March 18, 2009
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – MIT swimming and diving enjoyed a solid performance in the first day of competition at the 2009 NCAA Championships hosted by Macalester College. The men’s medley relay provided the evening’s biggest highlight as the Engineers set an Institute and NEWMAC open record en route to a fourth-place finish.
Improving on their sixth-place finish during prelims, the team of Jeff Zhou, Rastislav Racz, Laurent Charpentier, and Luke Cummings raced to an incredible finish of 1:30.72 in the last event of Wednesday’s finals. Everyone delivered tremendous splits as Zhou opened with a back stroke leg of 23.65. Racz split 24.73 in the breast and Charpentier swam 22.42 in the fly before Cummings capped Tech’s first All-American honor of the meet with an anchor split of 19.92.
MIT, which boasts a school-record eight swimmers competing at this year’s nationals, finished the first day of competition in sixth place out of the 25 teams that scored.
The women have two entries at NCAA’s, and both swimmers made their debut on Wednesday. Sophomore Amy Jacobi swam 24.68 in the 50 free and senior Nicole O’Keeffe split 5:11.32 in the 500 free, although neither competitor advanced to finals.
Sophomore Michael Dobson also competed in the 500 free, but he also missed finals despite an aggressive start and a final time of 4:39.42. Cummings was the only other individual entry on Wednesday. After setting a school-record in the 50 free during the morning, the junior star smashed the Institute mark again in the consolation final, while finishing 11th overall in a time of 20.46.