AMHERST, MA – The Amherst College men's swimming and diving team improved to 6-0 in dual meets this season with a 144-92 victory over Union College Sunday afternoon at Pratt Pool. The Lord Jeffs will return to action Sunday, Feb. 1, when they host MIT at 1 p.m.
The highlight of the meet came in the final event, when the Lord Jeffs broke a 13-year-old pool record in the 800 freestyle relay. The previous mark of 7:08.20, which had been set by Amherst in 1996, was bested by nearly seven seconds, as senior tri-captain Christian Witzke (Jacksonville, FL), junior Tad Homchick (Mercer Island, WA), first-year Ryan Lichtenfels (McLean, VA) and sophomore Alex Fraser (Willowbrook, IL) set the new record of 7:01.53.
Prior to his dominating performance in the 800 relay, Lichtenfels finished the 1,650-yard freestyle in 16:21.43, less than three-tenths of a second off of an NCAA "B" time. The first-year standout completed the mile-long race more than 26 seconds ahead of the runner-up from Union.
In addition to contributing to the record-breaking 800 relay team, Homchick and Fraser each won two individual events. While Homchick edged out a victory in the 50 freestyle (21.81) before winning the 100 freestyle by more than two seconds (47.94), Fraser took home victories in the 200-yard individual medley (2:00.46) and the 500 freestyle (4:49.93). Fraser's time in the 500 was more than seven seconds ahead of the runner-up, Union's Steven Schapp.
Witzke also added an individual victory before swimming the leadoff leg in the 800 relay, as his time of 53.07 in the 100-yard butterfly beat out Lucas Tiziani of Union, who touched the wall in 53.82. Rounding out the Lord Jeff winners in the swimming events were sophomore Reid Fitzgerald (New York, NY) and first-year Mike O'Connor (Cold Spring Harbor, NY), who won the 100 backstroke (54.73) and the 100 breaststroke (1:01.20), respectively.
Continuing his dominance on the boards was senior Kai Robinson (Vashon, WA), who handily won the 1-meter and 3-meter events with scores of 314.85 and 288.90, respectively. Robinson has recorded the top score on each board in every meet this season.
Picking up a seventh victory next week against MIT will be no easy task for the Lord Jeffs, who last year lost to the Engineers on the road by a score of 152-146.