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Thornton, Swimming Defeat Tufts 162-138, Improve Record to 8-1

By Jeff Lemieux

Katherine C. Thornton ’07 won three events and swam to a strong NCAA “B” cut in the 1650-yard freestyle with a time of 17:31.32 to help propel MIT (8-1) to victory over Tufts University (5-3), 162-138, on Saturday afternoon in the Zesiger Pool.

Thornton’s impressive 1650 time places her sixth among Div. III swimmers in the country in that event. She also picked up individual victories in both the 1000-yard (10:31.96) and the 500-yard (5:12.16) freestyle events and was part of the winning 400-yard freestyle relay team along with Ashley E. Pinchinat ’10, Sasha B. Brophy ’08 and senior Stephanie A. Sidelko ’07.

Thornton was particularly dominant in the 1000-yard freestyle, winning by more than 30 seconds.

Head coach Dawn Gerken was thrilled with the senior’s performance, saying, “Kate Thornton’s mile today was a spectacular swim. She has been training incredibly well this year and has the confidence and talent to be a force at the national level.”

Diver Doria M. Holbrook ’08 won the three-meter diving competition in style by breaking the Institute record for six dives with a score of 349.30. The co-captain is currently ranked No. 1 in Division III for the event.

Jennifer A. Chao ’09 led 1-2 finishes for the Engineers in a pair of butterfly events, as she touched the wall ahead of all other swimmers in both the 100-yard (1:02.23) and the 200-yard (2:16.19). Priya Parayanthal ’10 picked up second-place in the 100-yard (1:02.51), while Nicole M. O’Keeffe ’09 grabbed the number two spot in the 200-yard (2:18.69).

Stephanie M. Brown ’10 matched Chao’s feat, taking first in both the 100-yard (1:03.96) and 200-yard (2:16.98) backstroke events. Parayanthal was next in the 100-yard (1:04.72) while Chao was second best in the 200-yard (2:18.62).

Other individual winners for the Cardinal and Gray included Brophy, who won the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:58.94, and O’Keeffe, whose time of 2:34.00 in the 200-yard breaststroke was good enough to garner maximum points.

MIT’s other victory came in the 200-yard medley relay in which the team of Ellie S. Souganidis ’10, Parayanthal, O’Keeffe and Sidelko was quickest with a mark of 1:54.72.

Chloe Young-Hyman was Tufts’ top competitor, picking up a trio of victories in the 100-yard breaststroke (1:08.11) and both the 50-yard (25.36) and the 100-yard (54.73) freestyle events.

The Engineers will return to the water on Saturday, Jan. 27, when they travel to Amherst College to take on the Lord Jeffs in a meet that will begin at 1:00 p.m.

Men Suffer First Loss of Season

Craig M. Edwards ’07, Deke Hu ’09 and Rastislav Racz ’10 each picked up a pair of individual victories on Saturday afternoon in the Zesiger Pool, but it wasn’t enough for MIT (6-1) to overcome Tufts University (8-1), as the Engineers fell 158-136.

Edwards was dominant in the backstroke events, picking up first-place in both the 100-yard (53.82) and 200-yard (1:57.98), while Hu earned maximum points in the 200-yard butterfly (1:59.58) and the 400-yard individual medley (4:20.98).

Racz, who has impressed throughout his freshman season, lowered his NCAA “B” cut time in the 100-yard breaststroke for the second time this season. On this occasion, he clocked in at 58.24, earning the victory in the process. The Bratislava, Slovakia, native also led a 1-2 Tech finish in the 200-yard breaststroke, touching the wall first with a time of 2:09.22, while teammate Kalvin D. Kao ’08 followed up closely at 2:14.25.

The Engineers also notched a pair of relay victories, in both the 200-yard medley and the 400-yard freestyle. The medley team consisted of Edwards, Racz, Hu and Luke R. Cummings ’10, while the freestyle team was comprised of Edwards, Cummings, Jeffrey Y. Zhou ’10 and Peter J Wellings ’09.

Tufts was led by Gregory Bettencourt and Patrick Kinsella, who each picked up multiple victories. Bettencourt finished first in the 200-yard freestyle (1:43.28), the 100-yard freestyle (47.90) and the 100-yard butterfly (52.60), while Kinsella won the 1000-yard freestyle (10:04.30) and the 500-yard freestyle (4:52.32).

The Engineers will return to the water on Saturday, January 27, when they travel to Amherst College to take on the Lord Jeffs in a meet that will begin at 1:00 p.m. The Jumbos will next compete when they host Bates College and Wheaton College that same day at 12:00 p.m.