Jeffs Earn Pair of Hard-Fought Wins at Wesleyan
MIDDLETOWN, CT – Just two days after cruising to lopsided victories at Colby College in the 2009-10 season opener, the Amherst College men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams were put to the test in a dual meet at Wesleyan University. The Lord Jeff men won eight of their 13 events en route to a 139-102 victory, while the Amherst women pulled out a 125-108 win despite winning only six of the 13 events.
In addition to winning both relay races, the Amherst men came out on top in six of the individual swimming events with no repeat winners. In their strongest event of the day, the Jeffs took the top four spots in the 100-yard butterfly. Sophomore Ben McBratney (Evanston, IL) was the first to finish (54.10), with sophomore Bart Federak (Towaco, NJ), first-year Will McCartan (Cedar Rapids, IA) and senior co-captain Hunter Mims (Fairfax Station, VA) placing 2-3-4.
The 100-yard backstroke was also a strong event for Amherst, which featured the race’s top three finishers. First-year Daniel Schwab (San Diego, CA) led the way with a 54.06, with junior Reid Fitzgerald (New York, NY) and sophomore Tim White (Centerport, NY) close behind in second and third. Fitzgerald also swam the lead leg of Amherst’s 200 medley relay, while first-year Sheng Hu (Lake Bluff, IL) led things off in the 400 free relay.
Amherst would have swept the freestyle events had it not been for Wesleyan’s Dan Storms, whose 1:45.45 was good enough to just barely edge Hu (1:45.94) in the 200. After junior Alex Fraser (Willowbrook, IL) narrowly beat senior co-captain Tad Homchick (Mercer Island, WA) in the 50 with a time of 21.85, Homchick returned the favor by edging Fraser in the 100 by 0.25 seconds. Sophomore Ryan Lichtenfels (McLean, VA) won the 500 (4:51.08) by more than two seconds, while White cruised to victory in the 1000 with a 10:04.35, more than 18 seconds ahead of the runner-up from Wesleyan.
In addition to winning the 200 freestyle, Wesleyan was victorious in the 100-yard breaststroke and 400-yard individual medley, as well as both diving events.
On the women’s side, the Cardinals won the 100-, 200- and 1000-yard freestyle races and closed out the meet with a big victory in the 200-yard medley relay. Wesleyan also came out on top in the 100 fly, finished one-two in the 100 back, and split the diving events with a win on the 3-meter board. Amherst’s Meggie Meisinger (St. Louis, MO) won the 1-meter dive with a 248.10.
The Lord Jeff women got stellar performances from sophomore Rebecca Kelley (Richmond, VA) and junior Kendra Stern (Albuquerque, NM), who each won multiple races. Kelley started her day by swimming the second leg of the 200 medley relay, joining Becca Thompson (Evanston, IL), Kendall Dacey (West Roxbury, MA) and Katie Vincett (Pittsburgh, PA) to swim a 1:53.77.
Kelley then led an Amherst trio that finished 1-2-3 in the 400 IM by swimming a 4:44.34, placing her ahead of teammates Anna Haring (Santa Barbara, CA) and first-year Nicole Heise (Ithaca, NY). Kelley’s final win came in the 100-yard breaststroke, as her 1:10.76 left her more than two seconds ahead of runner-up Catherine Maguire (Westfield, NJ). Stern won the 50-yard freestyle (23.49) and handily won the 500, with her 5:03.64 leaving her 22.81 seconds ahead of Thompson, who finished second.
Amherst will return to action Saturday, Dec. 5, when the Lord Jeff teams welcome Middlebury College to Pratt Pool for their home opener.