Men's Swimming & Diving Ready for NESCAC Title Run

Men's Swimming & Diving Ready for NESCAC Title Run

HADLEY, Mass. – The nationally 13th-ranked Amherst College men's swimming & diving ream is set to head to Bowdoin College for the three-day 2018 NESCAC Championships this Friday-Sunday, Feb. 23-25 at the LeRoy Greason Pool.

The Mammoths enter the weekend looking to capture the program's first-ever NESCAC title and thwart archrival Williams from securing its 16th consecutive conference crown after finishing as the runner-up at the league meet a season ago. Amherst, owning a 7-1 dual meet record, collected head-to-head wins over Colby, Wesleyan, Middlebury, Union, Williams, Connecticut College and Springfield during the winter. 

Competition will get underway each day with preliminary heats at 10 a.m. Finals will begin at 6 p.m. on Friday, 5:50 p.m. on Saturday, and 5:30 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $8 per session for adults and $3 per session for children and students. Doors will open 60 minutes prior to the preliminaries and finals. No pre-sale tickets will be available, as all tickets will be sold at the door. Live webcasts and results from the NESCAC Men's Swimming and Diving Championships will be available throughout the weekend at NESCAC.com, as well as through Roku, Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV (search for NESCAC).

CHAMPIONSHIP LINKS

Last season, the Ephs won the NESCAC Championship with a team score of 1,671 points, while Amherst was the runner-up with 1,402 points and Tufts (1,391) followed in third place. Connecticut College (1,331) and Bates (997.5) rounded out the top five teams. Bowdoin placed sixth (856), ahead of Trinity (617), Middlebury (576.6) and Wesleyan (469). Colby (462) and Hamilton (332) rounded out the standings.

Tufts sophomore Roger Gu (Ashland, Mass.) owns the fastest time in the 50 freestyle after setting a new NESCAC record in the event in December. Fellow sophomores Kaison Ifill (Taunton, Mass.) of Connecticut College and Jack Koravos (Westford, Mass.) of Amherst, as well as Bates senior Theodore Pender (Muscat, Oman), the 2016 NESCAC Champion, will all contend for the podium. Gu also holds the top time in the 100 freestyle. First-year teammate JJ Batt (Needham, Mass.) along with defending champion Pender will push Gu in the fight for first place. Williams rookie Jamie Lovette (Ithaca, N.Y.), Gu, and Amherst first year Kou Li (Chapel Hill, N.C.) enter the championship with the top three times, respectively, in the 200 freestyle. Bowdoin senior Karl Sarier (Closter, N.J.) is the two-time defending champion.
 
A trio of Ephs enter the championship with the top times in the 500 and 1,000 freestyle events. Lovette leads the pack in the 500 and is joined by first year Jackson Karofsky (Tenafly, N.J.) and sophomore Andrew Trunsky (Birmingham, Mich.). Trunsky is the defending champion in the 1,000 and is the fastest in the pool in the event this season. Lovette and Karofsky will challenge him in his bid to repeat. Bowdoin junior Daniel Williams (Westport, Conn.) is the leader in the 1,650 freestyle and Trunsky and Lovette are among his competition.
 
The backstroke events will have a new look on the podium. Three-time defending champion Benjamin Lin of Williams dominated the event, but has graduated. Tufts junior Kingsley Bowen (Pepper Pike, Ohio) has established himself as a title contender, owning the top time in each event. Williams senior Timothy Kostolansky (Summit, N.J.) ranks among the top three swimmers in the 50 and 100 events, while Tufts rookie Connor Doyle (Bethlehem, N.Y.) stands just behind Bowen in the 200. Amherst sophomore Craig Smith (Chicago, Ill.) will vie for a podium spot in the 100 and 200 backstroke.
Each of last year's champions returns to the field in the three breaststroke events. Amherst senior Elijah Spiro (Solon, Ohio) is the defending champion in the 50 and 100 breaststroke and owns the top time in each event. He will have to fend off the Bates duo of junior Alex Bedard (Amherst, N.H.) and Pender in the 50, and Bedard and Amherst junior Josh Chen (St. Petersburg, Fla.) in the 100 to repeat in 2018. In the 200 breaststroke, Amherst sophomore Sean Mebust (Cooperstown, N.Y.) has the fastest time this season and is looking to claim a second straight title. His challengers are Bedard and Williams junior Jack Melnick (Naples, Fla.).
 
The butterfly events could be the most competitive races of the meet. With eight swimmers among the top three in all three events. Kostolansky of Williams is the two-time defending champion in the 50 butterfly and enters the championship with the fastest time of the year. Pender from Bates and Bowen of Tufts will challenge for the title. Bowen is the quickest in the pool in the 100 butterfly and has Ifill of Connecticut College and fellow Jumbo Batt trailing closely behind for the top spot on the podium. In the 200 butterfly, Lucca Delcompare (Naples, Fla.), a junior from Williams, leads the conference in the event and will have to fend off James McElduff (Mountain Lakes, N.J.) and Dawson Stout (Newtown, Conn.) from Tufts for first place.
 
In the 200 individual medley, the Tufts trio of Batt, Zachary Wallace (La Jolla, Calif.) and Doyle rank 1-2-3 in the event. Bowdoin's Sarier won the event with a NESCAC Championship Meet record time last season, but will have to be faster than the Jumbos to claim a second straight title. In the 400 individual medley, Wallace owns the quickest time of the year and is followed by his teammate Doyle and Karofsky of Williams. Connecticut College senior A.J. Pite (Orange, Conn.) is the two-time defending champion of the event.
 
The diving podium will have a new look following the graduation of two-time champion Matt Rohrer of Tufts. Bowdoin junior Mitch Ryan (Salem, Conn.) leads the divers on the 1-meter board, while Middlebury sophomore Michael Chirico (Dover, Mass.) has tallied the most points on the 3-meter board. Both divers will contend on both boards, as will Amherst sophomore Bennett Fagan (Oakton, Va.).
Williams and Amherst each won two relays last season. The Ephs claimed the NESCAC title in the 400 freestyle and 400 medley relays, while the Mammoths were first in the 800 freestyle and 200 medley relay events. Connecticut College earned a win in the 200 freestyle relay, setting a NESCAC Championship Meet record in the process.
Results from the NESCAC Men's Swimming and Diving Championships will be available throughout the weekend at NESCAC.com.