Feb. 1, 2009
AMHERST, Mass. – MIT men’s swimming and diving, which is ranked No. 11 in the latest Division III national poll, claimed its first undefeated regular season in program history with a convincing victory at No. 19 Amherst College. Paced by two pool records, the Engineers topped the Lord Jeffs, 172-119, while closing out the regular portion of their slate with an 8-0 record.
Junior Jeff Zhou authored a magnificent performance as he swam 51.20 in the 100 fly to break a six-year pool record while securing an NCAA cut. Zhou split 23.57 for the first 50 in holding off rookie teammate Matt Chapa, who finished second in 51.67.
Zhou etched his name into the record books for a second time in the 400 free relay. Joining with Luke Cummings, Peter Wellings, and Laurent Charpentier, the Engineers swam 3:09.43 to set a new facility standard and clinch their unblemished ledger. Adding to his terrific afternoon, Zhou bested Cummings in the 50 free as the duo split 21.38 and 21.53, respectively.
Junior Rastislav Racz continues to battle back into swimming shape, and the team had to be encouraged with his effort on Sunday. Racz swept the 100 and 200 breast stroke, and led an impressive 1-2 finish in the 200 as freshman Alejandro Dos Reis took second in 2:11.00. Racz split 2:10.58 to hold off the charging first-year standout.
Despite finishing second in the 100 fly, Chapa was also outstanding. He netted a dominating win in the 200 fly with a time of 1:55.07, while he out-dueled Amherst freshman Ryan Lichtenfels in the 200 IM. Resulting in the closest race of the meet, Chapa’s quick start enabled him to secure the victory in 1:58.50, with Lichtenfels closing in 1:58.51.
Freshman Tim Stumbaugh, who led off MIT’s winning 200 medley relay, stayed perfect in the 100 back with a winning time of 53.51, although the rookie endured his first defeat of the season in the 200 back despite swimming a season-best 1:56.66.
In another pedestrian performance for Charpentier, the star freestyler swept the 100 and 200 events. Charpentier split 1:43.55 to win the 200 while he edge out Cummings in the 100, 47.05-47.40.