HADLEY, Mass. – Williams will be in pursuit of its 15th straight and 16th overall conference crown when the 2017 NESCAC Men's Swimming and Diving Championships take place this weekend at the Wesleyan Natatorium on the campus of Wesleyan University. The three-day meet starts on Friday with preliminary heats in the morning and championship events in the evening.
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 one hours prior to the preliminaries and finals. Live webcasts and results from the NESCAC Men's Swimming and Diving Championships will be available throughout the weekend at nescac.com.
The Ephs won the 2016 NESCAC Championship by tallying a team score of 1,789.5 points. Tufts (1,410.5) was the runner-up and followed by Connecticut College (1,407) in third place. Amherst (1,315) and Bates (956) rounded out the top five teams. Bowdoin placed sixth (834.5) ahead of Middlebury (801.5) and Wesleyan (484). Hamilton (437), Trinity (422) and Colby (366) rounded out the standings.
In the freestyle events, all six defending champions return to the field in 2017. Middlebury senior Michael McGean (Lincoln, Mass.) is the defending champion in the 1,000 and 1,650-yard freestyle races. McGean will be pushed by Williams rookie Andrew Trunsky (Birmingham, Mich.), who is the top seed in each event. McGean is also seeded second in the 500 freestyle and will challenge defending champion Connor Haley (Medfield, Mass.) of Amherst. Haley's teammate and rookie Eric Wong (Old Tappan, N.J.) is among the top seeds in 500 freestyle and is also one of the fastest in the pool in the 200-yard freestyle. Williams sophomore Jamie Finnegan (Felmington, N.J.) and Bates junior Theodore Pender (Muscat, Oman) return to defend their titles in the 50 and 100-yard freestyle, respectively. Both swimmers will have to contend with rookie Roger Gu (Ashland, Mass.) of Tufts who owns the top time in each event.
There will be a new champion in the two of the three breaststroke events this year. Jack Tamposi of Williams won the 50 and 100-yard breaststroke each of the last three seasons, but has graduated, creating an opportunity for a new champion to emerge. Amherst sophomore Joshua Chen (St. Petersburg, Fla.) has the fastest time in the 100 this season, while sophomore Alex Bedard (Amherst, N.H.) of Bates is the leader in the 50 breaststroke. In the 200-yard breaststroke event, a pair of first-year swimmers own the quickest times in the pool this season. Alex Bank (Princeton, N.J.) of Williams and Sean Mebust (Cooperstown, N.Y.) of Amherst will be in the hunt for a first-place finish, while defending champion Gregory Han (Cheshire, Conn.) of Amherst also returns to the field.
At last year's NESCAC Championship, Williams' Benjamin Lin (Short Hills, N.J.) won two of the three backstroke events and owns the top time in all three events entering this year's championship. Lin aims to sweep the 50-yard backstroke with his fourth straight win in 2017 and could capture his third straight crown in the 100-yard backstroke. He will face a staunch challenge from Tufts sophomore Kinglsey Bowen (Pepper Pike, Ohio), who owns the second fastest time in all three events.
In diving, senior Matt Rohrer (Katonah, N.Y.) of Tufts returns to defend his title on the 3-meter board and will contend on the 1-meter board after winning the event in 2015. Rookie Steven Kreuch (Darien, Conn.) of Williams will be a challenger in both events, entering the championship with the top scores in on both boards this season. Junior Mitchell Ryan (Salem, Conn.) of Bowdoin and senior Andrew Lyness (Oceanside, Calif.) of Williams will also be in the mix for a title during the weekend.
Williams senior Timothy Kostolansky (Summit, N.J.) will look to repeat as the NESCAC Champion in the 50-yard butterfly. Tufts' Bowen returns to defend his title in the 100-yard butterfly, after winning the event as a rookie, and a new champion will be crowned in the 200-yard butterfly. Senior Stephen Skaperdas (New Canaan, Conn.) of Connecticut College is the top seed in the 200 butterfly and will be challenged by Amherst junior Sam Spurrell (Providence, R.I.) and rookie Lucca Delcompare (Naples, Fla.) of Williams.
Williams won four of the five relays last year, but Tufts owns the top time in every relay event entering the championships. The Jumbos kept the Ephs from sweeping the relays last season with a victory in the 800-yard freestyle.