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Swim Teams Tune-Up For New England Championships

By David Chatwin
Team Captain

The men's and women's swim teams recently competed in the New England Men's and Women's Conference meet as a final tune-up for the New England Championships. The women's competition was held at Mt. Holyoke, where the swimmers placed third out of ten teams.

MIT was well-represented in the 1500 meter freestyle, which has traditionally been a weak point for the Engineers. Led by Allison Fielder '02, Kristen Clements '02, and Berta Liao '00, the distance swimmers placed fifth, eighth, and 16th, respectively.

Not only did the women excel in the longer events, but they practically dominated many of the sprints. The 200 meter medley relay, composed of Liz Krams '00, Erica Fuchs '99, Jen Navarro '00 and Deirdre Dunn '99 placed first and set a new pool record. Not content with that performance, the women had an outstanding showing in the 50 meter freestyle. Dunn took first place by setting yet another pool record and making the National B qualifying time. She was followed closely by freshman swimming sensation, Andrea Harsanyi '02, who came in third. The fearsome sprinting duo of Dunn and Harsanyi also placed well in the 100 freestyle, and were joined by Julie Hong '02, who set a personal record in the event.

The butterfliers did extremely well in the 100 meter fly with Navarro, Harsanyi, and Krams placing second, third and fourth. Navarro also came in second in the 200 fly, beating her bitter arch-rival from Wellesley and revenging a close loss earlier in the season.

To complete the meet, the women's 400 freestyle relay of Harsanyi, Lea Engst '02, Lauren Erb '01, and Dunn broke the pool record that had been also previously set by MIT.

The men's conference championship was held at Springfield College, but due to some miscommunication, the bus carrying the men's swim team accidentally ended up at Mt. Holyoke. The confusion was soon taken care of, and the men arrived at Springfield with enough time to warm up. The team was eager to swim well and to avenge a loss during the regular season against Springfield, their host and rival.

MIT started out very strongly in the 1650 yard freestyle. Grant Kristofek '02, displaying the winning form he has shown all season, won the 1650 with a time of 17:19.68. He was joined in the top ten by Paul Huck '00, Ken McKracken '00, and Corey Gerritsen '02, who also set a personal record for the 1000 yard freestyle during the race.

Dylan Birtolo '00 provided much-needed support in both the 1-meter and the 3-meter diving. Despite being unsure if he would even compete in the 3-meter competition, Birtolo dove excellently and placed third in both events.

Many of the swimmers from MIT had good, but not outstanding performances. There were, however, several bright spots at the meet. Quintin Louie '01, with his last chance to go to the New England Championships made the qualifying time in the 50 yard breaststroke. Also Stefan Bewley '01 overcame season-long shoulder injuries and a sinus infection to swim the anchoring 50 of the 200 medley in 22.4 seconds.

In the end, the depth of the men's team was enough to propel MIT to a second place finish ahead of Springfield by a score of 583 to 572.