Feb. 29, 2008
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - The United States Coast Guard Academy leads the pack after a record-setting first day of the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Men's Swimming and Diving Championships, which took place on Friday at MIT's Zesiger Pool. With NEWMAC Open, Championship and pool records being surpassed left and right, the Bears established an opening day lead with 304 total points, followed closely by Springfield College (276) and MIT (239).
Springfield's "A" 200-yard freestyle relay team of Matt Manoni, Roy Burch, Andrew Blakesley and Greg Pearsall set the pace for the evening session by opening the finals with a blistering NCAA "A" cut time of 1:22.63. The finish not only earned the quartet First Team All-Conference honors, but it also set NEWMAC Open, Championship and pool records. MIT's top squad of Jeff Zhou, Luke Cummings, Peter Wellings and Laurent Charpentier grabbed Second Team accolades, touching the wall at 1:23.46, meeting the NCAA "B" cut standard.
Next up was the meet's first individual event, with MIT freshman Michael Dobson winning the 500-yard freestyle in an NCAA "B" cut time of 4:32.93. Entering the race as the second seed, Dobson improved upon his preliminary time by nearly 10 seconds to beat out top-seeded Bobby Brown of Coast Guard, who finished as the runner-up. Brown's preliminary split of 4:32.15 met the NCAA "A" cut as well as established new Championship and pool records.
More records fell in the 200-yard individual medley, with senior Doug Fallon leading a Coast Guard sweep of the All-Conference honors. Fallon touched the wall first at 1:54.67, setting NEWMAC Open and Championship marks in addition to reaching an NCAA "B" cut, while Bears' teammate Timmy Berry grabbed Second Team All-Conference plaudits with a finish of 1:55.24.
Four swimmers met the NCAA "B" cut in the 50-yard freestyle, with Springfield's Burch leading the way and securing his second First Team All-Conference honor of the evening with a NEWMAC Championship record time of 20.71. Also earning "B" cuts were Burch's teammates, Pearsall (20.94) and Manoni (21.08), as well as Coast Guard's Jim Okorn (20.99).
The story was the same as the divers took center stage, with Springfield grabbing both first-place and runner-up on the one-meter board. Senior Ben Casavant took the honors as the winner, earning a score of 500.30, while his freshman teammate Brian Sobol finished second with a tally of 492.80.
Rounding out the first day of action was the 400-yard medley relay, which Coast Guard "A" won with an NCAA "B" cut time of 3:26.43. The victory gave First Team All-Conference accolades to Berry, Jack Sauve, Nick Forni and Okorn. Also achieving "B" cut times were runner-up Springfield College "A" (Burch, Mackstutis, Bruno and Pearsall) and MIT "A"(Zhou, Rastislav Racz, Toomas Sepp and Cummings).
The NEWMAC Championships will continue on Saturday morning, with the prelims for the 200-yard medley relay, 400-yard individual medley, 100-yard butterfly, 200-yard freestyle, 100-yard breaststroke and 100-yard backstroke commencing at 11:00 a.m. The three-meter diving trials will begin at 1:30 p.m., while the finals for all of the afternoon's swimming events, plus the 800-yard freestyle relay, will begin at 6:30 p.m.
For complete NEWMAC Championship results, please visit: http://mitathletics.cstv.com/sports/m-swim/newmac.html
1. Coast Guard 304
2. Springfield 276
3. MIT 239
4. WPI 117
5. Babson 84
6. Wheaton 82
7. Clark 77