MIDDLEBURY, VT – After a year of hard work, dedication, and grueling hours in the pool, the Williams College swim and dive team reclaimed their throne as NESCAC champions for the 17th time. After a fight for the title, with every race mattering, the Ephs won by 46.5 points.
The meet started off with the distance men (once again) proving their dominance. The 1650 freestyle was championed by Jackson Karofsky '21, smashing his best time as well as sneaking under the pool record, touching in at 15:31.01. In second, swimming an incredibly evenly split race, was junior Andrew Trunsky. His steady race allowed him to pass the competition throughout the race, clocking in at 15:37.71. Jamie Lovette '21 went 15:44.15 and finished in third, ousting the rest of the field with his speedy front half. All three of these purple cows are currently sitting in the top 15 in Division III swimming, with the only applicable way to summarize their performance as, "Williams. Distance."
The next event up on the agenda was the 200 backstroke. Freshman Timmy Page went a best time in the morning and afternoon, going 1:53.54 and placing 18th. Teammate Matthew Lennon '19, in his last race as an Eph, slid under his prelims time in a 1:55.42, tying for 21st place overall. Backstroke duo Nick Whitcomb '22 and Paul Leclerc '22 represented the Ephs in the championship final, contributing significantly to the final score. Whitcomb placed eighth in a time of 1:51.52, while classmate Leclerc touched in at 1:49.05, his quick backhalf and evenly split race allowing him to pass by competitors on the last 50.
The 100 freestyle featured three Ephs in the championship final. Aaron Stanton '22 placed sixth overall, in a time 45.92, going a best time in the morning. Right behind him was Henry Marquardt '21, dipping under his time from prelims, touching in at 46.08. Finally, in eighth place was Curtis Maher '19, swimming a time of 46.49.
The Williams breaststroke squad showed up again in the championship final, with three purple cows swimming their way into the top heat. Captain Jack Melnick '19 touched ahead of the other Ephs in fourth place overall, clocking in a best time of 2:04.11 in his final race as an Eph. Hot on his tail was Clayton Morikawa '20, his breaststroke reappearing after a hiatus year of freestyle. Morikawa placed fifth with a best time of 2:04.27. Finally, Alex Bank '20 competed in his first championship final, sneaking past a competitor on his final 100 yards, touching seventh at 2:06.30. Freshman Sam Gollob also competed in the pre-consolation final, with his strong front half propelling him to an 18th place finish in a time of 2:08.25.
In the final individual event of the night, the 200 butterfly, the Ephmen dominated the competition and placed five in the top, championship final. The Ephs were down by 6.5 points to Tufts going into the 200 fly, and after the event, they were in the lead by 56.5 points. At the helm of the 200 fly was Lucca Delcompare '20. Although Delcompare went a best time in prelims, his finals swim still placed him on the top of the podium in a time of 1:48.42. Close behind was David Pearcy '21, showing his range from the 50 to the 200 butterflies, clocking in at a best time of 1:49.05. In third was freshman Sean Tan, his quick first 100 propelling him ahead of the competition in a time of 1:50.03. Continuing on the domination was John Gaffney '21, hitting in fourth in a best time of 1:51.00, proving that he is able to close any race he is a part of, his last 50 pushing him ahead of the competition. Finally was captain Shahzad Mumtaz '19, swimming his last collegiate race, swimming just off his best time from prelims this morning. Mumtaz hit in sixth place with a time of 1:51.93.
The final event of the night was the 400 freestyle relay. The Williams B squad placed 14th overall (third in the final of the B heat), made up of Lucca Delcompare '20, Zeb Hart '22, Curtis Maher '19, John Gaffney '21. Maher had the quickest split of the bunch, going 45.93, with Gaffney anchoring in the second fastest time of 46.19. The A quartet was comprised of Henry Marquardt, David Pearcy, Aaron Stanton, and Jamie Lovette. The Ephs placed fourth in a 3:02.85, highlighted by Stanton's split of 44.90, finishing Williams' events at NESCACS.
To top off the win, head coach Steve Kuster was named Coach of the Year for the seventh time, a well-deserved acclimation for leading the Ephmen to reclaim their title as NESCAC champions. Additionally, Jack Melnick placed third for the senior high point award. On the winning weekend, Kuster says, "This meet was an absolute back and forth battle with a very good Tufts team. The effort, resilience and resolve that this team showed was inspiring. Super proud of this group and the entire Williams swimming and diving team."
Some Ephs will continue on to the NCAA championships, taking place in Greensboro, North Carolina in March.
FINAL TEAM STANDINGS
1. Williams College – 1822 points
2. Tufts University – 1775.5 points
3. Amherst College – 1506 points
4. Bowdoin College – 1019.5 points
5. Bates College – 878.5 points
6. Colby College – 868 points
7. Connecticut College – 803.5 points
8. Middlebury College – 589.5 points
9. Trinity College – 444.5 points
10. Hamilton College – 271 points
11. Wesleyan University – 254 points