No Contest: Men's Swimming and Diving Overwhelms Field En Route to NEWMAC Championship
March 1, 2009
NORTON, Mass. - After finishing second in the last two NEWMAC Men's Swimming and Diving Championships, three times proved to be a charm as the Engineers delivered one of the most commanding victories in the history of the meet on Sunday at Wheaton College's Balfour Auditorium. Scoring 1,030 points to out-distance runner-up Coast Guard by nearly 300 points, MIT secured its first NEWMAC title since 2003 and fourth overall. Following the competition, junior Rastislav Racz was named NEWMAC Swimmer of the Year, while Tim Stumbaugh earned Rookie of the Year honors.
Sophomore Michael Dobson sparked the last night of finals with his second individual win of the weekend. Leading from the opening gun, Dobson split 15:53.15 to secure NCAA "B" cuts and NEWMAC First Team All-Conference honors, while finishing 43 seconds ahead of second place. Senior Udit Garg finished third overall, while junior Zack Cordero and sophomore Eric Roselli placed seventh and eighth, respectively, as MIT dominated the event.
In the 200 back, Stumbaugh earned another NCAA "B" cut for the Cardinal and Gray while posting the second-fastest time in program history with a clip of 1:52.08. Stumbaugh closed second overall in the race with freshmen Ryan TerBush and Jim Griffin taking fifth and eighth.
Senior Laurent Charpentier, who won the 200 free earlier in the meet, followed up that performance with a convincing win and school record in the 100 free. Charpentier split 45.16 and nearly missed on an NCAA "A" cut, while the ferocious swim set a NEWMAC championship record. MIT authored two other strong performances in the championship final, with Luke Cummings notching an NCAA "B" with a fourth-place finish of 45.70, and Peter Wellings closing sixth in 46.67. Cummings' time also bested the previous Institute record, while the Engineers tacked on additional points in the event as Jeff Zhou and Andrew Pierson finished 1-2 in the consolation final.
Another narrow miss on an NCAA "A" cut did little to dampen MIT's commanding performance in the 200 breast. Racz set a NEWMAC championship record and pool record while cruising to a sweep of the breast stroke events in 2:03.77. A pair of freshmen finished third and fourth for the Engineers as David Parell closed in 2:08.94 and Alejandro Dos Reis swam 2:09.49. Junior John Walk finished eighth in the race as MIT swimmers boasted half of the field. Adding to Tech's success in the event, rookie Yang Yang secured a four-second victory in the consolation final.
Taking three of the top five spots, MIT once again flexed its depth in the 200 fly. Freshman Matt Chapa erased one of the oldest records on the Institute's books to pace the effort, finishing second overall in 1:53.75. The final time eclipsed Andy Renshaw's '84 swim of 1:54.30 set during the 1982-83 season and resulted in an NCAA "B" cut. Sophomore Toomas Sepp finished fourth in the race, with senior Deke Hu closing in fifth.
The Engineers put the finishing touches on their dominating team win with another record-breaking relay effort. Finishing first in 3:03.07 in the 400 free relay, the team of Wellings, Cummings, Pierson, and Charpentier smashed the school record by two seconds while wiping out the NEWMAC open and championship marks. Cummings and Charpentier were both under 45 seconds for their splits, with Charpentier reeling off a meet-best 44.19 to anchor the victory.