almost half a second before teammates McCarter and Jon Yin ’16 would hit the wall in second and third. Then, in the 100 IM, Kostolansky returned to win the event with the blistering time of 52.29 seconds, over a second ahead of the rest of the field. His 100 IM time was also good enough to be a new Williams record, breaking the previous mark held by Ben Lin ’17 by two hundredths of a second.

In the final relay, the men saw their two squads hit the wall before Middlebury could finish their first team, producing a final score of 186-94 for the Eph victory.

Against the Engineers, the Ephs lost 218.5-78.5, with Kostolansky racing to the only win for the team in the 200 backstroke. Other impressive performances included second place finishes by Liu in the 1650 and Curtis Maher ’19 in the 200 freestyle, as well as Melnick and Dragan Vujovic ’19 in the 100 breaststroke.

On Jan. 16, the men swam to a tri-meet victory, downing Wesleyan 211-79 and Connect 182.5-78.5. The Ephs raced to victories in all but two events, showcasing talent and depth as swimmers from all classes contributed wins. Notable performances included the 200 medley relay team of Lin, Jake Tamposi ’16, McCarter, and Finnegan that took home their best time of the season: 1:32.32. The tri-meet victory came after back-to-back losses against archrival Amherst, 124-113, and Boston College, 217-81, on Jan. 9 and Dec. 5 respectively.

“I know this team has the ability to rise to the challenge during championship season. We need to take advantage of every opportunity to get better from here on in,” said Head Coach Steve Kuster.

The team now looks forward to the Middlebury Invitational this weekend and the NESCAC Championships on Feb. 19-21.

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