MIT Men's Swimming 2nd to Coast Guard in Final Meet of Season

The men's swimming and diving team grabbed second at the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) championship meet on Sunday evening, behind last year's champion Coast Guard.

Coast Guard racked up an impressive 990.5 points to put it well ahead of MIT's 856 and Springfield's 724.5.

Rookie sensation Rastislav Racz '10 provided the highlight of the weekend for the Engineers by smashing the NEWMAC open, NEWMAC Championship, pool and Institute records in the 200-yard breaststroke. By clocking in at 2:05.07, the Bratislava, Slovakia, native outdistanced his closest competitor by over six seconds, while breaking the previous MIT mark by over three seconds. The time was also good enough for an NCAA provisional cut and earned him a national ranking of ninth in the event.

Craig M. Edwards '07 notched Tech's other individual victory on the final day of competition, touching the wall at an NCAA "B" cut time of 1:52.20 in the 200-yard backstroke to push him up to tenth in the country in the event. Edwards' time was just .07 seconds off the pool record, set by the Cardinal and Gray's Matthieu Fuzellier G last year.

The Engineers put a stranglehold on the 200-yard backstroke event by grabbing third (Kalvin D. Kao '08) and fourth (Matthew G. Angle '07) place finishes as well.

The 200-yard butterfly proved to be another important event for MIT, as Deke Hu '09 picked up a second-place finish with a time of 1:56.10, while John R. Walk '10 notched fourth by touching the wall at 2:00.99.

Tech received great performances from its relay teams throughout the weekend, and the 400-yard freestyle relay squad continued that trend by capping the competition with a third-place finish. The group of Edwards, Peter J. Wellings '09, Jeffrey Y. Zhou '10 and Luke R. Cummings '10 clocked in at 3:08.01, good enough for an NCAA "B" cut.

Other high finishes by MIT swimmers include fourth-place in the 1650-yard freestyle by Harrison K. Hall '08; fifth, sixth, and eigth place finishes in the 100-yard freestyle by Cummings, Wellings, and Zhou; and a seventh place finish by Daniel G. Lopez-Braus '09 in the three-meter diving competition.

Head coach Dawn B. Gerken was very proud of her team, which pulled together to earn MIT's first runner-up finish in the NEWMAC Championships since 2004.

"It was just a fantastic weekend overall," she said. "I'm really excited about the way the team came together over the course of the weekend. All 28 members of this team really contributed to this second-place finish."