By Reed Shimberg
WILLIAMSTOWN, Massachusetts, March 2. WILLIAMS College easily wrapped up its ninth conference championship as the NESCA Conference Championships on Sunday, easily defeating Tufts and Amherst. Williams scored 1937.5 to win for the seventh consecutive time, while Tufts scored 1452.5 to finish runner up for the third straight year. Notably, Amherst finished third with 1352, and Middlebury finished fourth with 1029.5
The Ephs had individual wins from Gary Roberson in the 1000 freestyle with a time of 9:27.54, Ben Wampler in the 100 free with a national A qualifying time of 44.89, and Paul Drykacz in the 200 breaststroke with a national B qualifying time of 2:05.83. Williams also won the 200 freestyle relay with Wampler, Drykacz, Andrew D'Ignazio, and Graham Righi in a national B time of 1:22.36. Notably, the Middlebury 200 freestyle relay of Schuyler Beeman, John Dillon, Jay Li, and Nick Daly had finished first however they were disqualified due to a false start.
The Jumbos earned one individual victory from Rob Matera in three-meter diving with a score of 465.15. Matera also finished third on the one-meter. The Jumbos defended their 200 medley relay victory from last year with a national B qualifying time of 1:32.28 from Michael Del Moro, Zed Debbaut, Patrick Kinsella, and Owen Rood. The Jumbos later time trialed a 200 freestyle relay with Rood, Gordy Jenkins, EJ Testa, and Kinsella for a national B qualifying time of 1:22.38. Rood leadoff the relay in a national A qualifying time and NESCAC record of 20.33.
The Amherst Lord Jeffs, led by Alex Fraser, Ben McBratney, and Ryan Lichtenfels, had multiple wins over the weekend. Fraser won the 500 freestyle in a national A qualifying time of 4:29.84, the 200 freestyle in a national A qualifying time of 1:39.72, and placed second in the 100 freestyle with a national B qualifying time of 45.24. McBratney won the 200 IM in a national B time of 1:53.45 and the 100 breaststroke in a national B time of 57.22. Lichtenfels won the 400 IM in a national A time of 3:59.85 and the 1650 freestyle in a national A time of 15:45.02. The Lord Jeff's 800 freestyle relay of Lichtenfels, Tim White, Ryan Colby, and Fraser won in a national B time of 6:43.10.
The Middlebury Panthers had individual wins by Dillon and Beeman. Dillon was the only swimmer to win each of his three individual events winning the 50 backstroke in 23.00, the 100 butterfly in a national A time of 49.32(he set the meet record in prelims with a time of 48.84), and the 200 butterfly with a national A time of 1:50.21. Beeman claimed the 50 freestyle with a time of 20.68. The Panthers won the 400 medley relay in a national B time of 3:23.86 with Beeman, Matthew Vukich, Dillon, and Daly and the 400 freestyle relay with a meet and NESCAC record of 3:01.12 with Beeman, Dillon, Bob Divers, and Daly.
Other individual winners on the weekend were Bowdoin's Nathan Mecray in the 50 breaststroke in a time 26.46 and Mac Routh in the 50 butterfly with a time of 22.68, Wesleyan's J.P. Valette in one-meter diving with a score of 456.65, and Connecticut College's Tim Walsh in both the 100 and 200 yard backstroke with national B times of 50.71 and 1:51.20.
Middlebury's coach Peter Soloman earned 2010 NESCAC Coach of the Year for the strong performance his team put up this year. The team improved two positions, and more than 200 points from last year. Matera claimed Diver of the Meet honors, while Dillon took home the Swimmer of the Meet title.
Next up for NESCAC student-athletes is the NCAA Division III Championships. The meet will be held in Minneapolis, Minn., March 17-20.