WILLIAMSTOWN, MA – The Ephmen faced off against NESCAC opponents Middlebury College and Hamilton College. The Williams team defeated Middlebury with a final score of 189-94 and Hamilton in a score of 206-56. The meet was special for a number of reasons: it represented the last opportunity for the men's and women's team to come together as a group, the last races at the Samuelson-Muir pool prior to women's NESCACs, and the final dual meet of the seniors' collegiate careers.
With all this motivation at their backs the Ephs lost no time, getting off to a 1-2 finish in the 400 Medley Relay. The 'A' squad of Gaffney '21, Melnick '19, Kostolansky '18, and Alberga '21 took first overall, narrowly out touching the 'B' Relay of Karofsky '21, Morikawa '20, Pearcy '21, and Cassidy '18.
Pearcy returned shortly after to make another appearance in the 1000 free. Despite a well-split race, he ultimately finished second behind his classmate, Jamie Lovette's, gutsy swim. Lovette's final time of 9:36.25 catapulted him up the NESCAC rankings, falling only just shy of teammate Andrew Trunsky '21's top time.
Trunsky took home a win of his own with an impressive outing in the 200 freestyle in a time of 1:45.38. Dan Needham '18 put together a well-swum race of his own, finishing in 1:46.23 and lowering his previous season best. In a fast-paced turn of events, Trunsky swam down even further from his usual distance races in the 100 freestyle. His classmate and fellow distance swimmer, Will Burford, joined him in the endeavor. The two showed some great early speed despite their higher yardage background, coming together in a narrow 1-2 finish, with Trunsky getting his hand on the wall just a couple tenths of a second ahead of Burford.
The next event, the 50 backstroke, was also an exciting one. Curtis Maher '19 went out quickly in the first heat, taking it in a time of 25.07. Not to be outdone, Henry Marquardt '21 followed up Maher's swim with a 25.07 of his own in the second heat and carrying the Ephs to a tie for first place in the event. Coming in for third and fourth places were John Gaffney and Shahzad Mumtaz '19, respectively.
Mumtaz came back later in the meet in the 500 freestyle, where he surged to a dominant victory, despite being down to Middlebury's Morgan Matsuda early on. He turned in a strong time of 4:52.41. Following him into the wall were Bobby Rowledge '18 and Robby Bradford '19 for third and fourth.
The Ephs continued their strong sprint showing in the 50 breaststroke, taking home places 1,2,4,5 and 6. In the first heat Mike Cassidy touched out teammates Alex Bank '20 and Clayton Morikawa '20 in a time of 27.90, which would eventually take second. Alberga and Melnick swam in the next heat and took fourth and first places respectively.
In the 50 freestyle, Tim Kostolansky took home another victory, winning in a time of 21.56. Jamie Lovette came back from his victory in the 1000 to finish in second place. Later, Kostolansky returned yet again, posting a time of 22.88 to win the 50 butterfly. Following his lead were Brennan Lee '21, Pearcy, Cassidy, Gaffney, and Karl Thomas '20, who came in for 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 8th places respectively.
The final individual event of the night was the 100 IM, where Kostolansky flew past the field to take home the fourth and final victory in his senior night in a time 52.36, narrowly missing the pool record. Rounding out the top 3 were freshmen Henry Marquardt and John Gaffney.
The meet capped off with the 200 freestyle relay. Despite 1-2 finish from the A (Maher, Lovette, Melnick, Alberga) and B (Lee, Marquardt, Pearcy, Trunsky) relays, all eyes were on the Senior Relay. The five seniors, Spencer Alpaugh, Bobby Rowledge, Tim Kostolansky, Michael Cassidy, and Dan Needham, closed their dual meet careers in style. A normal relay can only have four swimmers participating in it, but the seniors accepted a disqualification and swam a fifth member, which allowed them to finish their last dual meet together.
Senior Captain Mike Cassidy said about the meet: "It was exciting not only to compete in, but also for the seniors to reflect on their time on the team. We're looking forward to making even further progress as we head into championship season"
The Ephs begin their championship season next weekend at the Middlebury Invitational.