MIT Powers to First-Place Finish at Winter Invitational
Dec. 2, 2007
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Proving that it is a force to be reckoned with on the national stage, MIT's 15th-ranked men's swimming and diving team won 17 of 18 swimming events en route to a first-place finish at this weekend's MIT Invitational, held over the course of Friday and Saturday in Zesiger Pool. The Engineers won the event with a final team score of 1082.5, beating out Tufts University, which finished with 1046.5.
Brandeis University (554.5), Colby College (418), Bowdoin College (239.5) and Wheaton College (216) rounded out the competing schools.
Junior Laurent Charpentier was remarkable for the Cardinal and Gray, winning three individual events and helping five relay teams to decisive victories. Two of Charpentier's individual times were fast enough to earn NCAA "B" cuts - in the 100-yard (46.37) and 200-yard (1:42.93) freestyle events. The Aigues-Mortes, France native also reached a "B" cut in the 200-yard medley relay along with Jeff Zhou, Rastislav Racz and Luke Cummings, as the quartet touched the wall first at 1:34.61.
Charpentier's other individual win came in the 50-yard freestyle, as he led a 1-2-3 finish for MIT. The transfer-student won the event by clocking in at 21.44 and was followed closely behind by Cummings (21.90) and Zhou (22.02).
Junior Peter Wellings teamed with Charpentier, Zhou and Cummings to win the 200-yard freestyle relay with a time of 1:25.62 before freshman Toomas Sepp joined the fun and combined with Zhou, Racz and Charpentier for a victory in the 400-yard medley relay (3:31.09). Charpentier and Wellings were at it again in the 800-yard freestyle relay, touching the wall fastest at 7:10.39 to win along with rookie Michael Dobson and senior Kalvin Kao. The Engineers completed their sweep of the relay events by taking the 400-yard freestyle with a time of 3:09.91 courtesy of Charpentier, Zhou, Wellings and Cummings.
Not to be outdone, sophomore sensation Racz also earned an NCAA "B" cut, winning the 100-yard breaststroke by touching the wall at 57.45. He was followed in second-place by teammate Deke Hu (1:00.84). Racz then led a 1-2-3 finish in the 200-yard breaststroke, finishing at 2:09.19, just ahead of Kao, who clocked in at 2:15.04, and John Walk, who registered a time of 2:17.06.
The 200-yard individual medley and 100-yard butterfly turned out to be massive events for the Engineers, as they took four of the first five spots in each to grab a significant amount of points. Racz won the individual medley with a time of 2:01.42, while Hu, Sepp and Kao finished three-through-five. Sepp then garnered top honors in the butterfly, while Hu, George Rossick and Trace Sauter occupied spots 3-4-5.
MIT also received first-place finishes from Dobson in the 500-yard (4:42.53) and 1650-yard (16:32.47) freestyle events, Kao in the 400-yard individual medley (4:17.67), Zhou in the 100-yard backstroke (54.21) and Hu in the 200-yard butterfly (2:00.81).
Freshman Carson Darling provided crucial points for Tech, as well, finishing second in the three-meter diving competition with a score of 337.95 and coming in third on the one-meter board with a tally of 330.20.
Head coach Dawn Gerken could not have been more pleased with the result, but she was perhaps even more satisfied with the effort and determination of her team.
"This was an absolutely phenomenal meet for this group of athletes, and the win in this competition is huge for this program," she said. "Every single team member stepped up and contributed, and they all deserve to be recognized for this victory."
MIT will take to the water one last time before the winter break, as it will travel to Norton, Mass., on Saturday, Dec. 8, to take on New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference foe Wheaton at 1:00 p.m.