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Swimming and Diving Takes NEWMAC Second Place

By James D. Kramer
DIRECTOR OF SPORTS INFORMATION

MIT women’s swimming and diving closed out an outstanding effort at the 2006 NEWMAC Championships on Sunday, earning two more national cuts and setting two additional Institute records while securing second place in the team standings. National power Springfield College won an unprecedented sixth consecutive team crown 220 points ahead of MIT, and Wellesley College finished 140 points behind the Engineers for third.

During the three day competition, the Engineers set 10 Institute records and qualified four swimmers and a diver for the NCAA Championships. Kate C. Thornton ’07, Doria M. Holbrook ’08, Sasha B. Brophy ’08, Julianna K. Edwards ’08 and Nicole M. O’Keeffe ’09 each etched their names into MIT lore with record-breaking performances.

Thornton smashed the Institute record en route to a first-place finish in the 500 freestyle, while O’Keeffe executed the performance of the meet by breaking the championship record in the 400 IM by seven seconds. Edwards picked up her school record and NCAA cut in the 200 back, while Brophy powered to victories in the 100 and 200 free.

Holbrook, the reigning NCAA Diver of the Year, finished second with record-breaking efforts on both boards over the weekend, and she wiped out the oldest standards in the MIT logs (Lori Peterson ’85) en route to runner-up honors.

Orji closes in on national title

Uzoma A. Orji ’06 took another step toward a third national title after leading the Engineers with a commanding performance at the New England Division III Track and Field Championships. The Engineers finished fourth overall out of 25 teams, although MIT garnered most of its points behind the dominating efforts of its six-time All-America thrower.

Orji set championship meet records en route to a first-place finish in both the 35-pound weight throw (629.25) and the shot put (5710). Orji is currently ranked first in the nation for the shot put and fourth in the weight throw.

Men’s basketball wins 62-61

Mike W. D’Auria ’06 scored an eight-foot one-handed runner with 2.1 seconds left in regulation to lift MIT past Springfield College, 62-61, in men’s basketball last Saturday. Coupled with a loss by Coast Guard, MIT secured the No. 2 seed for the NEWMAC Tournament and completed its best season ever in league play.

Wrestler Cutting takes 5th place

MIT Men’s wrestling captain Alex C. Cutting ’07 closed out the season with three wins, and took fifth place in the 174-pound weight class at the New England College Conference Wrestling Association (NECCWA) Championship hosted by Wesleyan University.

Cutting was the bright light for MIT, scoring a 7-2 decision over Norwich University’s Steve Celino before pinning Jeremy Stuart of Wesleyan at 5:10.

Cutting finally bowed out to third-place finisher Jerome Owens of Johnson & Wales, however he managed to finish fifth by defeating Jim Durkin of Western New England College 9-5.

Women’s gymnastics beats RI

Women’s gymnastics overcame an injury-depleted lineup to sweep the season series with Rhode Island College over the weekend. Last week, the Engineers posted a team total of 182.525 points, the highest Division III score in the nation.

MIT’s average meet total of 178.787 ranks third across the country, while four members of Tech’s gymnastics unit are ranked nationally. Freshman standout Julia C. Zimmerman has paced the MIT attack and is currently ranked first in the nation in the all-around and balance beam.