Men’s Swimming Wins 17 of 18 Events at Weekend Invitational

The MIT men’s 15th-ranked swimming and diving team won 17 of 18 swimming events en route to a first-place finish at this weekend’s MIT Invitational, held over the course of Friday and Saturday in the Zesiger Pool. The Engineers won the event with a final team score of 1,082.5, beating out Tufts University, which finished with 1,046.5.

Brandeis University (554.5), Colby College (418), Bowdoin College (239.5), and Wheaton College (216) rounded out the competing schools.

Laurent Charpentier ’10 was remarkable for the Cardinal and Gray, winning three individual events and helping five relay teams to decisive victories. Two of Charpentier’s individual times were fast enough to earn NCAA “B” cuts, in the 100-yard (46.37) and 200-yard (1:42.93) freestyle events. He also earned a “B” cut in the 200-yard medley relay along with Jeffrey Y. Zhou ’10, Rastislav Racz ’10 and Luke R. Cummings ’10, as the quartet touched the wall first at 1:34.61.

Charpentier’s other individual win came in the 50-yard freestyle, as he led a 1-2-3 finish for MIT. The sophomore won the event by clocking in at 21.44 seconds and was followed closely behind by Cummings (21.90) and Zhou (22.02).

Peter J. Wellings ’09 teamed with Charpentier, Zhou, and Cummings to win the 200-yard freestyle relay with a time of 1:25.62 before Toomas R. Sepp ’11 joined the fun and combined with Zhou, Racz, and Charpentier for a victory in the 400-yard medley relay (3:31.09). Charpentier and Wellings were successful again in the 800-yard freestyle relay, touching the wall first in 7:10.39 to win along with Michael J. Dobson ’11 and Kalvin D. Kao ’08. The Engineers completed their sweep of the relay events by taking the 400-yard freestyle with a time of 3:09.91 courtesy of Charpentier, Zhou, Wellings, and Cummings.

Not to be outdone, Racz also earned an NCAA “B” cut, winning the 100-yard breaststroke by touching the wall at 57.45. He was followed in second place by teammate Deke Hu ’09 (1:00.84). Racz then led a 1-2-3 finish in the 200-yard breaststroke, finishing at 2:09.19 just ahead of Kao, who clocked in at 2:15.04, and John Walk, who registered a time of 2:17.06.

The 200-yard individual medley and 100-yard butterfly turned out to be massive events for the Engineers, as they took four of the first five spots in each to grab a significant amount of points. Racz won the individual medley with a time of 2:01.42, while Hu, Sepp, and Kao finished three through five. Sepp then garnered top honors in the butterfly, while Hu, George J. Rossick ’11, and Trace U. Sauter ’11 earned third-, fourth-, and fifth-place finishes.

MIT also received first-place finishes from Dobson in the 500-yard (4:42.53) and 1,650-yard (16:32.47) freestyle events, Kao in the 400-yard individual medley (4:17.67), Zhou in the 100-yard backstroke (54.21), and Hu in the 200-yard butterfly (2:00.81).

Carson J. Darling ’11 provided crucial points for Tech as well, finishing second in the three-meter diving competition with a score of 337.95 and coming in third on the one-meter board with a tally of 330.20.

Head Coach Dawn B. Gerken could not have been more pleased with the result, but she was perhaps even more satisfied with the effort and determination of her team.

“This was an absolutely phenomenal meet for this group of athletes, and the win in this competition is huge for this program,” she said. “Every single team member stepped up and contributed, and they all deserve to be recognized for this victory.”

MIT will take to the water one last time before the winter break, as it will travel to Norton, Mass., on Saturday, Dec. 8, to take on New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference foe Wheaton at 1 p.m.