AMHERST, MA – Amherst College senior Christian Witzke (Jacksonville, FL) has been named the NESCAC Men's Swimming and Diving Performer of the Week for leading the Lord Jeffs to their first victory over archrival Williams College since 2004.
Amherst, which earned a thrilling 133-108 win over the Ephs this past Saturday in Williamstown, improved to 5-0 on the dual meet season. As a tri-captain of this year's squad, Witzke tasted victory against Williams for the first time of his career thanks to winning a pair of individual events and playing a vital role in a relay.
Witzke spearheaded Amherst's outstanding showing by winning the 50- and 500-yard freestyle events with times of 21.35 and 4:39.48, respectively. The meet's final event was the 400-yard freestyle relay, which Witzke led off with a time of 46.95 that resulted in the Jeffs' first-place mark of 3:10.34. Williams was close behind at 3:10.65, as the meet wrapped up with one of the most exciting events of the afternoon.
Amherst's impressive team performance was highlighted by the Jeffs finishing one-two in the 50-, 100-, 200- and 500-yard freestyle events. The visitors were a mere two-tenths of a second away from sweeping the freestyle events, as first-year Ryan Lichtenfels (McLean, VA) put in a solid time of 9:40.49 to finish right behind Williams' Gary Roberson (9:40.28) in the 1000. Lichtenfels also placed right behind Witzke in the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 4:41.51.
Also winning multiple events on the day were sophomore Alex Fraser (Willowbrook, IL) and senior Kai Robinson (Vashon, WA). Fraser's time of 47.45 was good enough for first place in the 100-yard freestyle, while his 1:44.90 earned him the victory in the 200-yard freestyle. Robinson continued his domination on the boards by winning the 1-meter (333.15) and 3-meter (348.00) events, as he has earned the highest score in each diving event at all five of Amherst's dual meets this season.
Rounding out Amherst's individual winners against Williams were first-years Bart Federak (Towaco, NJ) and Tim White (Centerport, NY). Federak's time of 1:57.78 in the 200-yard individual medley just barely edged the Ephs' Thatcher Heumann (1:58.08), while White took home the 200-yard backstroke at 1:55.56.
Amherst headed out early Monday morning to begin its interterm trip to Puerto Rico, but the Lord Jeffs will look to keep their perfect season going when they return to dual meet action Sunday, Jan. 25, for a showdown with Union College at home.