SPRINGFIELD, MA – The Amherst College swimming and diving teams closed out their regular seasons with a pair of wins at Springfield College Saturday afternoon at Art Linkletter Natatorium. The Lord Jeff men finish at 8-0, marking the first perfect dual meet season since 2004.
Amherst's men (8-0) won all 14 swimming events en route to a 161-128 victory, while the women (7-1) won 13 events for a 172-120 result. The Lord Jeffs will return to action later this month for the NESCAC Championships, with the women heading to Williams (Feb. 18-20) and the men traveling to Bowdoin (Feb. 25-27).
The men wrapped up their perfect season in style, taking the top three times in 11 of 16 events, including the 800-yard freestyle relay. Ryan Lichtenfels '12 (McLean, VA) won the 100- (54.46) and 400-yard (4:06.69) individual medleys, while Nick Egan '14 (Pleasant Hill, CA) took the 100- (49.82) and 200-yard (1:47.32) freestyles. Tyler Bulakul '14 (Bangkok, Thailand) continued to excel in the butterfly events with a winning time of 53.49 seconds in the 100, adding a victory in the 100-yard backstroke (53.06).
First-year diver Colin White '14 (Evanston, IL) posted a 14-0 record in his first seven dual meets of the season but finally met his match in Springfield, which features one of the best diving programs in Division III. White placed fourth with an NCAA qualifying score on each board, recording a 296.48 on the 3-meter before earning a 292.80 on the 1-meter.
Equally impressive in the women's diving events was Amherst senior Meggie Meisinger (St. Louis, MO), who won the 3-meter board (287.70) and placed second on the 1-meter (270.90) with a pair of NCAA qualifying scores. In the 1-meter event Meisinger finished less than two points behind Jennifer Thompson of Springfield.
The Amherst women finished 1-2-3 in four events, including the 100- and 200-yard butterfly races, which were won by Allison Merz '14 (Los Angeles, CA) in times of 1:00.40 and 2:11.77. Kendra Stern '11 (Albuquerque, NM) and Rebecca Kelley '12 (Richmond, VA) also won multiple events, with Stern coming out on top in the 50-yard freestyle (24.10) and 100-yard IM (1:00.05). Kelley swept the breaststroke races (1:08.78, 2:34.03), also joining Stern and Merz to help the Lord Jeffs win the 200 medley relay.
In addition to Amherst competing at Springfield, several swimmers traveled to Vermont for the two-day Middlebury Invitational, a non-scoring meet that featured a number of Division I programs.
Several Lord Jeffs put up personal bests throughout the weekend at Middlebury, including Erin Kennedy '11 (Lathrup Village, MI) in the 100-yard freestyle (55.41), 100 fly (1:00.23) and 200 free (1:59.81). Leading the Amherst men were Jeff Helt '13 (Westport, CT) and first-year Robbie Homchick '14 (Mercer Island, WA), who teamed up with two Dartmouth swimmers in Friday's 400 free relay to record personal bests. Helt went on to finish second in both the 100 and 200 backstrokes, while Homchick beat out four Williams swimmers to win the 50 freestyle (21.85) before placing second in the 100 free (48.48).