Amherst Places 10th at NCAA Championships; Kai Robinson Named Diver of the Meet
OXFORD, OH – The Amherst College men’s swimming and diving team capped off an impressive season by placing 10th at the 2008 NCAA Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships, as the Lord Jeffs racked up 131 points during the three-day event at Miami University. Junior Kai Robinson (Vashon, WA) accounted for both of Amherst’s individual championships and was named Diver of the Meet for his efforts, with Amherst's Mary Ellen Clark being named Diving Coach of the Meet.
The Jeffs competed in four of six events on Thursday and racked up 31 points to land in 14th place after day one. Twenty of those points came from Robinson and his first-place score of 499.75 in the 1-meter Dive, nearly 34 points ahead of the next diver. Robinson was named NESCAC Diver of the Year earlier this season for his performance at the conference championships.
Accounting for Amherst’s other 11 points was first-year Alex Fraser (Willowbrook, IL) and his 8th-place finish in the 500-yard Freestyle. Fraser’s time of 4:32.26 was an improvement on his time of 4:33.06 that landed him in second place at the NESCAC Championships. Fellow first-year Ryan Colby (Birdsboro, PA) also competed in the 500, touching the wall in 4:39.18 for 28th place.
Fraser teamed up with sophomore Tad Homchick (Mercer Island, WA), junior Christian Witzke (Jacksonville, FL) and senior Andrew Maslan (Mission Hills, KS) in the 200-yard Freestyle Relay but picked up an unfortunate disqualification. The Amherst relay team completed the event in a time of 1:23.27, which would have been good enough for eighth place and 20 team points, but the disqualification held the Jeffs at 31 for the day.
Rounding out the Amherst participation on day one were Homchick and Witzke competing in the 50-yard Freestyle and placing 22nd (21.04) and 36th (21.49), respectively, and senior Connor Boyd (Northridge, CA) joining Robinson in the 1-meter Dive. Boyd earned Four-Year High Point Diver honors at the NESCAC Championships but was unable to hang with the top of the pack, as his score of 347.05 placed him 20th.
Amherst returned to action on Friday and took part in five of seven events, adding another 45 points to its team score to bump up to 12th place. Fraser continued his success in the freestyle events with a third-place finish in the 200 (1:39.27), which was good enough for 16 points. Witzke also did well in the 200 and added one team point with a 16th-place finish (1:43.21), while Colby touched the wall just one second after Witzke (1:44.30) to finish 36th.
Witzke, Maslan, Fraser and Colby teamed up in the 800-yard Freestyle Relay in an attempt to get some redemption for the previous day’s disqualification, and the Jeffs did just that as they placed fifth with a time of 6:44.56—nearly a seven-second improvement from their time in the NESCAC Championships (6:51.12). The solid effort added another 28 points to Amherst’s total and wrapped up the team’s scoring for the day.
The national championships concluded with Amherst competing in four of Saturday’s seven events, with Colby kicking things off with a 19th-place finish in the 1650-yard Freestyle, as he just missed earning points with a time of 16:04.77. Fraser followed by placing 13th in the 100-yard Freestyle (45.56) to add four points to his team’s total, with Witzke coming in behind him at 46.98.
Next up for the Jeffs was the 3-meter Diving event, with Robinson attempting to duplicate his championship performance from Thursday’s 1-meter event. Robinson was just as impressive his second time around, as his score of 535.55 was good enough to claim his second individual championship and to add 20 points to the team score. Boyd improved from his performance in the 1-meter Dive, earning a score of 386.65 to round out the scoring in 16th place.
Amherst’s stellar weekend concluded with a terrific performance from Homchick, Fraser, Prill and Witzke in the 400-yard Freestyle Relay. The Jeffs’ 400 team took home a NESCAC championship with a pool-record time of 3:04.27 nearly three weeks ago, but they improved on that time by more than two seconds to place fourth on Saturday with a time of 3:02.05. Amherst ended day one in 14th place and moved into 12th on Friday, but the outstanding performance in the 400 bumped the Jeffs once again, as they finished in 10th place with 131 points.
2008 NCAA Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships – Amherst College Results
200-yard Freestyle Relay
Tad Homchick, Alex Fraser, Andrew Maslan, Christian Witzke – Disqualified
Alex Fraser – 8th, 11 points (4:32.26)
Ryan Colby – 28th, 0 points (4:39.18)
Tad Homchick – 22nd, 0 points (21.04)
Christian Witzke – 36th, 0 points (21.49)
Kai Robinson – 1st, 20 points (499.75)
Connor Boyd – 20th, 0 points (347.05)
200-yard Medley Relay
Andrew Maslan, Derek Prill, Tad Homchick, Alex Fraser – 22nd, 0 points (1:36.15)
400-yard Individual Medley
Andrew Maslan – 21st, 0 points (4:08.13)
Tad Homchick – 30th, 0 points (51.55)
Alex Fraser – 3rd, 16 points (1:39.27)
Christian Witzke – 16th, 1 point (1:43.21)
Ryan Colby – 36th, 0 points (1:44.30)
800-yard Freestyle Relay
Ryan Colby, Alex Fraser, Andrew Maslan, Christian Witzke – 5th, 28 points (6:44.56)
Ryan Colby – 19th, 0 points (16:04.77)
Alex Fraser – 13th, 4 points (45.56)
Christian Witzke – 38th, 0 points (46.98)
Kai Robinson – 1st, 20 points (535.55)
Connor Boyd – 16th, 1 point (386.65)
400-yard Freestyle Relay
Tad Homchick, Alex Fraser, Derek Prill, Christian Witzke – 4th, 30 points (3:02.05)