Coast Guard Defends NEWMAC Title to Take Home Fifth Championship

NORTON, Massachusetts, February 26. THE United States Coast Guard Academy successfully defended its New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Men's Swimming and Diving Championship title on Sunday at Wheaton College's Balfour Natatorium, as the Bears' 990.5 points pushed them to their fifth league crown. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) tallied 856 points during a second-place finish, while Springfield College came in third with 724.5. Both teams have been among the top three at all nine NEWMAC Championships.

Coast Guard took three events on Sunday, as junior Bobby Brown (Ballston Lake, NY) won his third straight 1,650-yard freestyle crown thanks to a provisional time for the NCAA Championship, and he led off for a victorious 400-yard freestyle relay team that had a national meet showing and a NEWMAC Championship record. Brown joined senior Colby Schlaht (Anaheim, CA), junior Jack Shadwick (Campbell Hall, NY) and sophomore Jim Okorn (Euclid, OH) in the 400 free relay. In the 200-yard butterfly event, junior Doug Fallon (Elkton, MD) notched a national meet time during a first-place finish after placing third as a freshman and second as a sophomore.

MIT senior Craig Edwards (Brookfield, CT/Brookfield) took the top spot in the 200-yard backstroke thanks to an NCAA provisional time, while freshman Rastislav Racz (Bratislava, Slovakia/Metodova) won the 200-yard breaststroke competition with a showing that provisionally qualified him for NCAAs and eclipsed the NEWMAC Championship record. In the 100-yard freestyle, Springfield junior Roy Burch (Warwick, Bermuda/The Peddie School) notched an NCAA provisional cut during a victory by 0.02 seconds over Wheaton senior Barrett Roberts (Portland, ME/Deering), as the two matched their 2005 placements after Roberts edged out Burch last year. Roberts also met a national meet time.

Babson College freshman Aaron Paradis (Norwich, CT/Norwich Free Academy) pulled off the double victory in diving, claiming the title from three-meter board and meeting an NCAA standard to match the feat he recorded during his initial NEWMAC Championship event, the one-meter dive.

In the 400-yard freestyle relay, the second- and third-place teams each notched NCAA times. The Springfield College quartet comprised of Burch, senior Paul McCloskey (Brookfield, CT/Brookfield), sophomore Greg Pearsall (Litchfield, CT/Litchfield) and freshman Matt Manoni was second, while MIT's foursome of Edwards, sophomore Peter Wellings (Palm Harbor, FL/Palm Harbor University), and freshmen Luke Cummings (Sturgeon Bay, WI/Sturgeon Bay) and Jeff Zhou (Buffalo, NY/Phillips Andover) finished in the next spot.

A pair of Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) athletes turned in runner-up finishes thanks to NCAA provisional times, as senior Joel Rousseau (Pittsfield, MA/Taconic) and junior Jeff Meyer (Denver, CO/Ramstein American) did so in the 200-yard backstroke and 1,650-yard freestyle events, respectively. Meyer finished second for the second straight year. Schlaht was the 200-yard breaststroke runner up, junior teammate Dan Cloonan (Wethersfield, CT) came in second during the three-meter dive, and MIT sophomore Deke Hu (Casa Grande, CA/Casa Grande) was the second-place swimmer during the 200-yard butterfly.