Men’s swimming and diving wins 15th straight NESCAC Championship

Last weekend, men’s swimming and diving earned its 15th consecutive NESCAC title at the NESCAC Swimming and Diving Championship, hosted by Wesleyan. The men earned a total of 1671 points, 269 more than second-place Amherst.

The meet began on Friday night with the 200 freestyle relay. The Ephs’ “A” team of John Freeman ’17, Ben Lin ’17, Curtis Maher ’19 and co-captain Grant Johnson ’17 placed second behind Connecticut College with a time of 1:21.76.

The first individual event of the evening was the 50 breaststroke. Jack Melnick ’19 touched third at 25.60. In the 50 butterfly, Tim Kostolansky ’18 gave the Ephs their first win of the night with a time of 22.06. Lin continued the sprinting dominance with a 50 backstroke win in 21.91. Maher and Freeman then tied for third in the 50 freestyle with a time of 20.77, with Johnson finishing in eighth at 20.94.

The longest event of the session was the 500 freestyle. Andrew Trunsky ’20 finished sixth with a time of 4:37.10. He was followed by Dan Needham ’18 in eighth at 4:38.05.

The Ephs demonstrated their versatility in the 200 individual medley. Colin Hogan ’17 touched for second at 1:50.08. Lucca Delcompare ’20 earned eighth with a time of 1:54.16.

Steven Kreuch ’20 provided a notable performance on the 1-meter board, finishing fourth with a score of 436.45 points.

The final event of the evening was the 400 medley relay. The A team of Lin, Melnick, Kostolansky and Johnson finished first and set a pool record of 3:18.20.

Saturday began with the 200 medley relay, in which the Ephs hold the NESCAC and meet record. The A relay of Lin, Melnick, Kostolansky and Maher fell just short of rival Amherst. They touched at 1:30.26 for second, 0.14 seconds behind Amherst.

The men had to rebound quickly, as the session immediately went into the longest individual event of the evening, the 1000 freestyle. Trunsky provided the Ephs with the much-needed victory in the race, touching to an impressive time of 9:22.70. The next event, the 400 individual medley, provided the men with the opportunity to demonstrate their versatility. Hogan and Bobby Rowledge ’18 represented the team well, finishing in fourth (4:01.60) and seventh (4:07.07), respectively.

Several sprint-based stroke events followed, and the Ephs had a number of strong performances. In the 100 butterfly, Lin took first, touching at 47.76 for a meet and pool record. Maher then earned fourth place in the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:40.85. Next, in the 100 breaststroke, Melnick and Clayton Morikowa ’20 claimed third (56.61) and sixth (57.15), respectively. The individual events for the session concluded with the 100 backstroke, in which Kostolansky finished fourth with a time of 50.57.

Night two concluded with the longest relay event of the weekend, the 800 freestyle relay. The A team of Trunsky, Maher, Delcompare and Johnson finished fourth with a time of 6:49.45.

The final day of competition began with the championship heat of the 1650 freestyle. Trunsky claimed his second victory of the weekend with an NCAA B-cut of 15:44.05. The positive momentum continued for the Ephs in the 200 backstroke. Lin touched first, with a meet, pool and NESCAC record of 1:45.88. Just behind Lin was Hogan in fourth at 1:49.44, also an NCAA B-cut.

In the 100 freestyle, the Ephs were well represented by Maher and Jamie Finnegan ’19 in the top heat. Maher rounded off a successful weekend of individual swims with a third-place finish at 45.60, followed by Finnegan in seventh at 45.95. The men also had an impressive representation in the 200 breaststroke, with three swimmers in the top heat. They finished with times within half a second of each other. Melnick led the charge in third with a time of 2:04.42, followed by JackFerguson ’17 (2:04.77) and Morikowa (2:04.96) in fourth and fifth, respectively.

The individual swimming events for the weekend concluded with the 200 butterfly. Delcompare touched sixth with a time of 1:51.82. He was trailed by Rowledge, who placed eighth with a time of 1:53.66.

Kreuch finished off his NESCAC debut with a strong performance on the 3-meter board. He came in third with a total of 477.80 points, moving up a spot from his preliminary position.

The Ephs sealed the win with a first-place finish in the final event of the weekend, the 400 freestyle relay. Maher, Finnegan, Johnson and Lin stole the show with a pool record of 3:01.39.

Trunsky received the Rookie of the Year Award, and Lin was named Swimmer of the Year and Four Year High Point Swimmer.

“We struggled a bit the first two days, but the boys battled and showed great resolve,” Head Coach Steve Kuster said. “Sunday was a much better day for the team with lots of great performances. It was a team win for sure.”

“It was truly a 24-person effort,” Johnson added.

On Mar. 15, the men will travel to Shenandoah, Texas for the NCAA Championship meet.