Amherst Swimming & Diving
1202 Alumni Gym
Amherst College
Amherst, MA 01002

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Jeffs Wrap up Dual Meet Season with Wins Over Springfield

Hunter Mims '10 won the 100 fly and placed second in the 400 IM.

AMHERST, MA – The Amherst College swimming and diving teams closed out their dual meet seasons with convincing wins over Springfield College Saturday afternoon at Pratt Pool. The Lord Jeff women (7-1) won 15 of the 16 events for a 177-109 victory, while the men (6-2) won each of the 14 swimming events for a 159-131 result.

Amherst junior Kendra Stern (Albuquerque, NM) tied her own pool record of 23.67 seconds in the 50-yard freestyle and set a new pool record of 4:54.78 in the 500 to highlight the afternoon’s individual performances.

Prior to the meet, Amherst honored its seven seniors: Tad Homchick (Mercer Island, WA), Hunter Mims (Fairfax Station, VA), Kendall Dacey (West Roxbury, MA), Ellen Fitzgerald (Indianapolis, IN), Anna Haring (Santa Barbara, CA), Chelsea McGuire (Wayzata, MN) and Kaitlin Wojnar (Knoxville, TN).

The Amherst Class of 2010 posted a women’s dual meet record of 30-2—with two perfect seasons to its credit—and a men’s record of 25-7. The talented group combined for a trio of Little Three titles and five top-10 finishes at the NCAA Championships, including a pair of runner-up performances by the women’s team (2007, 2008). Members of the Class of 2010 have combined for four All-America honors and five Honorable Mention performances at nationals, with Fitzgerald helping the Lord Jeffs win a national title in the 400 medley relay in 2008.

Stern’s previous pool record in the 500 had been eclipsed by Williams College earlier this season, but she put her name back in the record book with an NCAA “A” performance. In addition to winning the 500 and swimming an NCAA “B” time in the 50, she helped Amherst begin the meet with a win in the 400-yard medley relay and close out the meet with a dominating performance in the 800-yard freestyle relay.

Joining Stern on the medley relay were Fitzgerald, Dacey and first-year Maddy Sprung-Keyser (Los Angeles, CA), who won the race with a 4:03.92. Haring and Stern then joined first-year Nicole Heise (Ithaca, NY) and sophomore Becca Thompson (Evanston, IL) to win the exhibition 800 free relay in 7:54.39.

Going up against a talented group of Springfield divers, Amherst junior Meggie Meisinger (St. Louis, MO) continued her impressive season by sweeping the diving events. Meisinger won the 3-meter event with a 270.22 before wrapping up her day with a 258.82 on the 1-meter board. 

Sophomore Rebecca Kelley (Richmond, VA) won three individual events for Amherst, including an NCAA “B” performance in the 400-yard individual medley (4:38.80). Kelley followed up by winning the 200-yard breaststroke (2:31.80) and just barely edging teammate Laura Timson (Livonia, MI) in the 100 IM with an exhibition time of 1:02.87.

Ellen Fitzgerald '10 won the 100-yard breaststroke and was part of the winning 400 medley relay in her final dual meet.

Thompson won the 200-yard freestyle (1:58.88) and the 200-yard backstroke (2:11.58), while Dacey came out on top in the 200 fly (2:13.86) and placed second in the 100 fly (1:00.23) just behind Haring (1:00.11) in an exhibition race. Heise and Fitzgerald won the 100-yard backstroke (1:00.70) and 100-yard breaststroke (1:09.69), respectively, to round out Amherst’s winners. Springfield’s Kaitlin Reilly prevented the clean sweep by edging the Jeffs in the 100-yard freestyle (54.66).

All-America diver Brian Sobel put on quite a show for those in attendance at Pratt Pool, winning the 1-meter event with a 337.12 and the 3-meter with a 314.47. Sobel has won four consecutive NEWMAC Diver of the Week honors this season. Matt Fitzgerald was also impressive on the boards, placing second in each event.

Homchick had a stellar performance in the final dual meet of his collegiate career, winning the 50- (21.72) and 100-yard (47.43) freestyles and the 100 IM (54.24), also swimming the butterfly leg of the winning 400 medley relay team. Joining Homchick in the relay were first-year Dan Schwab (San Diego, CA), sophomore Bart Federak (Towaco, NJ) and junior Alex Fraser (Willowbrook, IL), who swam a 3:35.50.

Mims also wrapped up his dual meet career in impressive fashion, edging Federak by 0.07 seconds in the 100 fly (55.19) and placing second in the 400 IM (4:25.61). In addition to finishing just behind Homchick in the 50 free, Fraser swam a 4:49.26 to take the 500.

After finishing ahead of Mims in the 400 IM (4:08.76), sophomore Ryan Lichtenfels (McLean, VA) swam a 1:56.28 in the 200-yard backstroke to place less than half a second ahead of Schwab. Picking up an impressive win in the 200 fly was junior Ryan Colby (Birdsboro, PA), who did not pull even with Springfield’s Tim Ramos until the final 25 yards but managed to hang on for the narrow victory with a time of 2:01.22. Colby also joined Lichtenfels, Fraser and first-year Sheng Hu (Lake Bluff, IL) to win the 800 free relay with a time of 7:01.72, just missing the pool record of 7:01.53.

Also picking up individual wins for Amherst were Federak and sophomore Mike O’Connor (Cold Spring Harbor, NY), who were first to touch the wall in the 100- (1:00.81) and 200-yard breaststroke (2:14.08). Junior Reid Fitzgerald (New York, NY) led Amherst to a 1-2-3 finish in the 100-yard backstroke (54.16), while sophomore Ben McBratney (Evanston, IL) rounded out the winners with a 1:45.95 in the 200 free.

The Lord Jeff women will begin the three-day NESCAC Championships Friday, Feb. 19, at Middlebury College, while the men will kick off their conference championships Friday, Feb. 26, at Williams.