BRUNSWICK, ME – The Amherst College men's swimming and diving team won two of nine events Friday evening in day one of the 2011 NESCAC Championships, totaling 576.5 points to land in second place.
Alex Fraser '11 (Willowbrook, IL) was crowned conference champion in the 500-yard freestyle for the third consecutive year and the Lord Jeffs put in a record-breaking performance in the 400-yard medley relay to highlight Amherst's evening.
Saturday's preliminary heats will begin at 10 a.m. at Bowdoin College's Leroy Greason Pool, with finals beginning at 5:50 p.m. Day two will feature the 200- and 1,000-yard freestyles, 100 fly, 100 breast, 100 back, 400 IM, 200 medley relay and 800 free relay. Alive webcast and real-time results will be available.
Friday's 500-yard freestyle was a classic Amherst-Williams showdown, but it was the Lord Jeffs who recorded five of the top eight times to rack up 140 quick points. Fraser won the event as a sophomore and junior, and he made it three in a row when he dominated the field on Friday, as his time of 4:29.22 (NCAA 'A') was nearly three seconds ahead of the runner-up.
Joining Fraser in the 500 were teammates Conor McAuliffe '14 (Andover, MA), Parker Moody '14 (Watertown, CT), Tim White '12 (Centerport, NY) and Ryan Colby '11 (Birdsboro, PA), who each recorded an NCAA provisional qualifying time to place third, fifth, seventh and eighth, respectively.
Fraser closed his evening by swimming the freestyle leg of the 400-yard medley relay, as he joined Reid Fitzgerald '11 (New York, NY), Ben McBratney '12 (Evanston, IL) and Tyler Bulakul '14 (Bangkok, Thailand) to set a new school, NESCAC, meet and pool record with an NCAA 'B' time of 3:20.82, nearly four seconds faster than their preliminary mark.
Colin White '14 (Evanston, IL) was the runner-up in the 1-meter dive in his first-ever NESCAC meet. Three of the top six performers were first-years, as White scored a 438.70 and Ian Stahl '14 (Weston, FL) placed sixth with 363.70 points, while classmate Fadi Hamati '14 (Amman, Jordan) finished 12th (272.30) to help the Lord Jeffs set the tone on the boards.
Another dominant event for Amherst was the 200-yard individual medley, in which the Jeffs had three of the top five times. Ryan Lichtenfels '12 (McLean, VA) broke a seven-year-old school record with a time of 1:51.54 (NCAA 'A') but would settle for second place, as he bested the previous Amherst mark of 1:52.04 (Ethan Treat '07, 2004). Connor Beaulieu '14 (Windsor, CT) finished third in the 200 IM (1:53.79, NCAA 'B'), while Bart Federak '12 (Towaco, NJ) placed fifth (1:55.27) after getting a 'B' cut in the prelims (1:54.72).
Amherst had some solid performances in the 50-yard events, including a school-record-tying time of 26.36 seconds by McBratney in the breaststroke. McBratney became the third Lord Jeff in program history to record that time, with the most recent coming in 2008. Fitzgerald and Daniel Schwab '13 (San Diego, CA) placed second and sixth, respectively, in the 50-yard backstroke, while Bulakul finished eighth in the 50 fly.
The Jeffs began their weekend by placing sixth in the 200-yard freestyle relay, as Bryson Alef '14 (Santa Barbara, CA), McBratney, Bulakul and Lichtenfels teamed up to swim a 1:25.51. Williams leads the field after day one with 693.5 points, while Amherst (576.5) and Tufts (481) round out the top three.
* NCAA "A"
^ NCAA "B"
$ Amherst Record
& Meet Record
% Pool Record
! NESCAC Record
200-Yard Freestyle Relay
Bryson Alef, Ben McBratney, Tyler Bulakul, Ryan Lichtenfels – 6th (1:25.51)
Ben McBratney – 3rd (26.36) $
Tyler Bulakul – 8th (23.46)
Alex Fraser – 1st (4:29.22) *
Conor McAuliffe – 3rd (4:32.26) ^
Parker Moody – 5th (4:33.58) ^
Tim White – 7th (4:35.44) ^
Ryan Colby – 8th (4:36.47) ^
Reid Fitzgerald – 2nd (23.61)
Daniel Schwab – 6th (24.45)
200-Yard Individual Medley
Ryan Lichtenfels – 2nd (1:51.54) *$
Connor Beaulieu – 3rd (1:53.79) ^
Bart Federak – 5th (1:55.27)
Colin White – 2nd (448.75)
Ian Stahl – 6th (363.70)
400-Yard Medley Relay
Reid Fitzgerald, Ben McBratney, Tyler Bulakul, Alex Fraser – 1st (3:20.82) ^$&%!