Coast Guard Extends Lead Into Final Day of NEWMAC Championships

NORTON, Massachusetts, February 24. THE United States Coast Guard Academy extended its lead through day two of the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Men's Swimming and Diving Championship, as the Bears' quest to defend their championship included top-two placements in five of the seven finals events on Saturday at Wheaton College's Balfour Natatorium. Coast Guard holds a 128.5-point lead in the weekend's three-day competition with 685 points, while Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) moved ahead of Springfield College with 556.5 points. The Pride enters tomorrow morning's final day of competition in third with 505.5 points.

Coast Guard's Bobby Brown (Ballston Lake, NY) notched the meet's first NCAA Championship automatic qualifier for a swimming event, as the junior won his third straight 200-yard freestyle race. The Bears had three swimmers finish in the top five for that event. Brown also anchored the winning 800-yard freestyle relay, joining seniors Colby Schlaht (Anaheim, CA) and Jack Walsh (Newburgh, NY) and junior Jack Shadwick (Campbell Hall, NY) for an NCAA provisional qualifying time. Junior Doug Fallon (Elkton, MD) was victorious for the third consecutive year in the 400-yard individual medley with a provisional standard to round out Coast Guard's victories.

Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) senior Joel Rousseau (Pittsfield, MA/Taconic) was the day's lone individual multiple-event winner, collecting top placements in the 100-yard backstroke and butterfly events. He won his third 100-yard fly title and first back crown with provisional standards in each.

MIT took home the remaining two events of the night, with freshman Rastislav Racz (Bratislava, Slovakia/Metodova) figuring in each of them. Racz set a NEWMAC Championship meet record while provisionally qualifying in the 100-yard breaststroke, and he helped his teammates to a national time in the 200-yard medley relay. The foursome was comprised of Racz, senior Craig Edwards (Brookfield, CT/Brookfield) and freshmen Luke Cummings (Sturgeon Bay, WI/Sturgeon Bay) and Jeff Zhou (Buffalo, NY/Phillips Andover).

Edwards and Zhou also met provisional times in the 100-yard backstroke and 100-yard butterfly event, respectively, as Edwards took second and Zhou tied sophomore teammate Deke Hu (Casa Grande, CA/Casa Grande) for second. Edwards, Hu, junior Kalvin Kao (Santa Monica, CA/Harvard-Westlake) and sophomore Peter Wellings (Palm Harbor, FL/Palm Harbor University) were the runner up in the 800-yard freestyle relay.

Rounding out the second-place individual finishers, each in provisional qualifying marks, were Coast Guard senior Ryan Caple (Littleton, CO) in the 100-yard breaststroke, Springfield senior Paul McCloskey (Brookfield, CT/Brookfield) in the 200-yard freestyle and WPI junior Jeff Meyer (Denver, CO/Ramstein American) in the 400-yard IM. Coast Guard's 200-yard medley relay quartet took second in a national time behind Caple, juniors Christian Berry (Houston, TX) and Dale Cressman (Marriottsville, MD) and sophomore Jim Okorn (Euclid, OH).