Nick Nichols enters his 19th season at the helm of the Amherst College men's swimming & diving team, and will look to make a run at the NESCAC title in 2016-17. The Purple & White finished last year's campaign with a 6-2 dual-meet record, placed fourth at the NESCAC Championships, and finished 28th at the NCAA Division III Championships. Since 1998-99, Amherst has secured three undefeated dual meet seasons (2003, 2005, 2011), four Little Three championships, and has accumulated a 126-24 record in dual meets.
Amherst will open its 2016-17 season with a home meet at Pratt Pool against Colby, Nov. 19 before taking to the road for back-to-back away meets at Wesleyan (Nov. 21) and Middlebury (Dec. 3). After a three week break, the Purple & White will host Union College on Dec. 31, and then head to Williamstown to take on archrival Williams on Jan. 7. Amherst concludes its 2016-17 regular season by hosting Conn. College (Jan. 21), before heading to MIT (Jan. 28) and Springfield (Jan. 29). The postseason begins with the NESCAC Championships Feb. 17-19, while the NCAA Championships are slated for March 15-18.
MEET THE SENIORS
Amherst will look to a talented and experienced senior class this season, highlighted by four swimmers who garnered All-NESCAC accolades last season. Reed Patterson '17 (Sprint) earned a pair of all-conference nods in individual events as he touched second in the 50-yard (22.41), and third in the 100-yard (49.46) butterfly events. Connor Haley '17 (Distance Free) powered to a first place finish in the 500-yard freestyle with an NCAA 'B' Cut time of 4:33.75 to garner All-NESCAC honors, while Greg Han '17 (Breast, I.M.) won the 200-yard breaststroke with a NCAA 'B' Cut mark of 2:04.01. Alex Dreisbach '17 swam to three all-conference mentions in the 200-yard and 400-yard medley relays, as well as the 800-yard freestyle relay, while also having a hand in the 2014-15 400-yard freestyle relay team that set a Middlebury pool record (3:01.79) at the NESCAC Championships. Nick Lafky '17 (Breast) and Keegan Simmons '17 (Sprint Free) also provide veteran experience to the squad and will contribute to the team's success.
MEET THE UNDERCLASSMEN
The Purple & White provide a wealth of expertise in both the junior and sophomore classes in 2016-17. Sam Spurrell '18 (Fly) has been consistent in the pool for Amherst after earning the NESCAC Rookie of the Meet during the conference championship meet in 2014-15. He then secured all-conference honors in the 400-yard medley relay last season. Elijah Spiro '18 (Breast) tabbed all-league laurels in the 50-yard (25.28) and 100-yard (56.06) breaststroke events, and set the Pratt Pool 100-yard breaststroke record in 2015 with a time of 57.46. Sophomore Josh Chen (Breast, Sprint Free) glided to a third place finish, earning All-NESCAC honors in the 50-yard breaststroke with a mark of 25.65, and helped the 400-yard medley relay squad secure second place honors with an NCAA 'B' Cut time of 3:21.29. Rounding out Amherst's returners are Nathan Ives '18 (Distance, Free), John Janezich '18 (Free, Fly), Jake Meyer '18 (Diving), Justin Lee '19 (Breast), Chris Quinones '19 (Breast, Free), and Charles Seltzer '19 (Back, Free).
Amherst also welcomes seven well-rounded newcomers to the 2015-16 squad. They include: Jack Fergus '20 (Back, Free), Noah Jacobs '20 (Breast, I.M.), Jack Koravus '20 (Sprint Free, Fly), Sean Mebust '20 (Sprint Free, Breast), Craig Smith '20 (Sprint Free, Back, Fly), Brandon Wang '20 (Back, I.M.), and Eric Wong '20 (Distance Free).
Not yet a member of the Friends of Amherst Men's Swimming & Diving for the 2016-17 year? Become a first-time member of or renew your membership in the FAA and support Coach Nichols and the men's swimming & diving program. Make a gift ahead of the team's first home meet of the season on Saturday, November 19 against Colby. Go Amherst!