MIDDLEBURY, VT – The Ephs kicked off the first full day of swimming at Middlebury College on Friday. The purple cows extended their lead to 57 points, with the majority of their racing still ahead of them.
The first event of the night was the 200 freestyle relay, comprised of Zeb Hart '22, Aaron Stanton '22, Jamie Lovette, and Curtis Maher. The quartet placed fourth overall with a time of 1:26.12, and the B placed second in the heat of other B relays, going 1:27.82 (Henry Marquardt, Christian Alberga, John Gaffney, and David Pearcy). The A relay had even splits across the board, with Lovette outsplitting the rest of the relay in a time of 20.46.
The first individual event was the 50 breaststroke, with six Ephs competing in the three finals heats. In the pre-consolation heat, Will Zhang '22 placed 18th overall, touching in with a time of 26.95, and Alex Bank '20 hit at a time of 27.30, placing 22nd. In the consolation final, Dragan Vujovic '19 touched in at 26.59, a best time by a full second, while teammate Clayton Morikawa '20 hit at a 26.02. In the final heat, freshman Sam Gollob '22 competed in his first final and went a 26.32, going a best time in the morning, and placing seventh overall. Jack Melnick '19, after getting off to a slower start, brought the 50 back quickly, placing second and going 25.58.
In the 50 fly, the Ephs only swam in the final heat, with David Pearcy '21 placing sixth with a time of 22.68. Williams sprint fly duo Zeb Hart '22 and Brennan Lee '21 took the third and fourth spots, with the purple cows going 22.24 and 22.32, respectively, both of these Ephs' first individual championship finals.
Halfway through the session, Williams distance decided it was time for domination through the trio of Jackson Karofsky '21, Jamie Lovette '21, and Andrew Trunsky '20. All three Ephs swam a best time over the course of the day, and left a wake after them in the pool. Clocking in first was Lovette with a time of 4:27.49, going almost two seconds faster than last year. Second was teammate, classmate, and roommate Karofsky. Although Karofsky got off to a slower start compared to the competition, his strong backhalf paid off, the Eph going a 4:28.25 and placing second. Finally, Trunsky touched third in a best time of 4:29.43, showing that he still has strength in his shorter events.
After the 500, the meet went back to 50s, with the 50 back next up on the agenda. In the pre-consolation final, Brennan Lee '21 and Matthew Lennon '19 touched in 17th and 19th, going 23.98 and 24.45 respectively. Holding down the fort in the consolation final was Timmy Page '22, clocking in a time of 24.27. Finally, the championship final was dominated by the youngest of the purple cows, the freshmen. Zeb Hart showed off his sprinting ability yet again, placing fifth in a time of 22.95. Nick Whitcomb '22 cracked the top three, going 22.91 and placing third and going a best time.
The 200 IM was highly populated by Ephs. Senior captain Shahzad Mumtaz clocked in a best time of 1:52.98 by over a second, with a strong back half helping him touch in 11th. Freshman Sean Tan '22 also touched in a best of 1:51.59, going about two seconds faster than his prelims time. In the championship final, Henry Marquardt '21 touched in eighth place, in a time of 1:53.77, with teammate John Gaffney going 1:52.53, placing sixth. Junior Lucca Delcompare touched at a time of 1:52.30, and Paul Leclerc '22 was the highest scorer for the Ephs, touching in a new best time of 1:51.35, his fast backstroke leg helping him secure third place.
The last individual event of the meet was the 50 freestyle. Senior Curtis Maher placed fourth, clocking in a quick time of 20.93, with teammate Aaron Stanton '22 close behind, going 21.19 and touching in seventh place. In the pre-consolation final, Will Zhang '22 went a comparable time as his morning swim, placing twentieth overall and going 21.63.
The final event of the evening was the 400 medley relay. The Ephs' B relay had some fast splits, comprised of Nick Whitcomb '22, Clayton Morikawa '20, Zeb Hart '22, and Aaron Stanton '22. Whitcomb got the relay off to a strong start, going a best time and a NCAA B cut, and the relay was anchored by Stanton in a speedy time of 44.90. The A relay, made up of Paul Leclerc, Jack Melnick, David Pearcy, and Jamie Lovette, placed third overall, going a 3:19.47, under what it took to qualify for NCAAs last year. The Ephs relied on their strong backhalf to help them pass other teams, resulting in their top three finish.
The Ephs march on tomorrow morning at 10am for prelims, and 6pm for finals.
DAY 2 TEAM STANDINGS
1. Williams College – 767 points
2. Tufts University – 710 points
3. Amherst College – 627 points
4. Colby College – 435 points
5. Bowdoin College – 431.5 points
6. Bates College – 394 points
7. Connecticut College – 330.5 points
8. Middlebury College – 315.5 points
9. Trinity College – 243.5 points
10. Hamilton College – 162 points
11. Wesleyan University – 140 points