Men’s swimming places seventh at Nationals

From March 15-18, men’s swimming and diving competed at the Div. III NCAA Championships at the Conroe ISD Natatorium in Shenandoah, Texas. They earned a total of 216 points at the meet, coming in seventh place.

The first day of races began with the 500 freestyle. Andrew Trunsky ’20 represented the Ephs and secured a 14th-place finish with a time of four minutes, 29.80 seconds. The success continued in the 200 individual medley, in which Timothy Kostolansky ’18 placed 11th in 1:49.85, followed by Colin Hogan ’17 in 15th with a time of 1:50.92.

The final event of the evening was the 200 medley relay. The team of Ben Lin ’17, Jack Melnick ’19, Kostolansky and Curtis Maher ’19 finished fourth with a time of 1:29.25. Their impressive performance put the Ephs in sixth place overall.

The next day started with the 200 freestyle relay. John Freeman ’17, Lin, co-captain Grant Johnson ’17 and Maher earned fourth with a time of 1:21.58.

Lin kept the momentum going with a first-place finish in the 100 butterfly. He won narrowly with a time of 47.37 seconds.

The session concluded with the 400 medley relay, in which Lin, Melnick, Kostolansky and Johnson took second with a time of 3:15.72. Lin’s lead off in the backstroke was especially notable, as he broke his own NCAA record, which he had set in the morning preliminary, with a time of 46.94.

Halfway through the competition, the Ephs stood in fifth place. They continued to swim well on the third day of the meet, which began with the 100 backstroke, in which Lin took home another national title and lowered the NCAA record he had set the evening prior with a time of 46.62. Kostolansky joined Lin in the Championship heat and finished in fifth in 48.91.

“Breaking national records obviously doesn’t always happen and takes exceptional swims,” Head Coach Steve Kuster said. “The 100 back for Ben was about as close to a perfect race as you can get and was really special to watch.”

In second and last race of the evening, the 800 freestyle relay, the powerhouse team of Johnson, Maher, Lin and Trunsky finished in eighth with an overall time of 6:40.19. The Ephs remained in fifth before the final session.

On the last day of the meet , Trunsky earned a fifth-place finish in the 1650 freestyle with a time of 15:31.22. In the 200 backstroke, Lin notched his third individual national title of the week, touching over a second before the next finisher with a time of 1:44.00. The win marked the conclusion of Lin’s impressive individual swimming career. It also gave the Ephs valuable points. The men accrued 216 overall and finished in seventh place.

“The men did a great job all week,” Kuster said. “They were solid across the board and really stepped up on the relays. Every relay cracked the top eight, and every guy contributed and has a lot to feel good about.”

The men graduate Freeman, Hogan, Johnson, Lin, Jack Ferguson ’17, Andrew Lyness ’17, Cody Niles ’17 and co-captain Zihan Su ’17.