Greensboro, NC-- The Williams men, boasting one of the strongest distance programs in the nation, had an opportunity to put it on full display tonight. Although they only put finalists into one of the events contested, the 500 freestyle, they placed three swimmers into the event.
In the Consolation Final, David Pearcy '21, on the back of an 11 second drop from his seed time this morning, placed 16th. The placement is especially notable given that this meet is the first time Pearcy has ever competed in the event tapered, let alone on a stage as big as the NCAAs.
Representing the Ephs in the Championship Final were Jamie Lovette '21 and Jackson Karofsky '21, both of whom improved on their seed and best times in the morning. Karofsky, more-or-less tying his performance from this morning, put together another very well split swim to take 7th, his first ever All-American performance in the event. Lovette, who was in the Consolation Final last year and finished in a time of 4:28, took out the event quickly. Not to be fazed, he brought the race home in a monster final 100 of 51.80, the second fastest final 100 yards in the field, to take second overall in a nailbiter finish, touching just .09 back from Emory's Tom Gordon. Lovette's finish of 4:24.28 not only marks a 3-second personal best from his prior efforts before the meet, but also will go down as a Williams College school record.
On day one, head coach Steve Kuster remarked: "This morning was a bit of an up and down morning. There were some great swims, and at the same time I think we let a few opportunities fall by the wayside. Those who raced this evening did a very good job. Laura had a fantastic finish to win another 500 free title. The 500 free boys did a very nice job as well highlighted by Jamie's 2nd place finish and new school record. It was great having 2 women IM'ers in the big heat this evening and the women's 200 MR finished the evening off with a strong swim."
The Williams performances tonight were both gutsy and electric, and should serve to set the tone for the rest of the meet. Swimming will resume tomorrow with the 200 Free Relay, 400 IM, 100 Fly 200 Free, and 400 Medley Relay.