Amherst Swimming & Diving
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Amherst College
Amherst, MA 01002

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Fraser Leads Amherst at Day One of NCAA Championships

Sophomore Alex Fraser won the 500-yard freestyle with a national record-breaking time of 4:21.95

MINNEAPOLIS, MN – Sophomore Alex Fraser (Willowbrook, IL) set a national record in the 500-yard freestyle to lead Amherst College in day one of the 2009 NCAA Division III Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships. The Lord Jeffs will resume the four-day championships on Thursday at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center in Minneapolis.

The Amherst women sit in sixth place after the first day of competition, while the men are in eighth.

In the first men’s event of the week, Fraser gave the Lord Jeffs a good boost by continuing his spectacular sophomore season with another freestyle victory. After trailing for the first 150 yards, Fraser took the lead at the 200-yard marker and never looked back, pulling away for a 4:21.95 to finish nearly two seconds ahead of runner-up Alex Beyer of Washington University. Fraser's time broke a 12-year old NESCAC record and set a new national record.

At last year’s national championships, Fraser placed eighth in the 500 (4:32.26), as he bested last year’s time by more than 10 seconds. First-year Ryan Lichtenfels (McLean, VA) was also impressive in the event, placing sixth with a time of 4:25.69. Fellow first-year Tim White (Centerport, NY) rounded out the Amherst swimmers in the 500, with his time of 4:32.35 landing him in 18th place.

The 500-yard freestyle relay was also Amherst’s best race on the women’s side, with sophomore Kendra Stern (Albuquerque, NM) placing second. Her time of 4:48.15 was more than four seconds faster than her national record-breaking time that she recorded at last year’s NCAA Championships, but she was edged by Emory’s Liz Horvat (4:47.04) on Wednesday.

Senior Meaghan Stern (Albuquerque, NM) was 8.11 seconds behind her younger sister to finish ninth in the 500, while senior Kara MacLaverty (Kenilworth, IL) placed 12th at 4:57.89. Senior Mary Marvel (Williamsburg, MA) swam a 23.86 to place 18th in the 50-yard freestyle before she teamed up with first-year Rebecca Kelley (Richmond, VA), junior Kendall Dacey (West Roxbury, MA) and senior Erin Morrison (Old Greenwich, CT) to finish 15th in the 200-yard medley relay (1:47.90).

Rounding out the Amherst women on day one was senior Sabrina Dorman (Chevy Chase, MD), who scored a 389.80 on the 3-meter dive to place 15th. Dorman will return to action Friday for the women’s 1-meter diving event.

Also placing in the top 20 on the men’s side was the 200-yard medley relay team of sophomore Reid Fitzgerald (New York, NY), first-year Bart Federak (Towaco, NJ), senior Christian Witzke (Jacksonville, FL) and junior Tad Homchick (Mercer Island, WA), which finished 16th with a time of 1:33.78.

Amherst College Day One Women’s Results
500-yard freestyle
Kendra Stern – 2nd (4:48.15)
Meaghan Stern – 9th (4:56.26)
Kara MacLaverty – 12th (4:57.89)
Alex Lee – 43rd (5:06.23)

50-yard freestyle
Mary Marvel – 18th (23.86)

3-meter diving
Sabrina Dorman – 15th (389.80)

200-yard medley relay
Mary Marvel, Rebecca Kelley, Kendall Dacey, Erin Morrison – 15th (1:47.90)

Amherst College Day One Men’s Results
500-yard freestyle
Alex Fraser – 1st (4:21.95, National Record)
Ryan Lichtenfels – 6th (4:25.69)
Tim White – 18th (4:32.25)

200-yard individual medley
Bart Federak – 22nd (1:53.64)

50-yard freestyle
Tad Homchick – 44th (21.18)

200-yard medley relay
Reid Fitzgerald, Bart Federak, Christian Witzke, Tad Homchick – 16th (1:33.78)