New England Small College Athletic Conference Championships, Day One

WILLIAMSTOWN, Massachusetts, February 24. WILLIAMS leads the field by 17.5 points at the 2012 NESCAC Men’s Swimming & Diving Championships at the Ephs’ Samuelson-Muir Pool. The hosts have 710 points following day one of the three-day championship. Amherst is second with 692.5 points, while Bowdoin is third with 400.5 points.

In the 200-yard freestyle relay a fiercely competed ‘A’ final saw the Williams quartet of Tom Vieth, Paul Dyrkacz, Alexander Nanda, and Daeus Jorento tie a 18-year-old pool record with a time of 1:21.99.

In the 50-yard breaststroke, Amherst senior Ben McBratney set a new NESCAC record during the morning preliminary swims with a time of 25.56. McBratney captured the 50 breast title during the evening final with a time of 25.84.

Bowdoin senior Mac Routh bettered his own pool record in the 50-yard butterfly, set at the 2010 NESCAC championships, by two tenths of a second, swimming a 22.27 to capture his second career title in the event (2010).

The final for the 500-yard freestyle was a sea of purple, as five Amherst and three Williams swimmers comprised the entirety of the field. Amherst senior Ryan Lichtenfels placed first with a time of 4:31.12, a second and a half ahead of junior Tom Vieth of Williams (4:32.70). From start to finish the field was within seven seconds of each other, no small feat in an event of that distance.

Senior Timothy Walsh from Connecticut College broke the NESCAC meet record in the 50-yard backstroke during the morning preliminary swims with a time of 22.77, bettering his 2011 record time by 0.01 seconds.

In the 200-yard IM, Amherst and Williams once again squared off, with five Williams swimmers facing down the challenge posed by three opponents from Amherst. Paul Dyrkacz from Williams, the defending champion in the event , swept away the field with a time of 1:50.02. Dyrkacz’s time broke an 18 year old pool record by over half a second.

Tufts senior Owen Rood pulled away from a tightly packed field to earn his first NESCAC title in the 50-yard freestyle. Rood finished with a time of 20.73, just ahead of the outstretched hands of Bowdoin senior Nathan Mecray (20.88) and Williams junior Daeus Jorento (20.91).

Tufts sophomore Johan Schmidt, champion in both the 1-meter and 3-meter diving events at last year’s NESCAC championships, broke a 13 year old pool record by five points in staking his claim once again as one to beat in the diving events. Schmidt scored 496.10 points.

In the final event of the evening, Williams grabbed its second relay title with a victory in the 400-yard medley relay. The quartet of juniors David Taylor, Paul Dyrkacz and Tom Vieth, alongside first year Thad Ricotta had a winning time of 3:22.66.

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