Men’s swimming (8—2 , 4—0 in the NESCAC) competed Friday at MIT and Saturday at Middlebury. The Ephs fell 188-110 to the Engineers but came back to defeat the Panthers 213-80.
At the Middlebury Natatorium, Ben Lin ’17 led the way for the Ephs, breaking pool records in the 50 butterfly and the 100 IM with times of 22.13 and 51.25, respectively. The 100 IM performance was also a NESCAC record, which broke Wright Frank’s 1995 mark of 52.13. This is Lin’s fourth individual NESCAC record. In addition, he is part of both NESCAC-record medley relays.
Timothy Kostolansky ’18, Colin Hogan ’17, Kenny Liu ’19 and Lucca Delcompare ’20 followed Lin in the 100 IM to give the Ephs the top five spots in that race.
Not to be overshadowed, Matt Zappe ’20 won the 200 breaststroke with a time of 2:13.53. His split in the last 50 meters, 34.12, was the fastest in the field and secured him the victory.
In a close race, Andrew Trunsky ’20 out-touched a Middlebury swimmer by two-tenths of a second to win the 1000 freestyle.
John Freeman ’17, Jamie Finnegan ’19, Jack Melnick ’19, co-captain Grant Johnson ’17 and Curtis Maher ’19 all contributed individual wins.
Steven Kreuch ’20 continued his dominance with wins in both the 1-meter and 3-meter boards.
“We were happy to close off the regular season some fast swimming and a win,” Johnson said.
On Friday, the Ephs visited the Engineers. In a matchup of two NCAA Div. III top 10 teams, MIT came out ahead with a score of 188-110.
At last year’s NCAA Championships, the Engineers finished in fifth, just one spot ahead of the Ephs.
“We were excited to race against some good competition Friday. We weren’t able to get the win, but there’s a lot we’ll be able to learn from this meet moving forward,” Assistant Coach Brogan Barr said.
The Engineers set the tone early by finishing first and second in the 400 medley relay. The Ephs have enjoyed success in recent national medley relay events, finishing first in the 400 medley relay at the 2015 NCAA Championships and first in the 200 medley relay at the 2016 NCAA Championships. MIT’s impressive showing in the medley relay was only the second time the Williams medley team has lost this season. It was the first time that they lost to a Div. III opponent.
Eph veteran Lin squared off with the Engineers’ Bouke Edskes in the 100 butterfly. Lin won that race, and his time of 49.55 was just fast enough to reach the NCAA ‘B’ Standard. The 100 butterfly was Lin’s third individual win of the day, as he also took home first place in both the 100 and 200 backstroke events.
In the 200 freestyle, Maher dueled MIT’s David Morejon. Maher turned in the fastest 200 freestyle time from any Eph so far this year with a 1:43.18, but Morejon was able to hit the wall first in 1:42.56.
Morejon then went down to the wire with Trunsky in the 500 freestyle. Morejon again took first, but the Ephs showed their depth by taking the second through fifth places behind him.
Trunsky earlier had reached an NCAA ‘B’ Standard in the 1650 freestyle by finishing in 16:15.27. He won that event and led a Williams 1-2 sweep with Dan Needham ’18.
The tandem of Kreuch and Andrew Lyness ’17 put in another strong diving performance. Kreuch finished second on both boards and continued to dive well. Lyness finished fourth on both boards and proved his value as a point-scorer.
Despite the loss, the team performed well according to Johnson. “MIT was a challenging meet, but we rose to the challenge and got up and raced them,” he said. “It is always great to gain some experience racing one of the fastest Div. III teams outside of the NESCAC.”
With the close of the regular season, the championship season begins next weekend back at the Middlebury Natatorium, where six Ephs will compete at the Middlebury Invitational.
The remainder of the team will make up the 24-person roster that competes at the NESCAC Championships at Wesleyan from Feb. 17-19.
“The men have done a good job handling a tough three weeks of racing,” Head Coach Steve Kuster said. “We will certainly be tested at NESCACs, so hopefully we’ll show up 24 strong, ready to rise to the challenge.”
The Ephs will look for their 15th straight NESCAC title but will face strong competition from Tufts, Conn. College and archrival Amherst.
The Ephs were unbeaten in NESCAC competition, recording important victories against Tufts and Conn. College but lost to Boston College and MIT.