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Men's Swimming Gains Victory over Bowdoin in Final Contest

By Ted Achtem
Team Member

The men's swimming team traveled to Bowdoin College last Saturday to compete in its final dual meet of the season.

Motivation came from seniors Steve Chan '95 and Ted Achtem '95, who were determined to finish their varsity careers with a victory.

The opening 400-medley relay team, composed of Achtem, Brian Dye '96, Aaron Wong '98, and Timothy Kammerer '98, set the tone of the meet by winning the race by a margin of over 4 seconds.

Ben Soule '96 and Mark "Mad Dog" Lebowitz '98 later decimated the field and engineered a 12 finish in the 1000-yard freestyle.

In the 200-yard freestyle, Kammerer's come-from-behind effort in the last 50 yards resulted in victory by 0.5 seconds.

Bowdoin attempted to stop the Engineer's momentum by winning the 50-yard freestyle, but Achtem and Dye retaliated by taking first and third places in the 200 individual medley.

Diving, a notoriously bad event for MIT, once again proved to be a bleak affair. With Bowdoin's two divers and none from MIT, Bowdoin narrowed the lead after the 1-meter diving event.

However, MIT's 12 placing in the 200 fly by Wong and Joseph Kurtz '96, as well as victories in the 200 backstroke by Achtem and in the 500 freestyle by Soule, offset the points lost in the 3-meter diving and 100 freestyle.

Wong was ecstatic about his race, saying "It was one of my best races; I can't wait to shave my head for the championships!"

After a loss in the 200 breaststroke, though, the score was a dead even 105105.

The final 400 freestyle relay team composed of Kurtz, Chan, Sherrif Ibrahim '96, and Soule determined the outcome of the meet. After strong swims by the first three legs of the relay, Soule anchored a stellar final 100-yard freestyle split of 50.2 seconds to capture the race and the meet.

"That last relay was one of the most exciting races of the year. It feels great to end my senior year with a win," Chan said.

Soule said that this meet is always a good indicator for the upcoming championship: "This was great preparation for the New England's [Championships]. After this meet I know that our team is going to perform extremely well in two weeks."

The final competition for the men this season will be the New England Championships at Bowdoin on Feb. 24-26. Coach John Benedick expects the traveling squad, which will consist of 13 swimmers, to place even higher than last year's eighth place finish.

"The team is larger than last year and hopefully this will allow us to place sixth or seventh overall as a team" said co-captain Dye.

"One of the strengths of the team is our diversity," said co-captain Ibrahim. "We should be able to place top 24 in each event at New England's."