Men's Swimmers Headed To Williams For NESCAC's

February 25, 2010

Williams College will host the 2010 NESCAC Men's Swimming & Diving Championships. The event will take place from Friday, February 26th through Sunday the 28th. Events begin at 10:00 a.m. each day, with finals taking place in the evening. You can watch the finals each night live on PPV ($6) at: http://www.teamline.cc/sportpage?teamcode=0126&eventcode=38

Williams College, winner of eight conference titles, will look to add to its legacy this weekend when the Ephs host the 2010 installment of the NESCAC Men's Swimming & Diving Championships. The three-day meet begins Friday, Feb. 26 at the Muir-Samuelson Pool in Williamstown, Mass., and concludes on the evening of Sunday, Feb. 28.

Although Williams won the 2009 title over Tufts by 237.5 points, the closest margin since 2003, the Ephs had to battle past the Jumbos in order to obtain their seventh-straight title. Tufts held the lead after day one last year before Williams moved to the front of the pack on day two with a 52.5 point advantage over the Jumbos. The Ephs left little doubt on day three, as strong performances in the morning qualifiers allowed Williams to gain an extra 185 points during the evening finals en route to a successful title defense. The Jumbos came in second for the third time in the last four years, scoring 1,538 points. In third was Amherst with 1,364 points, followed by Connecticut College in fourth - the best finish for the Camels ever at the league meet - with 957 points. Wesleyan rounded out the top five, accumulating 815.5 points.

The mid-distance freestyle events could be a key battleground between Amherst and Williams this weekend. Junior Alex Fraser (Willowbrook, Ill.) will look to have a strong set of performances for the Lord Jeffs after capturing the 100, 200 and 500-yard freestyle races last winter. Fraser placed second in the 200 and 500 free during his first championship appearance two years ago, then broke the meet record in the 100 and 500 last year. A host of challengers, including a few familiar faces, will look to unseat Fraser. In the 100, seniors Tad Homchick (Mercer Island, Wash.) of Amherst and Grant Moryan (Westfield, N.J.) of Connecticut College both finished in the top five, with Moryan edging out Homchick for fourth. Moryan won the 100 free in 2008 and set the championship record in the 50 in 2009, however he may be hard-pressed to repeat in the latter event with the likes of sophomores Ben Wampler (Glencoe, Ill.) of Williams and Bowdoin's Nathan Mecray (Cumberland, Maine) posting some of the fastest times this year. Newcomers Sheng Hu (Lake Bluff, Ill.) of Amherst and Tom Vieth (Louisville, Ky.) of Williams could pose a threat in the 200, while junior Gary Roberson (Tigard, Ore.) from the Ephs and sophomore Ryan Lichtenfels (McLean, Va.) of the Lord Jeffs will be in the mix for the 500. Lichtenfels and Roberson were second and third, respectively, in the 500 last year.

Roberson blew away the field in the 1,000-yard freestyle a year ago, as he won the event for the second-straight time with a record performance of 9:20.56, over 27 seconds faster than classmate David Thompson (Wellesley, Mass.). Eph Rookies John Armstrong (Gladwyne, Pa.) and DJ Taylor (Dallas, Texas) will be in contention along with Roberson for the 1,000 and the trio hope to provide Williams with a 1-2-3 finish for the third consecutive year. Lichtenfels had his own record performance last year, establishing a new standard in the 1,650 and denying Roberson a repeat win in the race.

The 2010 breaststroke events will feature a new champion, as the winners at the 2009 NESCAC meet have all graduated. Heading into the weekend, Bowdoin's Mecray, the top returner in the 100-yard breaststroke, holds the best time in the conference in that event along with the 50. Other competitors to watch for in the breaststroke races are seniors Sam Perley (Charlotte, N.C.) of Connecticut College and Lawrence Chan (Fresh Meadows, N.Y.) of Tufts along with the sophomore tandem of Bart Federak (Towaco, N.J.) and Mike O'Connor (Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y.) from Amherst. Federak touched the wall nearly two seconds ahead of O'Connor for second in the 200-yard breaststroke last year.

Connecticut College sophomore Tim Walsh (Lincoln Park, N.J.) became the first swimmer to sweep the breaststroke events in meet history at last year's championship. Walsh's record time in the 200-yard backstroke edged out Amherst sophomore Tim White (Centerport, N.Y.) by less than half a second, however White enters the weekend with the top time in the conference in the 200. Along with White, a host of competitors will look to deny Walsh's repeat bid in all three events, including Tufts sophomore EJ Testa (Cheshire, Conn.) and rookies Daniel Schwab (San Diego, Calif.) of Amherst and Basyl Stuyvesant (Allison Park, Pa.) of Bowdoin.

The butteryfly events should feature a battle between Connecticut College senior Pat Troy (Bradford, N.H.) and Middlebury junior John Dillon (Wellesley, Mass.). Troy was the runner-up to 2009 Swimmer of the Meet Norman Scott from Williams in all three of the fly races last year. With Scott having moved on due to graduation, Troy will look to claim his first individual title, as he currently owns the top times in the conference in the 50 and 100-yard butterfly events. Dillon won the 100-yard breaststroke as a sophomore at the 2008 championship after placing second in 2007 and has also earned a second place showing in the 200 race at his last two NESCAC meets.

In diving, Tufts senior Robert Matera (Trumbull, Conn.) enters the weekend with the highest scores this season in the 1 and 3-meter events. Matera placed second in both dives at last year's NESCAC championship. Other divers to watch for include junior teammate Trevor Stack (Northbrook, Ill.), Wesleyan sophomore Gianfranco Galluzzo (Durham, Conn.), and Middlebury freshman Omar Carmical (San Leandro, Calif.). Galluzzo turned in a third place performance in both events during his first championship appearance last winter.

Connecticut College had a strong showing in the relay events at the 2009 meet, finishing among the top three teams in three races and winning the 200-yard freestyle relay. The Camels may be poised to repeat in the 200 free relay and could also come away with titles in the medley relays. Other teams in the relay hunt will include Amherst, Middlebury, Tufts, and Williams.

-- courtesy NESCAC --