Amherst Swimming & Diving
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Amherst College
Amherst, MA 01002

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Fraser Wins 500 Freestyle to Lead Amherst on Day One of Nationals

Alex Fraser '11 is now a two-time national champion in the 500-yard freestyle.

MINNEAPOLIS, MN – Junior Alex Fraser (Willowbrook, IL) won his second consecutive national title in the 500-yard freestyle to highlight Amherst College’s performances in day one of the 2010 NCAA Division III Men's and Women's Swimming and Diving Championships. The Lord Jeffs will continue their week at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center Thursday, Mar. 18.

After nine events, Amherst sits in fifth place with 41 points on the women’s side and in sixth place with 51 points on the men’s. Emory (135) completed day one atop the women’s standings, followed by Denison (102), Williams (81), Kenyon (70) and Amherst. The Kenyon men (173) hold a comfortable lead, with Emory (70.5), Kalamazoo (62), Denison (61) and MIT (53) rounding out the top five.

For the second time in as many years, Fraser kicked off the week for the Amherst men by winning the 500 freestyle. This year’s victory was particularly impressive, as Fraser did not take the lead until the final 50 yards to edge Mike Vernoia ’12 of TCNJ and Ian Stewart-Bates ’13 of Kenyon with a time of 4:24.84. Amherst sophomore Ryan Lichtenfels ’12 (McLean, VA) placed fifth in the event (4:26.31) and Tim White ’12 (Centerport, NY) finished 13th, as the Lord Jeffs led all schools with 38 points in the 500.

Fraser then closed out the first night of competition by swimming the freestyle leg of the 200-yard medley relay, helping the Lord Jeffs earn 13 points with a 10th-place showing. Reid Fitzgerald ’11 (New York, NY), Ben McBratney ’12 (Evanston, IL) and Tad Homchick ’10 (Mercer Island, WA) joined Fraser to swim a 1:32.45, while Kenyon set a new national record of 1:27.74 to win the event.

Kendra Stern ’11 (Albuquerque, NM) put in a dominating performance in the 500-yard freestyle, but her 4:45.53 that broke the previous NCAA record was six one-hundredths of a second behind Caroline Wilson ’13 of Williams College. This is the second consecutive year Stern has been the runner-up in the 500. The two standouts finished nearly five seconds ahead of the rest of the field.

Stern later swam the freestyle leg of the 200 medley relay to help Amherst pick up another 24 points with a seventh-place time of 1:46.25. Also swimming the medley relay for the Lord Jeffs were Emily Swett ’13 (Rochester, NY), Rebecca Kelley ’12 (Richmond, VA) and Kendall Dacey ’10 (West Roxbury, MA).

For a schedule of events and other useful links, visit the NCAA Championship Website.

Amherst College Day One Results (Men)
(Only Listed if Top 16)

500-Yard Freestyle
Alex Fraser ’11 – 1st, 20 Points (4:24.84)
Ryan Lichtenfels ’12 – 5th, 14 Points (4:26.31)
Tim White ’12 – 13th, 4 Points (4:33.40)

200-Yard Medley Relay
Reid Fitzgerald ’11, Ben McBratney ’12, Tad Homchick ’10, Alex Fraser ’11 – 10th, 13 Points (1:32.45)

Amherst College Day One Results (Women)
(Only Listed if Top 16)

500-Yard Freestyle
Kendra Stern ’11 – 2nd (4:45.53)

200-Yard Medley Relay
Emily Swett ’13, Rebecca Kelley ’12, Kendall Dacey ’10, Kendra Stern ’11 – 7th, 24 Points (1:46.25)