Swimming Dominates Tri-Match To Stay Unbeaten in NEWMAC
By Caroline Huang
ASSOCIATE SPORTS EDITOR
Fresh off Saturday victories against Brandeis University, the MIT Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving teams completed a successful weekend by defeating Springfield College and the United States Coast Guard Academy on Sunday.
Faced with their toughest test to date, the male Engineers secured two victories to stretch their perfect record to 4-0 in NEWMAC action and 6-0 overall. Tech beat Coast Guard (4-2, 3-1) by a score of 163-134 and Springfield (3-7, 1-2) by a more comfortable 185-114.
MIT swimmers lined the pool to cheer on their teammates, and nowhere was the support more evident than during the final event of the meet: the 400-yard freestyle relay. Even after a long two days of swimming, cheering, drying off, and swimming some more, the athletes’ enthusiasm spurred their teammates to one last victory.
The MIT “A” team of Peter J. Wellings ’09, Luke R. Cummings ’10, Jeffrey Y. Zhou ’10, and Craig M. Edwards ’08 barely out-touched a speedy Coast Guard “A” team of Bobby Brown, Dale Cressman, Jack Shadwick, and Jim Okorn. Tech finished the race in a time of 3:11.66, while the Bears were just a shade behind in 3:11.90. The relay was a fitting exclamation point to a great training effort by Tech swimmers, who benefited from a rigorous weeklong training session in Puerto Rico.
Tech also received stellar individual performances from Edwards and freshman standout Rastislav Racz ’10. Edwards contributed by dominating the 100- and 200-yard backstrokes with times of 53.54 and 1:56.45. Racz swept the breaststroke events with winning times of 58.95 and 2:10.76 in the 100- and 200-yard events, respectively.
Other individual victories included Deke Hu ’09 in the 200-yard butterfly, Zhou in the 50-yard freestyle and 100-yard butterfly, and Kalvin D. Kao ’08 in the 200-yard individual medley.
The female Engineers (7-1, 3-0) also out-swam their opponents, beating the defending NEWMAC champion Pride (5-7, 3-1) 176-124 and Coast Guard by a ludicrous score of 230-69.
Prior to the men’s exciting 400-yard relay, the women’s relay “A” team had a similar result: senior standout Katherine C. Thornton ’07 led her teammates Stephanie A. Sidelko ’07, Ashley E. Pinchinat ’10, and Sasha B. Brophy ’08 to a narrow victory over Springfield’s “B” team, winning with a time of 3:44:10.
The 200-yard medley relay also proved a profitable event for MIT’s “A” and “B” teams, which finished first and second, respectively, in 1:54.67 and 1:57.05. The “A” team members were Jennifer A. Chao ’09, Nicole M. O’Keeffe ’09, Ellie S. Souganidis ’10, and Sidelko.
The highlight of the individual events occurred in the 200-yard individual medley, as MIT completed a 1-2-3 sweep with the tandem of O’Keeffe, Chao, and Abigail M. Clark ’09. O’Keeffe finished her race in 2:17.59.
In the 100-yard butterfly, MIT nearly achieved a second 1-2-3 sweep by Souganidis, Priya Parayanthal ’10, and Jessica A. Harpole ’07, but Harpole just missed finishing third to take fourth place. Souganidis won the event with a time of 1:01.35.
Thornton added individual wins in the 1000-yard freestyle with a time of 10:42.75 and the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 5:15.33. Brophy also emerged victorious in the 200-yard freestyle in 1:58.83.
Former NCAA Diving Champion Doria M. Holbrook ’08 was once again victorious in her signature event, one-meter diving, with a score of 241.55. Holbrook also placed second in three-meter diving to newcomer Lauren P. Cipicchio ’10, who won the event with a score of 295.00.
The team effort led head coach Dawn Gerken to give the team the ultimate sign of satisfaction: a well-deserved day off from training. Buoyed by their weekend of solid racing and the impending day off, the Engineers shouted in celebration, “Forget the meet, forget the cheer, let’s go home and drink some...Kool-Aid!”