WILLIAMSTOWN, MA—After capturing their 15th consecutive NESCAC title, the Williams College men's swimming & diving team are now looking to battle for another victory after graduating one of the fastest classes in NESCAC history. The Eph's perennial rival, Amherst College, and the fast-rising Tuft's University are both seeking to challenge the long-time Williams dominance after very strong showings at the championship meet last year.
In addition to looking forward to the NESCAC championship meet, this year the Ephs are also excited for their biennial challenge of the Amherst men's team at Pratt, the Mammoth's home pool. Despite defeating them later each year at the NESCAC meet, the men have not won on Amherst's home turf since 2010, and doing so would mark a large moral victory midway through the season.
The Ephs notable losses include Ben Lin, who won three events at both the NESCAC and NCAA championship meets last year, Grant Johnson, Colin Hogan, and John Freeman. Of the eight graduating seniors, half were national qualifiers. The other four graduating seniors were also all remarkable swimmers, leaders, and teammates both in and out of the pool in their own rights, and will be missed by the Ephmen.
Returning for the Ephs are NCAA Individual All-Americans Andrew Trunsky (1650 Freestyle, 800 Free Relay; Honorable Mention 500 Freestyle) and Tim Kostolansky (100 backstroke, 200 and 400 Medley Relay; Honorable Mention 200 IM and 200 backstroke). In addition to the individual NCAA contributors, Relay All-Americans Curtis Maher (200 and 800 Free Relay, 200 Medley Relay) and Jack Melnick (200 and 400 Medley Relay) return.
Despite the loss of such a fast class, the Ephs are reloaded and ready to rumble, with head coach Steve Kuster, diving coach Kit Koch, and assistant coaches Dave Dow and Dave Polen, guiding the men. Captains Tim Kostolansky and Michael Cassidy say, "We're looking forward to strong, consistent training this year. We want to leave no doubt that we've given everything we have come the end of the season. If we accomplish this, we'll be ready for whatever the competition has to throw at us."
Part of the Ephmen's strategy to prepare for the upcoming championship season is the addition of more top Division 3 teams to the team's already competitive dual meet schedule. In addition to their annual races against Boston College, Amherst, and MIT, the Williams men have also added New York University, who finished fifth last year at the NCAA national championships.
The first meets of the year are this weekend in a double header. First, the team will face off at Springfield College on Friday at 6 PM EST, before returning to the Samuelson-Muir pool to battle against Union College in their home opener Saturday at 1 PM.