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SCSU Defeats MIT Swimmers

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@ByName:Ognen J. Nastov

@ByTitle:Staff Reporter

@Body:The MIT mens swimming and diving team was defeated by Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU) at the MIT Alumni Pool Wednesday.

Given the circumstances, we did swim very well, said Head Coach John Benedick. While we are in the middle of heavy training, SCSU are a week-and-a-half ahead in their training cycle and are already starting to taper for their conference championships which are earlier than ours. SCSU is a Division II team, while MIT is in Division III.

The meet opened with the 400-yard medley relay, in which MITs squad placed second. In the 1000-yard freestyle, David Chatwin 97 continued to show improvements in performing his new role as a distance swimmer, and placed third (11:09.32).

The first victory for the Engineers came in the third event of the meet, the 200-yard freestyle. Christian Hamer 94, an MIT swimming veteran, triumphed with a winning time of 1:51.12. In both the 50-yard and 100-yard freestyles, Matt Lau 97 finished second behind Middleton of SCSU, in 22.72 and 50.66 seconds.

The most exciting moment at the meet came when three MIT swimmers swept the 200-yard butterfly by placing 1-2-3. Joe Kurtz 96 crushed his SCSU competitors in a personal best time of 2:07.51, while the second and the third spots were claimed by tri-captains Alan Liu 94 and Vijay Lathi 94. It was so nice to be swimming fast regardless of the ongoing hard training, said Kurtz. I was swimming my own race, continued Kurtz, I didnt realize that I was winning until I touched the pad, looked around, and realized I was there by myself. Kurtz is looking forward to further improving his 200-yard butterfly time, and placing among the top 16 at the conference championships in late February.

The absence of tri-captain Ted Achtem 95 at the meet, particularly from his specialty event, the 200-yard backstroke, gave SCSU the opportunity to sweep this event and solidify their lead against MIT.

While MIT still swam well, it would have been a different story if Ted was in, acknowledged SCSUs assistant coach Sean Farrell. We were looking forward to a good race between Ted and Michael Jordan, continued SCSUs head coach Bruce Hutchinson. Jordan won the event for SCSU in an exceptional time of 1:57.42.

The Engineers were narrowly defeated in the final event of the meet, the 400-yard freestyle relay. After its initial lead, MITs squad finished second, 0.74 seconds behind the winning squad from SCSU. Coach Benedick singled out the relay performance of Stephen Chan 95 as excellent. The meet ended with a score of 112.5-76.5 in favor of SCSU.

It was a good meet, said SCSU captains Dan Hartnett and Frank Raccio. A lot of people from both teams came through with good swims. Unfortunately, MIT did not have as much depth as we did.

I think our team is right on target, concluded Benedick. While the other teams are seeing no big guns on our team, and are looking away, we are highly motivated to do well, and we will do well at the New England Championships.