2014 NESCAC Men's Swimming & Diving Championships Preview

2014 NESCAC Men's Swimming & Diving Championships Preview

HADLEY, Mass. – Williams will be in search of its 12th straight and 13th overall conference crown when the 2014 NESCAC Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships take place this weekend at LeRoy Greason Pool at Bowdoin College. The three-day meet starts on Friday with preliminary heats in the morning and championship races in the evening.

Competition will get underway each day with preliminary heats at 10 a.m. Finals will begin at 6 p.m. on Friday, 5:50 p.m. on Saturday and 5:30 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $6 per session for adults and $2 per session for children and students. No all-session passes will be available. Doors will open three hours prior to each session. Live webcasts and results from the NESCAC Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships will be available throughout the weekend at www.nescac.com.

Williams won the 2013 Championship behind the strength of 10 first-place finishes to accumulate 1,936.5 points. The Ephs trailed Amherst (1,824.5) by eight points following the first day of the championships, but overtook the Jeffs on day two and never looked back. Amherst finished comfortably in second place for its third consecutive runner-up finish. Connecticut College (1,098) held off a late charge from Tufts (1,080) to hang on for third place, while the Jumbos finished safely in fourth.

If Williams looks to continue its reign as NESCAC Champion, it will have to replace graduated Four-Year High-Point Swimmer and three-time Swimmer of the Meet Paul Dyrkacz. Dyrkacz was a four-time champion in the 200-yard breaststroke and a three-time champion in the 200 and 400 individual medleys.

Live Results
Live Diving Results
2013 Team Standings
2013 Individual Winners

Amherst first-year Greg Han (Cheshire, Conn.) has burst onto the scene with the conference’s fastest times in the 200 and 400-yard individual medleys, but will have to beat sophomore Knox Young (Renton, Wash.) of Williams and first-year William Metcalfe (Hong Kong) of Tufts in the 200, and junior teammate Ben Grimes (Louisville, Ky.) and Williams junior Timothy Lattimer (Wilton, Conn.) in the 400 to claim the titles. Han also boasts the top time in the 200 breaststroke ahead of defending 50-yard breaststroke champion sophomore Jake Tamposi (Hernando, Fla.) of Williams and Lattimer. Tamposi will have to out-touch Amherst sophomore Tom Zhang (Chengdu, China) and Bates junior Andrew Briggs (York, Maine) in the 50 if he hopes to retain the title. Zhang is the defending 100 breaststroke champion, but will compete with Tamposi, sophomore Jon Yin (South Setauket, N.Y.) of Williams and first-year Nick Lafky (Sandy Hook, Conn.) of Amherst for top honors in the event.

Williams junior Christian Gronbeck (Simsbury, Conn.), the defending 1,000 and 1,650-yard freestyle champion, owns the league’s fastest 500 freestyle time and the second-fastest 1,000 and 1,650 freestyle times. First-year John Brody (Calabasas, Calif.) of Amherst holds the NESCAC’s top time in the 1,000 and 1,650 with Middlebury’s Michael McGean (Lincoln, Mass.) owning the third-best times in both events. Amherst’s Grimes and first-year Connor Haley (Medfield, Mass.) have emerged as contenders for the 1,650 title behind Gronbeck. Brody and Grimes will also push Gronbeck in the 500.

All three defending backstroke champions return to the championships, but Williams first-year Benjamin Lin (Short Hills, N.J.) holds the league’s top times in the 50 and 100-yard events and ranks second in the 200 as he chases the sweep. Connecticut College senior Sam Gill (Springfield, Ill.), who is the reigning 100 backstroke champion, is behind Lin in the event along with Tufts sophomore Michael Winget (Shelburne, Vt.). Gill and junior teammate Sean Paquette (Middletown, R.I.) top the list of contenders with Lin in the 50 as well. In the 200 backstroke, Williams first-year Matthew Gibson (Rockville, Md.) and Lin will attempt to knock off the defending champion, Amherst junior Conor Deveney (Newtown, Conn.), who enters the championships as the third seed.

In the butterfly, Amherst senior Tyler Bulakul (Bangkok, Thailand) has established himself as a candidate to win all three distances. Bulakul holds the conference’s top time in the 50 and the 100 and is the fourth seed in the 200-yard butterfly, an event in which he is the defending champion. Standing in his way is Gill and Lin in the 50 and 100 along with defending 50-yard butterfly champion senior John MacKay (Vero Beach, Fla.) of Middlebury. A pair of Tufts swimmers, sophomore Anthony DeBendetto (Hopkinton, Mass.) and first-year William Metcalfe (Hong Kong), are seeded first and third in the 200 butterfly, while Amherst sophomore Jeff Anderson (Stamford, Conn.) is seeded second.

Gill, MacKay and Williams first-year John Freeman (Gaithersburg, Md.) will lead the pack in the sprint to the wall in the 50-yard freestyle. MacKay is the returning champion in the event. In the 100-yard freestyle, Amherst junior Connor Sholtis (Evansville, Ind.) will defend his title as the No. 1-seed ahead of Gill and Williams sophomore Alex McCarter (New York, N.Y.). A pair of first-years and sophomores will vie for the 200-yard freestyle title, as Freeman and classmate Grant Johnson (Cincinnati, Ohio), Tufts sophomore Cam Simko (Summit, N.J.) and Amherst sophomore Vic Sun (West Bloomfield, Mich.) are separated by less than two-tenths of a second.

In the diving events, three-time Diver of the Meet senior Johann Schmidt (Nanuet, N.Y.) of Tufts looks to close out his career as a four-time champion on the 3-meter board and three-time champion on the 1-meter board. Schmidt faces stiff competition from Amherst senior Colin White (Evanston, Ill.), who is the reigning 1-meter champion, in both events. Currently, Schmidt possesses the top mark on the 3-meter, while White owns the best 1-meter score. However, junior Tom Kramer (Andover, Mass.) of Bowdoin will contend on the low board and Tufts first-year Matthew Rohrer (Katonah, N.Y.) and Williams junior Rohan Bhatt (Wellesley, Mass.) will compete on the high board.

Williams has posted four of the five top relay times, including the 200 and 800-yard freestyle and the 200 and 400-yard medley relays. Amherst owns the fastest 400 freestyle relay time of the season to go along with the second-best 400 medley relay time and the third-best 200 freestyle, 200 medley and 800 freestyle relay marks. Connecticut College will be a factor in the 200 freestyle and medley relays with the second-fastest time, while being seeded third in the 400 freestyle relay. Tufts hopes to record points as the second seed in the 800 freestyle relay and the third seed in the 400 medley relay.