BRUNSWICK, ME – The Amherst College men's swimming and diving team won four of eight events on day two of the NESCAC Championship to remain in second place, with Alex Fraser '11 leading the way by winning the 200-yard freestyle for the third time in as many years.
The Lord Jeffs picked up 14 points on the Williams College Ephs, whose two-day total of 1,228.5 leaves them 103 ahead of Amherst (1,125.5) and well ahead of Tufts (930). The championship will come to a close tomorrow, with preliminary heats starting at 10 a.m. and finals beginning at 5:30 p.m. at Bowdoin College's Leroy Greason Pool.
Amherst began Saturday's finals with a win in the 200-yard medley relay and closed by capturing the title in the 800-yard freestyle relay for a third consecutive year. The medley team of Reid Fitzgerald '11 (New York, NY), Ben McBratney '12 (Evanston, IL), Tyler Bulakul '14 (Bangkok, Thailand) and Fraser set a new school and pool record with an NCAA 'B' time of 1:31.84, edging Middlebury by three one-hundredths of a second.
Fraser also swam the final leg of the 800 free relay, joining Ryan Lichtenfels '12 (McLean, VA), Tim White '12 (Centerport, NY) and Parker Moody '14 (Watertown, CT) to set another pool record with a provisional qualifying time of 6:43.54. This was the third consecutive year in which Lichtenfels, White and Fraser teamed up to claim the 800 title for Amherst.
In between the relay performances, Conor McAuliffe '14 (Andover, MA) and Fraser picked up another two wins for Amherst. McAuliffe completed the 1,000-yard freestyle in 9:28.92, just one-tenth of a second ahead of Williams sophomore John Armstrong and nearly 20 seconds ahead of the third-place finisher.
Fraser, meanwhile, won the 200-yard freestyle for the third time in as many years, this time with an NCAA automatic qualifying time of 1:39.24. White placed fifth in the event (1:41.63, NCAA 'B') and was followed closely by Moody (1:42.83).
Lichtenfels won the 400-yard individual medley as a first-year and sophomore, but he would settle for second place on Saturday despite swimming an exceptional race. His NCAA 'A' time of 3:57.90 would have been good enough to win on most days, but Paul Dyrkacz of Williams set a NESCAC, meet and pool record with his 3:53.41. Connor Beaulieu '14 (Windsor, CT) placed third at 4:02.83.
Also putting in a runner-up performance was McBratney in the 100-yard breaststroke (57.24, NCAA 'B'), with Bart Federak '12 (Towaco, NJ) and Mike O'Connor '12 (Cold Spring Harbor, NY) finishing fourth (58.28) and eighth (1:00.13), respectively. Fitzgerald took third in the 100-yard backstroke (50.82, NCAA 'B'), while Bulakul was sixth in the 100 fly (50.79) after hitting a 'B' cut in the preliminaries, followed by McBratney in seventh (50.93).
Sunday will feature the 100- and 1,650-yard freestyles, 200 back, 200 fly, 200 breast, 400 free relay and 3-meter diving. Real-time results and a live webcast will be available.
* NCAA "A"
^ NCAA "B"
$ Amherst Record
& Meet Record
% Pool Record
200-Yard Medley Relay
Reid Fitzgerald, Ben McBratney, Tyler Bulakul, Alex Fraser – 1st (1:31.84) %^
Conor McAuliffe – 1st (9:28.92)
400-Yard Individual Medley
Ryan Lichtenfels – 2nd (3:57.90) *
Connor Beaulieu – 3rd (4:02.83) ^
Tyler Bulakul – 6th (50.79)
Ben McBratney – 7th (50.93)
Alex Fraser – 1st (1:39.24) *
Tim White – 5th (1:41.63) ^
Parker Moody – 6th (1:42.83)
Ben McBratney – 2nd (57.24) ^
Bart Federak – 4th (58.28)
Mike O'Connor – 8th (1:00.13)
Reid Fitzgerald – 3rd (50.82) ^
800-Yard Freestyle Relay
Ryan Lichtenfels, Tim White, Parker Moody, Alex Fraser – 1st (6:43.54) %^