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Swimming Wins Championships

By Jonathan Goler

TEAM CAPTAIN

For the second straight year, the MIT men’s swimming team won the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference championships, held this past weekend at Zesiger Sports and Fitness Center pool.

Swimmers from the United States Coast Guard Academy and Springfield College were no match for the power and depth of the MIT team, and MIT dominated the meet right from the first day, with a spectacular win, and national “B” cut of 1:35.53 in the 200 medley relay. The team of Jonathan S. Varsanik ’04, Bruce J. DiBello ’05, Matt N. Styczynski ’04, and Erdem M. Kiciman ’04 are now in the running for the NCAA Division III national meet, held at Emory University.

On Saturday, Nicholas O. Sidelnik ’05, David D. Lohrey ’05, and Maike Geng ’04 swept the 400 individual medley, with Sidelnik swimming a 4:07.95, another B cut. Bruce DiBello followed up with a win and B cut in the 100 Breast, with a time of 58.03. Captain Chris G. Lucas ’03 was MIT’s top 1,650 swimmer, breaking the pool record with a time of 16:50.80.

Sunday rounded out MIT’s domination, with DiBello and Lohrey going 1-2 in the 200 breast, both with national B qualifying times. DiBello was named NEWMAC runner-up swimmer of the meet.

MIT handily beat the competition, with a score of 920, over Coast Guard’s 771 and Springfield’s 657. Following the victory, Coach Josef M. Kurtz PhD ’96 was named NEWMAC coach of the year.

The victory culminates the most successful season in MIT Swimming history. The men’s team accumulated a 9-1 record, and qualified 6 men for nationals, the most ever. Combined with the women’s 7 B cuts, nearly a quarter of the combined team hit national cuts.

Next week, the MIT women’s national team heads to Emory for NCAA division III nationals. The relay team of Captain Kirstin M. Alberi ’03, Kathryn M. Duffy ’04, Georgene M. Hilb ’04, and Monica F. Morrison ’04 will compete in the five relay events. Morrison will also complete in the 50- and 100-meter freestyle.