Five Weeks Left and the NEWMAC Is Not Slowing Down

By Kelley Baylis, Swimming World College Intern

The New England Men’s and Women’s Athletic Conference is about five weeks out from wrapping up the season with the NEWMAC Conference meet that will take place February 19-22 at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. The ten teams from the conference that will show up for NEWMACs will be Babson, Clark, Coast Guard, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Mount Holyoke, Smith, Springfield, Wellesley, Wheaton, and Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI). For many schools, this past week has been their first competition meets back since winter break. After this break, it will be interesting to see how these teams step up for the winding down of the season.


Many teams in the conference came back from winter training trips and began competing the second week in January, raking in wins for their teams. The Wheaton College Lyons produced wins from the previous meets against Trinity, Clark, and Babson. WPI women lost a recent meet against Bowdoin while the men’s team won. MIT has brought in two wins in recent meets against Coast Guard and Tufts University. The men and women of Springfield won against Union at a recent tri-meet.


MIT will face Williams College on January 23. Williams is apart of the NESCAC and will produce many impressive swims over the course of the meet. At a recent meet against Tufts, Tech’s Alex Lednev broke school records in the 100-yard backstroke (51.83) and the 400-yard IM  (4:13.73). Douglas Kogut, also of Tech, set school records in the 200-yard butterfly (1:54.46) and 200-yard backstroke (1:54.16).

Although Williams has impressive swimmers such as Christian Gronbeck, distance swimmer who recently earned an NCAA ‘B’ cut in the 1650 freestyle (15:54.46). This upcoming meet will be one to watch on both sides.


This week the Lyons will travel to UMass-Dartmouth to compete in a tri-meet along with WPI on January 21, then host Tufts for one of the final home meets on January 24. At the most recent meet against Babson, impressive swims were shown from Richard Jenkins in the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 1:59.20. Sam Zarfos touched in third for the 100-yard breaststroke with the fastest time for Wheaton at 1:03.59. On the women’s side, Cara Morris contributed two individual wins in both the 100 and 200-yard freestyle with times of 57.90 and 2:08.10. With the end of the season rapidly approaching the Lyons will certainly use these next home meets to their advantage.


At the recent Worcester City Championship meet, WPI men won 20 events over the course of the Friday-Saturday meet. Alex Powers had an incredible meet with his five event wins in the 200-yard backstroke, 100-yard backstroke, 200-yard freestyle relay, 400-yard medley relay, and the 200-yard medley relay. Powers was apart of the record breaking 400-yard medley relay team alongside Tim Petri, David Smallwood, and Andrew Bauer. Bauer was the top male swimmer of the meet winning all three freestyle sprint events as well as four victorious relays. Diver Veronica Nikolaki took the top diver for the meet, winning both the 1-meter and 3-meter dive.


Babson will compete against Bentley on January 20 and host a home meet on January against Bridgewater State. Diver Paris Ekman has continued her excellent season and placed first in both the 1-meter and 3-meter dives at the recent meet against Wheaton. Austen Noh won the 100-breaststroke with a time of 1:01.13. As expected, An Truong posted impressive times in distance events, winning the 100-yard freestyle at 10:13.19 and 4:54.03 in the 500-yard freestyle.


The Clark Cougars will host a meet on January 24 against the Coast Guard Academy. Melissa Orzechowski swam well in her distance events at the Worcester City Championships posting second-place finish in the 1650-yard freestyle with a time of 18:04.00 and another second-place finish in the 500-yard freestyle at 5:17.87. Another impressive swimmer, Jack Hall, posted great times in his events, and blazed to a 1:51.93 in his 200-yard freestyle.


The Coast Guard Bears will compete against Clark on January 24. A standout swimmer on the women’s side, Darlene Sao, recently posted three individual wins at the meet against Merchant Marine. Sao won the 100-yard freestyle, 200-yard freestyle, and 200-yard IM. Christian Brindamour and Ross Garrett won two events each at the recent meet. Brindamour won the 50-freestyle with a time of 20.75 while Garrett won the 200-yard freestyle with 1:45.70.


Mount Holyoke will compete against Wellesley College on January 24. At the recent Seven Sisters Championship, Cathleen Pruden captured even more impressive times as well as another school record. Pruden broke the school record in the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 2:24.20 and won the 1650-yard freestyle with 17:41.32. Pruden is always someone to watch for in upcoming meets especially towards the time of NEWMAC Championships.


Springfield will compete at the Middlebury Invitational January 30-31. Impressive swims were shown by Emily Medeiros in breaststroke events this past weekend against NYU. Medeiros won both the 100 and 200 with times of 1:07.70 as well as 2:26.93. Another breaststroker on the team, Tommy Normoyle placed first in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:02.49 against NYU. As always, diver Jack Lewis did not fail to impress with his winnings and national-qualifying scores on both the 1 and 3-meter boards.


Wellesley will swim against Tufts on January 21 and have a home meet against Mount Holyoke Saturday, January 24. Records were recently broken on the diving board at the Seven Sisters Championship. Maura Sticco-Ivins won the 3-meter with a championship record of 512.80 points while also posting a MHC record of 515.50 points in the 1-meter.


January 21: Wellesley against Tufts, at Wellesley

January 21: WPI against UMass Darmouth and Wheaton, at UMass-Darmouth

January 23: MIT against Williams College

January 24: Wellesley against Mount Holyoke, at Wellesley

January 24: Coast Guard against Clark

January 28: WPI against Clark, at Clark

January 30-31: Springfield at Middlebury Invitational

Kelley Baylis is a sophomore swimmer on the Wheaton College women’s swim team, who is currently the school record holder in the 50 and 100 back. Prior to joining the Lyons, Baylis trained with the Wilton Y Wahoos in Connecticut.


  1. avatar

    You mixed up Wellesley and Mount Holyoke. Cathleen Pruden swims for MHC and Maura Sticco-Ivins dives for Wellesley.

    • avatar

      Thanks for letting us know, Emma! The error has been corrected.