Amherst Excels at Middlebury Invitational
Contact: Mike O'Brien
MIDDLEBURY, VT – A slew of first-year swimmers lead the Amherst men’s swimming & diving team at the two-day Middlebury Invitational at the Middlebury Natatorium.
The two-day meet featured a total of six schools, Amherst College, Middlebury College, Springfield College, Tufts University, the University of Vermont, and Williams College.
Highlighting the day for Amherst, with two first-place finishes, was first-year Nick Lafky. Lafky earned a win in the 200-yard breaststroke (2:07.79) by narrowly edging Jack Ferguson from Williams, who finished second in 2:07.83. He also won the 100 breast, in which the Jeffs swept, with a mark of 58.52 seconds. Greg Han ’17 and Tom Zhang ’16 took second (58.78) and third (59.55), respectively, in the event. Lafky earned a second-place finish in the 200 IM as well, with a time of 1:59.56. Teammate Steven Goldberg ’16 earned third, touching in 1:59.90.
John Brody, another first-year swimmer for Amherst, displayed a strong showing in the two-day meet as well. Brody brought home three top-two finishes, including a win in the 1,000-yard freestyle. The first-year claimed the event in 9:35.98 and picked up second place finishes in the 200 free (1:43.84) and the 500 free (4:39.25).
Amherst also earned wins in the 100 free and 100 fly events. In the 100 free, Connor Sholtis ’15 paced the field with a time of 47.24 seconds and the Jeffs excelled in the 100 fly, taking three of the top-four spots. Tyler Bulakul ’14 won the event in 51.51 seconds to edge teammate Jeff Anderson ’16, who touched in 51.98. Williams claimed third place but Reed Patterson ’17 finished strong to take fourth overall with a mark of 52.65.
In other individual events, Ben Grimes ’15 and Matt Heise ’16 gave the Jeffs two more second-place finishes. Grimes finished the 1,650 free in 16:20.86 and Heise placed second in the 100 back with a time of 53.21.
Amherst also claimed third in several other events. Robbie Homchick ’14 took third in the 50 free with a time of 21.87, Parker Moody ’14 finished third in the 1,000 free (9:56.69), Grimes earned third in the 500 free (4:42.43) and Sebastian Cruz ’16 claimed third in the 200 fly, touching in 1:56.57.
The Amherst relay teams earned three second-place finishes and two third-place finishes in five relay events. The 4x200 free relay ‘A’ team of Sholtis, Bulakul, Tyler Hampton ’15 and Homchick led off the meet with a time of 1:26.74 to finish second. The 4x200 medley relay ‘A’ squad of Bulakul, Zhang, Homchick and Alex Dreisbach ’17 touched just after Williams with a time of 1:35.98 to finish second and the 4x400 free relay ‘A’ team of Anderson, Dreisbach, Vic Sun ’16 and Sholtis placed second in the final meet with a mark of 3:11.33.
The Jeffs return to the pool tomorrow, Feb. 2, to host Springfield at 1 p.m. Tomorrow’s meet marks the team’s final regular season competition before the NESCAC Championships.