Courtesy Williams Sports Information
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. - Despite trailing by as many as 75 points over the course of the evening, Williams College won the 2012 NESCAC Men's Swimming & Diving Championships with 2,011 points. It was only the second time in championship history that the Ephs cracked 2,000 points.
Amherst finished as runner-up for the second consecutive year with 1,959 points, as the 52-point difference was the closest finish in the 12-year history of the championship. Tufts took third place with 1,030 points.
Amherst held a 75-point lead following the third final of the night, the 100-yard freestyle, however the 200-yard breastroke proved to be a 90-point swing in favor of Williams, which regained the lead by 15 points. The Ephs never looked back, as they gained 75 points over the rival Lord Jeffs in the 200-yard butterfly and came away with the 52-point victory.
Williams junior Paul Dyrkacz was named the Swimmer of the Meet. Dyrkacz won three individual titles (200-yard Individual Medley, 400-yard Individual Medley, and 200-yard Breaststroke). He also swam on three championship relay teams. Dyrkacz broke pool records in both Individual Medley events, and his 200 Breaststroke time of 1:59.70 broke his own NESCAC record.
Connecticut College senior Timothy Walsh won the Four-Year High Point Swimmer Award. Walsh has swept the backstroke events three times in his career (2009, 2011, 2012) in addition to being the four time champion in the 100-yard backstroke.
Tufts sophomore Johann Schmidt was named the Diver of the Meet for the second consecutive year, sweeping both the 1-meter and 3-meter competitions. Schmidt broke pool records in both events. Williams senior Alex Long was named the Four Year High Point Diver award.
Senior Ryan Lichtenfels of Amherst won the 1,650-yard freestyle with a time of 15:43.96, the fourth year in a row that he has won the event at NESCACs. Teammate Tim White came in second, swimming 15:47.20.
In the 200-yard backstroke, Connecticut College senior Timothy Walsh completed a sweep of the backstroke events at this year's championships. It is the third time in his career that Walsh has completed the trifecta (2009 & 2011). Walsh's time of 1:49.04 was just enough to sneak ahead of Amherst first year Conor Deveney, the morning's top qualifier. Deveney finished in 1:49.57.
Tufts senior Owen Rood completed a sweep of the sprint freestyle events, pairing the 100 title with his earlier victory in the 50. Rood finished in 45.03, narrowly separating himself from the rest of the field. Amherst first year Connor Sholtis placed second with a time of 45.53, while Connecticut sophomore Sam Gill came in third (45.70).
Williams packed the field in the 200-yard breaststroke, placing a full five swimmers in the championship final. Junior Paul Dyrkacz broke his own NESCAC record in the event, becoming the first NESCAC swimmer ever to break two minutes in the 200. Dyrkacz finished with a time of 1:59.70, his third consecutive individual title in the event.
Williams rookie Thad Ricotta won his first individual NESCAC title by placing first in the 200-yard butterfly with a time of 1:50.98.
In the 3-meter diving event, Tufts sophomore Johann Schmidt won the fourth individual title of his career as he won both diving events for the second year in a row. His score of 536.25 broke an eighteen year old pool record by nearly 50 points.
The final event of the evening, the 400-yard freestyle relay, the Amherst quartet of Ben McBratney, Ryan Lichtenfels, Tyler Hampton and Connor Sholtis swept away the field by placing first with a time of 3:02.89.
1. Williams - 2,011
2. Amherst - 1,959
3. Tufts - 1,030
4. Connecticut College - 964
5. Bowdoin - 903
6. Bates - 796
7. Middlebury - 646.5
8. Colby - 510
9. Hamilton - 458
10. Trinity - 384
11. Wesleyan - 335.5
1,650 Freestyle - Ryan Lichtenfels, Amherst - 15:43.96
200 Backstroke - Timothy Walsh, Connecticut College - 1:49.04
100 Freestyle - Owen Rood, Tufts - 45.03
200 Breaststroke - Paul Dyrkacz, Williams - 1:59.70 *@
200 Butterfly - Thad Ricotta, Williams - 1:50.98
3-meter Diving - Johann Schmidt, Tufts - 536.25 @
400 Freestyle Relay - Amherst - 3:02.89
* - NESCAC record; # - NESCAC meet record; @ - Samuelson-Muir Pool record