Newcomers Put in Strong Performances Against Colby in Season Opener

AMHERST, MA – The Amherst College swimming and diving teams opened the 2010-11 season with an impressive showing in a dual meet against Colby College Saturday afternoon at Pratt Pool. The Lord Jeff men won all 16 of their events for a 139-97 result, while the women won 15 of theirs en route to a 145-112 win. 

Highlighting the day was a new Pratt Pool record in the men's 200-yard medley relay, which was set by Reid Fitzgerald '11 (New York, NY), Ben McBratney '12 (Evanston, IL), Tyler Bulakul '14 (Bangkok, Thailand) and Alex Fraser '11 (Willowbrook, IL). Their time of 1:35.54 was good enough to break the previous mark of 1:35.77, which was set by Amherst in 2004.

Bulakul continued his outstanding collegiate debut by winning the 100-yard butterfly in a time of 52.22, more than three seconds ahead of the runner-up. Also winning multiple events in his debut was first-year diver Colin White '14 (Evanston, IL), who had the highest score on the 1-meter (273.60) and 3-meter (303.53) boards. Fellow first-year divers Ian Stahl '14 (Weston, FL) and Fadi Hamati '14 (Amman, Jordan) placed second and third, respectively, on each board. 

Conor McAuliffe '14 (Andover, MA) won the 1,000-yard freestyle with a time of 9:56.21, while classmate Connor Beaulieu '14 (Windsor, CT) just missed the two-minute mark in the 200-yard individual medley (2:00.65) to lead the pack. Four first-years teamed up to win the 200-yard freestyle relay, with Bulakul and McAuliffe joining Bryson Alef '14 (Santa Barbara, CA) and Nick Egan '14 (Pleasant Hill, CA) for a time of 1:29.22.

Ryan Lichtenfels '12 (McLean, VA) picked up where he left off last season by winning the 200- (1:44.08) and 500-yard (4:47.34) freestyles, while Fraser came out on top in the 50 free (21.40) and Sheng Hu '13 (Lake Bluff, IL) won the 100 free in 49:21 as the only swimmer to crack 50 seconds.

Fitzgerald edged Tim White '12 (Centerport, NY) in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 54.09 before Daniel Schwab '13 (San Diego, CA) won the 200 back in 1:58.93. McBratney just beat out classmates Bart Federak '12 (Towaco, NJ) and Mike O'Connor '12 (Cold Spring Harbor, NY) in the 100-yard breaststroke (1:01.42), but it was O'Connor who touched the wall first in the 200 breast (2:15.89). Rounding out the winners was Ryan Colby '11 (Birdsboro, PA) in the 200-yard butterfly (2:01.06), who bested the field by more than six seconds. 

Amherst's first-years were equally impressive on the women's side, with Abby Hahn '14 (New York, NY) winning the 100- (1:09.14) and 200-yard (2:29.49) breaststrokes. Allison Merz '14 (Los Angeles, CA) was the only swimmer to finish the 100-yard butterfly in under a minute (58.93), Suzi Stein '14 (Winchester, MA) won the 200-yard freestyle (2:01.89) and Anna Pietrantonio '14 (Chevy Chase, MD) put in the fastest time in the 1,000 free (10:47.75). 

Lizzy Linsmayer '14 (Denver, CO) was impressive on both boards, but she was edged by senior Meggie Meisinger (St. Louis, MO) in the 3-meter event by three-tenths of a point after placing second in the 1-meter. Meisinger put in scores of 253.20 (1-meter) and 223.73 (3-meter). Also winning multiple events was senior captain Brooke Bennett (Arcadia, CA), who kicked off her season with nearly identical times in the 200 fly (2:15.23) and the 200 IM (2:15.15). 

The 100- and 200-yard backstroke races went to Maddy Sprung-Keyser '13 (Los Angeles, CA) and Emily Swett '13 (Rochester, NY), respectively, with Nicole Heise '13 (Ithaca, NY) placing second in each. Katie Vincett '13 (Pittsburgh, PA) rounded out an impressive showing for the sophomore class by winning the 50-yard freestyle (25.06), with Becca Thompson '12 (Evanston, IL) finishing the 500 free in a winning time of 5:17.30. The only event that went to Colby was the 100 free, as Kathryn Lee edged a pair of Amherst first-years. 

The Amherst women opened the day with a victory in the 200-yard medley relay, which consisted of Sprung-Keyser, Rebecca Kelley '12 (Richmond, VA), Merz, and Vincett, and closed the meet by winning the 200 free relay (Vincett, Pietrantonio, Heise, Thompson). The Lord Jeffs will return to action Monday, Nov. 22, when they host Wesleyan University in a 5 p.m. dual meet.