Record-Smashing Relay Sweep Gives MIT Lead at NEWMAC Swimming and Diving Championships

Feb. 27, 2009

NORTON, Mass. – Paced by three wins and a pair of championship and open records, MIT men’s swimming and diving jumped out to a 32.5-point lead at the 2009 NEWMAC Championships on Friday at Wheaton College’s Balfour Natatorium. The Engineers totaled 265 points, three-time defending champion U. S. Coast Guard Academy stood second with 232.5, while Springfield College occupied third at 175. The three-day competition continues Saturday at 11:00 a.m.

The Engineers opened the first day of finals with a rousing victory in the 200 free relay. Laurent Charpentier’s anchor split of 20.20 made the difference as MIT overcame Springfield by a narrow margin to win in 1:22.69. Junior Luke Cummings set an Institute record with a lead-off leg of 20.80, while Jeff Zhou split 20.79, and Peter Wellings went 20.90. The Engineers swam 1:22.14 in the morning to set a school, pool, meet, and NEWMAC open record while securing an NCAA “B” cut.

Michael Dobson delivered a terrific swim to win the 500 free in the evening’s first individual event. Improving his time from prelims by seven seconds, Dobson closed in 4:35.56 in racing to the second-fastest time in program history while picking up another NCAA “B” cut for the Engineers. Udit Garg broke into MIT’s all-time top 10 list in the 500 free with a time of 4:45.93 to finish seventh overall.

MIT flexed its depth in the 200 IM as freshman David Parell led three of his rookie teammates to a 4-5-6-7 finish in the race. All four of Tech’s contingent swam faster during prelims, with Andrew Pierson finishing in 1:55.97 and Matt Chapa completing the circuit in 1:55.99. Ryan TerBush split 1:57.63 to finish sixth overall at finals.

Cummings grabbed third in the 50 free, swimming 20.82 for another NCAA “B” cut. Zhou delivered the second-fastest time in the history of the program at 21.10 to finish fourth.

The Engineers capped the first day of action with an awesome record-breaking swim in the 400 medley relay. Annihilating the field while just missing on an NCAA “A” cut, the set NEWMAC championship and open records, while shattering the pool record by five seconds. Rookie Tim Stumbaugh sparked the effort with a 52.20 split in the back, while Rastislav Racz reeled off an impressive 54.60 breaststroke leg. Freshman Brett Boval delivered a clip of 49.86 in the fly, and Charpentier brought it home in a meet-best 44.48.