Feb. 10, 2008
MIDDLEBURY, Vt. - In an effort to prepare for the postseason, MIT's 18th-ranked men's swimming and diving team competed at the Middlebury Invitational on Saturday afternoon at Middlebury College. The event was a non-scoring meet featuring teams from the 23rd-ranked host Panthers, No. 6 Williams College, Tufts University and Wheaton College, and served as a warm-up for teams prior to their conference championships.
The Engineers got the meet off to a perfect start with a victory in the 200-yard medley relay, as sophomores Jeff Zhou, Rastislav Racz and Luke Cummings teamed up with junior Laurent Charpentier to clock in at 1:36.96.
Charpentier followed up his relay performance with two individual victories, in the 50-yard freestyle and the 100-yard butterfly. The Aigues-Mortes, France native led a 1-2 finish for the Cardinal and Gray in the 50-yard freestyle, as he touched the wall at 22:02, just ahead of teammate Zhou, who clocked in at 22.23. Junior Peter Wellings also finished in a tie for fourth with a time of 22.36, completing MIT's dominance of the event. Charpentier was then triumphant in the 100-yard butterfly, winning the race in 53.18. He was followed in third-place by teammate Toomas Sepp (54.15).
Racz had what was perhaps the Engineers' most remarkable performance of the afternoon, winning the 200-yard breaststroke by an incredible seven seconds. The sophomore sensation finished the swim in 2:08.48, good enough for an NCAA "B" cut.
Also victorious for MIT was Deke Hu, who won the 100-yard breaststroke in 1:01.15. He was followed by Kalvin Kao in third-place (1:02.24), while Cummings, John Walk, Trace Sauter and Sepp finished 5-8, respectively, giving the Engineers six of the top eight swimmers.
Freshman Michael Dobson picked up the Cardinal and Gray's final victory, as he touched the wall at 1:44.79 in the 200-yard freestyle. The rookie also had the top time in the mixed 1,650-yard freestyle (16:58.54), a race which only saw MIT swimmers compete.
The Engineers will now have nearly three weeks to mentally prepare for the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Championship, which will take place over the course of three days from Friday, Feb. 29 to Sunday, Mar. 2, and will be hosted by MIT.