Jeffs Open Season with Impressive Showing at Colby
Alex Fraser '11 won two individual races and was part of two relay victories for Amherst at Colby.
WATERVILLE, ME – The Amherst College men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams opened their 2009-10 seasons with impressive wins at Colby College (Women: 178-95; Men: 173-86). The Lord Jeffs will have little time to rest before heading to Wesleyan University for a 5 p.m. dual meet on Monday, Nov. 23.
In her first collegiate meet, Amherst first-year Katie Vincett (Pittsburgh, PA) picked up wins in the 50- and 100-yard freestyle races with times of 25.46 and 56.54, respectively. Vincett was followed by fellow first-year Bobbi Mason (Rochester, NY), who touched the wall less than one second behind her classmate in each of the two events.
Also making a strong first impression for Amherst was newcomer Emily Swett (Rochester, NY), who won the 100- and 200-yard backstroke events. Swett won the 100 in a time of 1:02.94, while her 2:14.50 in the 200 left her more than three seconds ahead of the pack.
Sophomore Rebecca Kelley (Richmond, VA) swept the breaststroke races, putting in a solid showing in the 100 that left her more than three seconds ahead of the runner-up. In the exhibition 200, Kelley edged Amherst junior Andrea Jensen (Burnsville, MN) by a mere 0.14 seconds. Jensen followed up by winning the 200-yard individual medley in a time of 2:16.34, which was just enough to finish ahead of Colby’s Danielle Carlson (2:16.50).
Also winning multiple races for the Amherst women were junior Kendra Stern (Albuquerque, NM) and senior Anna Haring (Santa Barbara, CA), who won the 200-yard butterfly by more than four seconds before coming out on top in the exhibition 500 free (5:21.35). Stern swam a 1:52.48 to win the 200 free before cruising to victory in the exhibition 100-yard butterfly with a time of 57.35, nearly five seconds ahead of senior co-captain Kendall Dacey (West Roxbury, MA), who placed second.
The Lord Jeff women also won the 200-yard freestyle relay and the 200 medley relay. Notably, Amherst’s 200 free relay consisted of three first-years, with Stern swimming the final leg. First-year Nicole Heise (Ithaca, NY) swam the lead leg in each relay. Rounding out Amherst’s top performers was junior Meggie Meisinger (St. Louis, MO), who bested Colby's Allison Mond in the 1-meter dive and was unchallenged on the 3-meter board.
Amherst’s victories were much more evenly distributed on the men’s side, as a number of Lord Jeffs got a taste of victory in the season opener. Leading Amherst’s first-years on the men’s side was Daniel Schwab (San Diego, CA), who won the 100- and 200-yard backstroke races. Schwab finished less than one-tenth of a second ahead of Amherst junior Reid Fitzgerald (New York, NY) in the 100, while his 1:58.91 in the 200 made him the lone swimmer to crack the two-minute mark.
Both breaststroke races were won by Amherst sophomore Mike O’Connor (Cold Spring Harbor, NY), who was involved in a tight race in the 100 but blew away the competition in the 200. Both butterfly races also went to the Lord Jeffs, with sophomore Ben McBratney (Evanston, IL) winning the 100 (54.59) and senior co-captain Hunter Mims (Fairfax Station, VA) comfortably taking the 200. Amherst took the top four spots in the exhibition 200 IM, which came down to a photo finish between sophomores Bart Federak (Towaco, NJ) and Tim White (Centerport, NY). Federak would take the victory this time around with a 2:02.89, just 0.04 ahead of White.
The Amherst men dominated the five freestyle races, with victories going to four different Lord Jeffs. The only repeat winner was junior Alex Fraser (Willowbrook, IL), who edged White in the 200 before making the 500 look easy in winning by nearly 14 seconds. Senior co-captain Tad Homchick (Mercer Island, WA) and McBratney took the top two spots in the 50, before Homchick placed second in the 100 just 0.03 behind Amherst first-year Sheng Hu (Lake Bluff, IL). Rounding out Amherst’s winners in the freestyle events was sophomore Ryan Lichtenfels (McLean, VA), who swam a 10:08.64 to finish nearly 12 seconds ahead of runner-up Hu.
The 200 free relay and 200 medley relay were each won by Amherst, with Homchick and Fraser playing a role in each race. Making his diving debut without a challenger from Colby was sophomore Gavin Front (San Anselmo, CA), who recorded a 128.05 in the 1-meter and a 117.80 on the 3-meter board.