AMHERST, Mass. – The Amherst men's and women's swimming and diving programs have 20 total student-athletes that qualified and will compete at this year's NCAA Championship which will take place in Greensboro, North Carolina and run from March 20-23.
The Old Dominion Athletic Conference and the Greensboro Aquatic Center will serve as co-hosts. A total of 579 participants (526 swimmers and 53 divers) will compete in the championships. Student-athletes qualified for the swimming portion of the championships by meeting the established minimum time for the events in which they entered. Divers were determined by performances achieved at the regional diving meets March 1-2.
The 2019 NCAA Championship will open up on Wednesday, March 20th with the trial swims of the 500 freestyle, 200 individual medley, 50 freestyle, 200 medley relay, and the women's 3-meter diving at 10:00 AM. The finals will commence at 6:00 PM before heading into the second day of competition. Click HERE to view the full schedule from the championship information page.
SETTING THE SCENE
Both teams qualified an equal 10 members this year, including two divers each. Last season for the women's side, the Mammoths placed eighth overall with 158 total points after the four days of competition. At the conclusion of the weekend, the Purple & White had nine student-athletes rack up College Swimming & Diving Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) All-American honors when they placed inside the top-eight in their respective competitions. All seven of the All-Americans that did not graduate last year are returning to this year's competition while also adding three new faces.
For the men, they will make their return to the national stage after sitting out last season's competition despite a third place finish in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Championship and a 7-1 overall record. At the 2017 NCAA Championship, they placed 20th overall in the 52 team pool with eight All-American selections.
HOW THEY GOT HERE
The Mammoths enter the championship with two loses combined between the sides. The women opened up the season winning three straight when they defeated Colby, Wesleyan, and Middlebury. After a loss to Williams, they bounced back to win three out of their last four meets before placing third in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Championship. The men's side went on a six meet win streak to begin their campaign, coming into the NCAA Championship with a record of 7-1 while also placing third in the NESCAC.
Natalie Rumpelt '20 led the Mammoths when she received six NCAA bids through her performances over the season. In the 500 and 200 freestyle, she recorded times of 4:58.76 and 1:50.80 while also securing a time of 51.36 in the 100. In the 400 freestyle relay, she was a part of the team of Ingrid Shu '20, Zoe Pappas '19, and Livia Domenig '19 that marked a time of 3:27.83. In the 800 freestyle relay, Rumpelt, Sarah McDonald '20, Bridgitte Kwong '19, and Domenig each qualified after posting a time of 7:32.45.
Capping off the qualified performances was the 400 Medley Relay where Rumpelt, Kwong, Nina Fitzgerald '21, and Marie Fagan '22 secured a time of 3:49.44 to add to their entrance into the championships. Fagan also received a time of 2:02.87 in the 200 butterfly while Kwong enters with a 2:02.52 finish in the 200 backstroke and a top-performance in the 400 IM (4:25.53). Fitzgerald rounds out the swimming invitees with solid times in the 100-yard (1:03.58) and 200-yard (2:17.44) breaststroke.
Lindsey Ruderman '21 and Jacqueline Palermo '19 were the two Mammoth diving qualifiers after their strong performances in the NCAA Diving Regionals. Ruderman placed second in both diving events while Palermo notched fourth on the 1-meter board and eighth in the 3-meter competition.
On the men's side, divers Tom Amsbry '22 and Bennett Fagan '20 both qualified after finishing top-three in the diving regional. Amsbry took second on the 3-meter board with a score of 526.75 before placing third on the 1-meter with a score of 471.20. Fagan noted his best performance on the 3-meter board with a score of 519.60 for third place before securing fifth in the 1-meter competition (466.75).
The Mammoths received selection through the 200 medley relay when Jack Koravos '20, Ang Li '21, Sean Mebust '20, and Scott Romeyn '22 finished with a time of 1:29.86. One of six top event finishes for Romeyn, he also qualified through the 50 Freestyle, 200 freestyle, 100 freestyle, 400 medley relay, and 400 freestyle relay. Li also took part in the 800 freestyle relay when he contributed to a 6:41.63 finish with Charles Seltzer '19, Tristan So '21, and Eric Wong '20.
Wong, Seltzer, Romeyn, and Koravos set a NESCAC meet and pool record in the 400 freestyle relay on final day of the NESCAC Championship with a time of 3:00.29. In the final two relay bids, Romeyn joined Koravos, So, and Wong for a time of 1:21.47 in the 200 freestyle relay while Smith, Romeyn, Mebust, and Koravos qualified with a 3:16.96 mark in the 400 medley relay.
To cap off the individual performances, Mebust secured a time of 1:59.50 in the 200 breaststroke while Smith received a time of 1:47.24 in the 200 backstroke.