Bulakul, Deveney Star as Jeffs Take 2nd at NESCACs
Contact: Matthew Hart
MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – Tyler Bulakul ’14 set new meet, pool and Amherst records in winning the 200-yard butterfly as the Amherst College men’s swimming and diving team captured four titles on the third and final day of the NESCAC Championships hosted by Wesleyan.
Despite numerous strong performances, the Lord Jeffs were unable to unseat Williams from the top spot in team competition as the Ephs secured their 11th straight conference title with 1936.5 points to Amherst’s runner-up total of 1824.5. Connecticut College (1098) edged Tufts (1080) for third while Middlebury (904.5) and Bowdoin (769.5) placed fifth and sixth, respectively. Bates (675.5), Hamilton (525) and Colby (502) took seventh through ninth, respectively, while host Wesleyan (481.5) and Trinity (377) rounded out the conference field.
In a stacked 200 fly, Bulakul pulled away from the field with an NCAA automatic-qualifying time of 1:48.36. In a testament to the junior’s dominant performance, teammate Jeff Anderson ’16 was nearly two seconds behind but still notched an impressive A-cut time, placing second in 1:50.33.
After posting a NESCAC, pool and meet-record time of 1:47.91 in the preliminaries, Conor Deveney ’15 dominated the finals of the 200 backstroke, finishing with an A-cut time of 1:48.78 as he touched the wall nearly a second ahead of second-place teammate Matt Heise ’16 (1:49.71). Heise’s time was good for an NCAA B-cut, as was sophomore Michael Rochford’s fifth-place mark of 1:51.25.
Amherst’s third individual winner was Connor Sholtis ’15, who triumphed in the 100-yard freestyle with an NCAA B-cut time of 45.52. Tyler Hampton ’15 also achieved the provisional mark, placing fifth in 45.98.
In the meet’s final event, Amherst notched its final win as Hampton teamed up with Sholtis, Bulakul and Deveney to take the 400-yard freestyle relay in a pool-record and B-cut time of 3:02.48, over two seconds ahead of second-place Williams’ top quartet.
To begin the evening session, Conor McAuliffe ’14 (15:54.54) and Ben Grimes ’15 (16:06.56) each posted NCAA B-cut times in the 1650 free, placing second and fourth, respectively, as the Ephs and Jeffs swept the top five spots in the race. Tom Zhang ’16 notched the Jeff swimmers’ final top-eight finish as he took seventh in the 200-yard breaststroke in 2:07.55.
Meanwhile, Amherst’s divers competed on the three-meter board, with Colin White ’14 placing second with a B-cut score of 523.05. Asher Lichtig ’16 also notched the national standard, taking fourth at 480.15 while Mark Idleman ’15 placed seventh with 399.95 points.
With the conclusion of the conference meet, the NESCAC handed out several awards, including the Rookie of the Meet award to Amherst first-year Sam Stewart. Williams senior Paul Dyrkacz took home his third consecutive Swimmer of the Meet Award after three individual titles as well as Senior Swimmer of the Year honors. Tufts' Johann Schmidt '14 won Diver of the Meet for the third straight year after triumphing on the three-meter board while Bates' Travis Jones earned Senior Diver of the Year. Conn. College's Marc Benevunti took home Swimming Coach of the Year honors while Brad Snodgrass of Tufts won Diving Coach of the Year.
The Jeff divers will be back in action next weekend at the NCAA regionals, while the national swimming and diving championships will take place March 19-22 in Shenandoah, Texas.
AMHERST COLLEGE DAY THREE RESULTS (Only listed if top 8)
* NCAA ‘A’ Cut
^ NCAA ‘B’ Cut
# Meet Record
% Pool Record
@ Amherst Record
& NESCAC Record
Conor McAuliffe – 2nd (15:54.54) ^
Ben Grimes – 4th (16:06.56) ^
Conor Deveney – 1st (1:48.78) *
Matt Heise – 2nd (1:49.71) ^
Michael Rochford – 5th (1:51.25) ^
Connor Sholtis – 1st (45.52) ^
Tyler Hampton – 5th (45.98) ^
Tom Zhang – 7th (2:07.55)
Tyler Bulakul – 1st (1:48.36) *#%@
Jeff Anderson – 2nd (1:50.33) *
Colin White – 2nd (523.05) ^
Asher Lichtig – 4th (480.15) ^
Mark Idleman – 7th (399.95)
400-yard Freestyle Relay
Tyler Hampton, Conor Deveney, Tyler Bulakul, Connor Sholtis – 1st (3:02.48) %^