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USCG Edges Men's Swimmers

By Ognen J. Nastov

In its second dual meet of the season last Tuesday, the men's swimming and diving team was defeated by the United States Coast Guard Academy by a minor 15-point margin.The meet, held at Coast Guard's Aquatic Center in New London, Conn., opened with the 400 medley relay.

While Coast Guard's A-relay squad won the event, MIT's A-squad out-touched Coast Guard's B-squad by 0.56 seconds, capturing a second place finish. Jon Pfautz '95 swam the anchoring freestyle leg in the relay, and was commended by the team captains for his superb performance.

The Engineers took over the point lead from Coast Guard by winning the next two events. Team co-captain Bob Rockwell '93 was victorious in the 1000 freestyle in 10:32.25, while his teammate Benjamin Soule '96 was second. In the 200 freestyle, team co-captain Jim Bandy '93, the MIT record holder in this event, crushed his competitors with a winning time of 1:48.35, a victory margin of 7.39 seconds over the runner-up swimmer from Coast Guard.

In the ultimate sprint event, the 50 freestyle, co-captain Brian Meade '93 was touched out by Glynn from Coast Guard with a margin of only 0.03 seconds (approximately 2.5 inches). "I missed my turn and lost about a third of second,'' said Meade. But the MIT swimmers regained the point lead with a strong 1-2-6 finish in the 200 individual medley. Vijay Lathi '94 won the event in 2:04.21, 0.23 seconds ahead of second place finisher Ted Achtem '95, who was previously undefeated in this event.

The solid 2-3 finish of the MIT divers in the 1-meter springboard was followed by a 1-2-3 sweep of the 200 butterfly by Coast Guard. MITpartially recovered with a win in the 100 freestyle by co-captain Meade (48.59). Bandy finished third in the same event, out-touched by only 0.07 seconds by Coast Guard's runner-up Glynn.

Although Achtem swam a strong 2:02.19 in his specialty event, the 200 backstroke, he was defeated by Hueller from Coast Guard by 0.88 seconds. In the 500 freestyle, Rockwell triumphed with a winning time of 5:03.54. "It was a come-from-behind victory,'' said Rockwell, who was trailing behind the runner-up, Coast Guard's Burd, at the midpoint of the event. Soule finished third in the same event.

The MIT divers performed very well in the 3-meter springboard. The winning point total of Rajesh Anandan '95 was complemented by a third-place finish by Richard DeCristofaro `93. While Coast Guard's 1-2-4 finish in the 200 breaststroke sealed their victory, the MIT swimmers stayed focused and fielded a victorious 400 freestyle relay squad in the last event of the meet. Similarly to most of the events at the meet, the 400 freestyle relay was an exciting close race, as were most of the meet's events, decided by only 0.06 seconds.

"MIT swam courageously and, indeed, very well for this time of the season,'' said head coach John Benedick. "There were a lot of nice swims, and it was a good, solid team effort overall,'' added Rockwell.

While the long bus ride and the absence of a few key MIT swimmers may have affected the final outcome of this meet, the Engineers refused to embrace any excuses for the narrow loss. "We should have beaten them,'' said Meade, "and we will prove that we are a better team at the New England Championships.''