CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – MIT propelled to victory over Tufts University, 162-138, on Saturday afternoon in the Zesiger Pool when senior Katherine Thornton won three events and swam to a strong NCAA "B" cut in the 1650-yard freestyle with a time of 17:31.32.
Senior Craig Edwards, sophomore Deke Hu and freshman Rastislav Racz each picked up a pair of individual victories on Saturday afternoon in the Zesiger Pool, but it wasn't enough for MIT to overcome Tufts University, as the Engineers fell, 158-136.
The Engineers moved to 8-1 with the victory, while the Jumbos dropped to 5-3.
The loss, which was Tech's first of the 2006-07 campaign, dropped MIT's record to 6-1. The Jumbos, who entered the meet hot on the heels of a victory over Div. I Boston College on Wednesday night, raised their record to 8-1 with the victory.
Edwards was dominant in the backstroke events, picking up first-place in both the 100-yard (53.82) and 200-yard (1:57.98), while Hu earned maximum points in the 200-yard butterfly (1:59.58) and the 400-yard individual medley (4:20.98).
Racz, who has impressed throughout his freshman season, lowered his NCAA "B" cut time in the 100-yard breaststroke for the second time this season. On this occasion, he clocked in at 58.24, earning the victory in the process. The Bratislava, Slovakia, native also led a 1-2 Tech finish in the 200-yard breaststroke, touching the wall first with a time of 2:09.22, while teammate Kalvin Kao followed up closely at 2:14.25.
The Engineers also notched a pair of relay victories, in both the 200-yard medley and the 400-yard freestyle. The medley team consisted of Edwards, Racz, Hu and Luke Cummings, while the freestyle team was comprised of Edwards, Cummings, Jeff Zhou and Peter Wellings.
Tufts was led by Gregory Bettencourt and Patrick Kinsella, who each picked up multiple victories. Bettencourt finished first in the 200-yard freestyle (1:43.28), the 100-yard freestyle (47.90) and the 100-yard butterfly (52.60), while Kinsella won the 1000-yard freestyle (10:04.30) and the 500-yard freestyle (4:52.32).
Thornton picked up individual victories in both the 1000-yard (10:31.96) and the 500-yard (5:12.16) freestyle events and was also part of the winning 400-yard freestyle relay team along with freshman Ashley Pinchinat, junior Sasha Brophy and senior Stephanie Sidelko, which touched the wall with a time of 3:46.66. The El Cajon, Calif., native outpaced her closest competitor in the 1000-yard freestyle by more than 30 seconds.
Head coach Dawn Gerken was thrilled with the senior's performance, saying, "Kate Thornton's mile today was a spectacular swim. She has been training incredibly well this year and has the confidence and talent to be a force at the national level."
Junior diver Doria Holbrook picked up the victory in the three-meter diving competition in style by breaking the Institute record for six dives with a score of 349.30. The co-captain is currently ranked No. 1 in Div. III for the event.
Sophomore Jen Chao led 1-2 finishes for the Engineers in a pair of butterfly events, as she touched the wall ahead of all other swimmers in both the 100-yard (1:02.23) and the 200-yard (2:16.19). Priya Parayanthal picked up second-place in the 100-yard (1:02.51) while Nicole O'Keeffe grabbed the number two spot in the 200-yard (2:18.69).
Stephanie Brown matched Chao's feat, taking first-place in 1-2 Tech finishes in both the 100-yard (1:03.96) and 200-yard (2:16.98) backstroke events. Parayanthal was next in the 100-yard (1:04.72) while Chao herself was second best in the 200-yard (2:18.62).
Other individual winners for the Cardinal and Gray included Brophy, who won the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:58.94, and O'Keeffe, whose time of 2:34.00 in the 200-yard breaststroke was good enough to garner maximum points.
MIT's other victory came in the 200-yard medley relay in which the team of Ellie Souganidis, Parayanthal, O'Keeffe and Sidelko was quickest with a mark of 1:54.72.
Senior Chloe Young-Hyman was Tufts' top competitor, picking up a trio of victories in the 100-yard breaststroke (1:08.11) and both the 50-yard (25.36) and the 100-yard (54.73) freestyle events.
The Engineers will return to the water on Saturday, Jan. 27, when they travel to Amherst College to take on the Lord Jeffs in a meet that will begin at 1:00 p.m. The Jumbos will next compete when they host Bates College and Wheaton College that same day at 12:00 p.m.