March 19, 2009
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - MIT men's swimming and diving sits in eighth place at the mid-point of the 2009 NCAA Championships following another solid effort in the water that resulted in both of the evening's relays nabbing All-American honors.
The Engineers have scored 82 points and are eighth among the 41 teams that have scored at the nation's premier collegiate showcase. Although the individual events have yet to yield a qualifier for the championship final, the relays continue to shine.
Opening Thursday's final with an Institute and NEWMAC open record in the 200 free relay, the Engineers secured eighth overall with a time of 1:22.01. Jeff Zhou and Luke Cummings delivered a fabulous start for the Cardinal and Gray, splitting 21.12 and 19.84, respectively, while Laurent Charpentier and Peter Wellings closed strong to best a school record that the same quad set during preliminaries. Kenyon College, who leads in the team standings, set a national record of 1:19.15 to win the event.
MIT closed the session with another tremendous swim, splitting 3:21.97 to finish seventh in the 400 medley relay. NEWMAC Rookie of the Year Tim Stumbaugh ignited the effort with a clip of 51.82 in the back stroke, while last week's CollegeSwimming.com National Swimmer of the Week Rastislav Racz followed with a breast stroke leg of 54.54. Brett Boval completed the fly circuit in 50.89 and Charpentier anchored in 44.72 as the Engineers made it 3-for-3 in netting All-American accolades in the relays.
Individually, the Engineers saw action in three events. Charpentier just missed on qualifying for finals after finishing 18th during prelims in the 200 free with a school-record time of 1:40.48. Sophomore Michael Dobson finished just off his career best with a split of 1:42.68.
MIT was busiest in the 100 fly where sophomore Amy Jacobi closed in 58.95, and Boval and Zhou finished in 50.69 and 50.80, respectively. None of the swimmers made it back for finals, although freshman star Boval swam to a new personal best.
Also on the card was a strong performance by senior Nicole O'Keeffe and Stumbaugh in the 400 IM. O'Keeffe set a season-best with a time of 4:44.57, while Stumbaugh, who set an Institute record in the event at the NEWMAC Championships, finished in 4:07.43.