March 13, 2007
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Senior Craig Edwards and freshmen Rastislav Racz, Jeff Zhou and Luke Cummings will head to Houston, Texas, later this week, to represent MIT's men's swimming and diving team at the NCAA Championships, which will be hosted by the University of Houston. Edwards will serve as a calming presence for the trio of rookies, as he will be making his third and final trip to Nationals.
The competition will take place from Thursday, Mar. 15 to Saturday, Mar. 17.
All four swimmers will be competing in four relays together, while Edwards, Racz and Zhou will take part in individual events, as well.
The men will open up with the 200-yard freestyle relay, in which they're ranked 17th in the nation with a season-best time of 1:24.61. Next up will be the 400-yard medley relay, a race in which the quartet is ranked 11th with a seed-time of 3:26.45. Immediately following the 400-medley will be the Cardinal and Gray's strongest event, the 200-yard medley relay. The Engineers tote a national-ranking of 6th and a season-best time of 1:33.42 into that swim. The 400-yard freestyle relay will then close the competition on Saturday evening, as the team will look to improve upon its 17th-place ranking and seed-time of 3:08.01.
Edwards, a native of Brookfield, Conn., is no stranger to the pressures of the NCAA National Championships. As a freshman, he was MIT's lone representative at the competition and put on a dazzling display, breaking his own Institute record en route to finishing fourth in the 100-yard backstroke before again finishing fourth in the 200-yard backstroke. His efforts earned him All-America accolades in both events. He then topped himself by finishing third in the 100-back and again earning All-America honors in the 200-back during his sophomore year, while also competing in the 400-yard medley relay, 200-yard medley relay, 400-yard freestyle relay and 200-yard freestyle relay.
This year, in addition to the relays, Edwards will once again compete in the 100-yard and 200-yard backstroke events. He carries a national ranking of 8th into the 100 (51.73) and 9th into the 200 (1:52.20).
Racz, a phenomenal freshman from Bratislava, Slovakia, will take his 10th-place national ranking into the 100-yard breaststroke (57.15) before looking to solidify an 8th-place ranking in the 200-yard breaststroke (2:05.07).
Zhou, from Buffalo, N.Y., will compete in the 100-yard butterfly with a national ranking of 22nd and a seed-time of 51.13, while Sturgeon Bay, Wis., native Cummings will only compete in the relays.
Tech finished 49th at last year's National Championships, while Kenyon College won an unprecedented 27th consecutive title.