Pool Records Shattered as Amherst Teams Earn Wins Over MIT

AMHERST, MA – Eight pool records were set during Saturday's dual meet between the Amherst College and MIT swimming and diving teams, but it was the host Lord Jeffs who came away with impressive victories on both the men's (167-131) and women's (196-104) sides. 

Ryan Lichtenfels '12 (McLean, VA) singlehandedly accounted for two of the six men's pool records that were set, one of which came in the most exciting race of the afternoon, the 200-yard freestyle. Three swimmers bested the previous pool record of 1:42.64, but only Lichtenfels will get his name on the wall after picking up nine points with an NCAA "B" time of 1:41.04. MIT's Colby Dunn was close behind at 1:41.62 (NCAA "B"), followed by Amherst senior Alex Fraser (Willowbrook, IL) at 1:42.19. 

Lichtenfels still had plenty left in the tank after his performance in the 200, as he would later dominate the 500 with a pool-record time of 4:35.54 (NCAA "B"), more than two seconds ahead of the previous mark (4:37.58, Lichtenfels 2009) and nearly 11 seconds ahead of the runner-up. The Jeffs would take the top three spots in the 500 for 16 big points. Lichtenfels wrapped up his day by winning the 200 IM (1:55.32), an event in which Amherst had the top three times.

The other four men's pool records went to the Engineers. Michael Liao '14 finished the 100-yard breaststroke in 58.34 seconds, only .03 seconds ahead of the performance Michael Pohorylo '04 had back in 2003. Wyatt Ubellacker '13 set the new Pratt Pool record in the 100-yard butterfly by a more comfortable margin, as his 49.72 (NCAA "B") was 1.48 seconds better than the previous mark (51.20). 

Amherst and MIT both put in pool-record performances in the 200-yard medley relay to kick off the meet, but it was Liao, Ubellacker and the Engineers who touched the wall in 1:33.75, edging the Lord Jeff group that had set the record earlier in the season (1:35.54). Ubellacker also led MIT to a pool record in the 400-yard freestyle relay to close the afternoon's events, swimming a 3:07.15 to take another record away from the Lord Jeffs. 

The lone pool record in the women's swimming events was set by Kendra Stern '11 (Albuquerque, NM), whose 4:51.66 (NCAA "A") in the 500-yard freestyle was more than three seconds ahead of her own Pratt Pool best (4:54.78). Stern would also anchor both relay teams and get an "A" cut in the 200-yard freestyle, which she won by nearly 10 seconds with a time of 1:48.98.

The sixth-ranked Engineer women were unbeaten and favored over the eighth-ranked Lord Jeffs, but Amherst (6-1) left no doubt as to which team was stronger on Saturday. Christy Rogers '14 won the 100- and 200-yard backstroke events for MIT (8-1), Joanna Yeh '14 won the 100-yard freestyle, and Katelyn Rossick '14 took the 200 IM, but the remaining 12 events went to the hosts. Rounding out the day's record setters was first-year Lizzy Linsmayer (Denver, CO), who earned a score of 278.55 on the 1-meter dive, 2.26 points ahead of a mark that was set by Cathy Poor '02 in 2002. Each team featured three women's divers, but Amherst took three of the top four scores on each board. Linsmayer won the 1-meter event before Meggie Meisinger '11 (St. Louis, MO) came out on top in the 3-meter (255.98).

Matching MIT's impressive first-years was Amherst's Allison Merz '14 (Los Angeles, CA), who won the 100- and 200-yard butterfly races with times of 59.58 and 2:10.63. 

MIT won the majority of the men's events, but Amherst's depth was evident throughout the meet. The Jeffs had the top three times in the 100-yard backstroke and 1,000-yard freestyle, with Tim White '12 (Centerport, NY) winning the 1,000 (9:52.82) and Reid Fitzgerald '11 (New York, NY) taking the 100 (52.98). First-year divers Colin White (Evanston, IL), Ian Stahl (Weston, FL) and Fadi Hamati (Amman, Jordan) finished 1-2-3 on both boards, as White improved to 14-0 in his career. In addition to helping MIT set several pool records, Ubellacker won the 50-yard freestyle (21.31) and Liao was the fastest performer in the 200-yard breaststroke (2:08.73), while Dunn edged Fraser in the 100-yard freestyle (46.24). 

Prior to the meet Amherst honored its 10 seniors, with Fraser and Fitzgerald joining Ryan Colby '11 (Birdsboro, PA) and Walker Peterson '11 (Winnetka, IL) to represent the men's Class of 2011, which had been 0-3 against MIT prior to Saturday. The Lord Jeff men improve to 7-0 (26-5 career) and are still in the running for the program's first perfect dual meet season since 2004. The fifth-ranked Engineers drop to 7-1 on the year. 

Stern and Meisinger were honored along with Louisa Zuo '11 (Palo Alto, CA), Erin Kennedy '11 (Lathrup Village, MI), Andrea Jensen '11 (Burnsville, MN) and captain Brooke Bennett '11 (Arcadia, CA), who have posted a 28-3 record at Amherst. The Lord Jeffs' final dual meet will take place Saturday, Feb. 5, when Amherst travels to Springfield College.