Swimming and Diving takes NEWMAC title
Next stop for the Engineers is NCAA Division III National Championships
Our Engineers got off to a decisive start at this year’s NEWMAC swimming and diving finals this weekend. The men’s and women’s teams opened the meet winning a combined 8 of 13 events. By the end of the first evening, the men’s team led with an impressive 323 points to second place United States Coast Guard Academy with 220 points. The women’s team held a strong lead with 323 points over Springfield College’s 256.
Early Friday evening, rising star Emily A. Ryan, a freshman from Indianapolis, put her stamp on the meet as she placed first in the women’s 500-yard freestyle. Ryan dominated this event from the start as she maintained multiple second leads on each of her 50-yard split times. By the end of the race, she finished a dramatic
10 seconds ahead of her closest competitor, sophomore Keelin Nave from Wellesley College. Ryan clocked in at 4:54.81 in the final, remarkably cutting nine seconds off of her time in the preliminary round.
Ryan was not the only Engineer to dazzle fans on Friday evening. In a concerted effort, the Engineers took the first four finishes in the men’s 500-yard freestyle and six out of the top eight in the women’s and men’s 200 yard individual medleys. Junior Anna S. Kokensparger, the current record holder for the women’s 200-yard individual medley, won the event yet again with a time of 2:04.57, comfortably achieving an NCAA “A” cut. On the men’s side, Junior Brendan T. Deveney won the men’s 200-yard individual medley, setting the new NEWMAC record for the event and making an NCAA “A” cut as well.
After an extremely successful first day, the Engineers came back on Saturday with a renewed energy, immediately evidencing their discipline and lack of complacency. The men’s and women’s teams won 12 out of the day’s 14 events, further solidifying their places at the top. The men finished the day with 829 points ahead of the Coast Guard Academy with 485, and the women finished with 681 points compared to Springfield College’s 544.
On the women’s team, sophomores Calley L. Murphy and Christy K. Rogers made notable impacts on the meet. Murphy commanded the 100-yard breaststroke, winning the event with a 1:04.96 cut. Rogers, in similar fashion, placed first in the 100-yard backstroke in 56.17 seconds, making another NCAA “A” cut for the Engineers. Murphy and Rogers did not stop with these two wins as they each went on to win the 200-yard backstroke and 200-yard breaststroke respectively.
The Engineers did not hold off as they entered the third day of competition with confidence and persistence. Continuing to exceed expectations, the men’s and women’s teams together took 9 of the final day’s 12 events. The Engineers unfaltering success over the course of the meet allowed both teams to enjoy a comfortable leads over the other teams. At the conclusion of the meet, the men’s team lead with 1219 points to the Coast Guard Academy’s 735, while the women’s team finished with an impressive 960 points over Springfield College’s 821.5.
The Engineers swimming and diving squads exhibited a remarkable consistency throughout this weekend as they ousted their other competitors in the conference. Much of the Engineers’ success can be attributed to their dedication and preparation throughout the year. The team also benefits from the leadership and experience of upperclass swimmers like Maxwell T. Pruner ’13 and Matthew R. Chapa ’12. With a combination of fresh, young talent and rock-solid leadership, the MIT Engineers won the NEWMAC swimming and diving finals with admirable conviction.
Although the NEWMAC championship meet is the end of the season for most swimmers in the conference, many of our Engineers are now setting their sights on the NCAA Division III National Championships. Qualifying for nationals is extremely competitive, but the Engineers anticipate sending a number of their top swimmers. Expect to see Wyatt L. Ubellacker ’13, Matthew R. Chapa ’12, Colby W. Dunn ’14, and Brendan T. Deveney ’13 to lead the men’s team and Amy E. Jacobi ’11, Calley L. Murphy ’14, Christy K. Rogers ’14, and Emily A. Ryan ’15 to spearhead the women’s effort at the National Championships.