Swimming Falls to Amherst; Meade Crushes CompetitorsBy Ognen J. Nastov
In the last home meet of the season, the men's swimming and diving team was defeated by Amherst College at the Alumni Pool last Saturday.
"We were hoping to beat them, but we were missing a few key people," said Team Tri-captain Brian Meade `93. "We did swim pretty well though," added Meade.
The meet opened with a thrilling victory for the Engineers in the 400-yard medley relay. MIT's A-squad, composed of Ted Achtem '95, Vijay Lathi '94, Brian Meade '93, and Chad Gunnlaugsson '93 clocked a strong 3 minutes, 39.42 seconds, outtouching Amherst by 0.05 seconds. "We wanted to gain momentum with a big victory at the start," explained Tri-captain Bob Rockwell '93.
Rockwell captured solid second place finishes in the 500- and 1000-yard freestyles, achieving his season's fastest times in both events. The number two spot in the 200-yard breaststroke was claimed by Brian Dye '96, and in the 200-yard individual medley, by Achtem. In his specialty event, the 200-yard backstroke, Achtem triumphed with a winning time of 2:00.18, 2.76 seconds ahead of the runner-up from Amherst.
While Amherst's swimmers went 1-2 in both the 200-yard butterfly as well as the 50-yard freestyle, Meade crushed his competitors in the 100- and 200-yard freestyles. Meade's time of 47.40 in the 100-yard freestyle was his best ever dual meet performance in this event.
The MIT divers performed well, placing first and fourth in the 1-meter springboard, and 1-3 in the 3-meter springboard. Rajesh Anandan '95 claimed the top spot in both diving events. In spite of his victories, he was not all too happy with his diving at the meet. "I am looking forward to a much better performance at New England [championships]," he said.
The 400-yard freestyle relay concluded the meet, with the Engineers going 2-3 to wrap up the final score to 138-105 for Amherst. "Although it was a victory for the wrong team, we swam very well, and we are ready for New England [championships]," said Head Coach John Benedick.
The swim team also suffered a loss at the dual meet with Southern Connecticut State University. "We expected to lose that meet," explained Meade. "SCSU is a strong Division II team, and we were not rested [for the meet]."
The Engineers will continue with practices until the last dual meet of the season with Bowdoin College this Saturday. The team will then begin to taper in preparation for the Division III New England Championships in early March. "It will be a battle for second place," said Meade, "but we have a good shot for a number of people to win individual events at New England's."