MIT Claims Second Straight NEWMAC Men's Swimming & Diving Championship

NORTON, Mass. - The MIT men's swimming and diving team successfully defended its New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Championship crown as the three-day meet at Wheaton College's Balfour Natatorium came to an end Sunday night. The Engineers, whose five league titles are one shy of the United States Coast Guard Academy's NEWMAC record, finished with 1,027 points. Coast Guard came in second with 947.5 points, while Springfield College rounded out the top three with a tally of 673.5.

Clark University sophomore Ryan Garr was crowned NEWMAC Swimmer of the Year after capturing the 100- and 200-yard backstroke titles, while Springfield College junior Brian Sobel swept the one- and three-meter diving competition to repeat as NEWMAC Diver of the Year. Coast Guard freshman Nicholas Poehler was tabbed conference Rookie of the Year, taking second in the 500- and 1,650-yard freestyle races while serving as the anchor of the winning 800 free relay team.

Garr posted the night's lone NCAA Championship automatic qualifying standard in a swimming event with a winning time of 1:50.28 in the 200-yard back. MIT was victorious in the remaining five swimming events, with senior Luke Cummings contributing to a pair of triumphs, including taking the 100 free crown in an NCAA B cut time of 45.72. He also sided with freshmen Tony Chen, Brendan Deveney and Wyatt Ubellacker on the winning 400-yard freestyle relay, as the quartet met a B cut in 3:05.84.

Engineer senior Rastislav Racz bested the 200-yard breaststroke field with a provisional time of 2:04.02, as did juniors Michael Dobson and Toomas Sepp in the 1,650 free and 200-yard butterfly events, respectively. Dobson finished with a B cut mark of 16:02.04, while Sepp recorded a provisional standard of 1:53.91.

Sobel was one of four divers to reach NCAA scores off the three-meter platform, as he amassed 512.25 points. Babson College senior Aaron Paradis came in second with an NCAA qualifying mark of 476.35, while Springfield senior Matt Fitzgerald and freshman Kenny Pancoast each met NCAA standards.

In addition to Poehler's second-place mark in the 1,650 free, which came thanks to a B cut time of 16:10.29, Coast Guard posted three other runner-up finishes. Junior Michael Carman came in second during the 200 breast with a B cut time of 2:06.60, while freshman teammate Kevin Smit was runner up in the 200 fly in a provisional time of 1:54.06. Junior Eric Schwartz raced with sophomores Daniel Beshoar, Johnson Knox and Brian McGuiness to comprise the Bear 400 free relay team that notched a B cut mark of 3:06.09.

Other NCAA B cuts came from MIT sophomore Tim Stumbaugh as the runner up in the 200 back and from Springfield junior Andrew Blakesley during a second-place showing in the 100 free. Garr notched a provisional time in the 100 back during the 200 back, and Coast Guard senior Timothy Berry and MIT freshmen Brendan Liu and Ron Rosenberg all earned B cuts during either the 200 back trials or finals. MIT sophomore David Parell had an NCAA cut in the 200 breast, as did Engineer classmate Matt Chapa and WPI sophomore Andrew Lybarger in the 200 fly.

Team Standings
1. MIT – 1,027 points
2. Coast Guard Academy – 947.5 points
3. Springfield College – 673.5 points
4. Wheaton College – 312 points
5. WPI – 292 points
6. Clark University – 272 points
7. Babson College – 260 points

1st Place (All-NEWMAC 1st Team)
1,650 freestyle – Michael Dobson, MIT, 16:02.04 B
200 backstroke – Ryan Garr, Clark, 1:50.28 A
100 freestyle – Luke Cummings, MIT, 45.72 B
200 breaststroke – Rastislav Racz, MIT, 2:04.02 B
200 butterfly – Toomas Sepp, MIT, 1:53.91 B
3M diving – Brian Sobel, Springfield, 512.25 A
400 freestyle relay – MIT, 3:05.84 B
(Tony Chen, Wyatt Ubellacker, Brendan Deveney, Luke Cummings)

2nd Place (All-NEWMAC 2nd Team)
1,650 freestyle – Nicholas Poehler, Coast Guard, 16:10.29 B
200 backstroke – Tim Stumbaugh, MIT, 1:51.30 B
100 freestyle – Andrew Blakesley, Springfield, 46.25 B
200 breaststroke – Michael Carman, Coast Guard, 2:06.60 B
200 butterfly – Kevin Smit, Coast Guard, 1:54.06 B
3M diving – Aaron Paradis, Babson, 476.35 A
400 freestyle relay – Coast Guard, 3:06.09 B
(Johnson Knox, Eric Schwartz, Daniel Beshoar, Brian McGuiness)

A - Denotes NCAA Division III National Championship qualifying A standard (automatic)
B - Denotes NCAA Division III National Championship qualifying B standard (provisional)