Ephs Extend Lead in First Full Day of NESCAC Competition

David Pearcy '21
David Pearcy '21


Today, the Williams College Ephs made their presence known in the NESCAC and in the NCAA. They broke another two pool records, won six out of the nine events competed tonight, and put themselves almost 90 points ahead of the competition.

The night started with the 200 freestyle relay, in which the quartet of David Pearcy '21, Jamie Lovette '21, Will Zhang '22, and Aaron Stanton '22 placed second overall with four great swims from the Ephs, finishing with a time of 1:21.76. Pearcy, with a budding sprint career ahead of him, opened it up for the Ephs in an almost best time of 20.84. Lovette dove in next, blasting ahead of some of the competitors in the field. Zhang, in his first A relay, split a 20.39, and Stanton finished out the relay for the Ephs with a split of 20.36.

In the first individual event of the meet, the Ephs placed three swimmers in the A final. Senior Clayton Morikawa placed eighth with a 26.31, and sophomore Sam Gollob placed second in a 26.29. In an incredible race to the finish, freshmen Liam Sullivan topped the podium in a time of 24.96. His quick start and speedy pullouts shot him out ahead of the competition, and his grit brought him home.

The next event of the night was the 50 butterfly, in which the Ephs also made their presence known. In the B final, Zeb Hart '22 snuck under his prelims time to out touch the competition, winning the consolation final in a 22.96. In another incredible final, David Pearcy '21 followed suit of his teammate by winning the event. While his 22.00 was not as quick as his prelims swim, he still out touched the competition. Another inspiring freshman race also happened in this finals, with Ev Nichol swimming a blazing fast 22.36, tying for second place overall. Brennan Lee '21 also competed in in the A final, placing seventh in a 22.97.

In the 500 freestyle, the Ephs had five swimmers compete in the top three heats. In the pre-consolation final, Cole Mason '23 had a great first finals swim, placing 17th overall in a 4:40.34. In the consolation final, senior Will Burford '20 went slightly slower than his best time from the morning, finishing in 12th place in a 4:38.67. In the championship final, distance trio Jamie Lovette '21, Jackson Karofsky '21, and Andrew Trunsky '20 once again painted the podium purple. Lovette commandeered the lead from early on in the race, with Karofsky and Trunsky battling out the competition on the second half of the race. Lovette finished the race in a 4:29.27, setting a new Samuelson-Muir pool record. Karofsky and Trunsky finished in second and third place, going 4:32.29 and 4:32.95, respectively.

The 50 backstroke brought another win for the Ephs, bringing the tally up to four individual wins. Sophomore Nick Whitcomb, the top seed going into tonight, out touched the competition by .03. While Whitcomb was the fastest on the first 25, he still had to battle back the competitors to win his first NESCAC title. Classmate Timmy Page, in his first NESCAC championship final, placed sixth in a best time of 23.25.

In the next event, the 200 Individual Medley, the Ephs brought the house down. In yet another extremely exciting championship final, the Ephs were represented by four out of the top eight qualifiers. Freshmen Jacob Grover had an utterly unbelievable race, with his 31.59 breaststroke split helping him solidify his win. His win by over a second was a four second drop for the Eph rookie; he went a time of 1:50.65. Coming in close behind was Paul Leclerc '22. Although he was just off his best time, it was a strong place finish for the Ephs. Senior Lucca Delcompare placed third in a 1:52.16 and Henry Marquardt '21 placed sixth in a 1:53.05.

In the last individual event of the night, the 50 freestyle, the Ephs had two individual finalists. Aaron Stanton '22 was the only Eph in the championship final, placing eighth in a 20.98. Will Zhang placed eleventh in a 21.14.

Freshman diver Kobe Tray '23 competed in his first NESCAC final, and nailed some beautiful dives. He had incredible twisters and entries, and placed third overall.

The final event of the night was the 400 medley relay, comprised of the incredible quartet of Paul Leclerc '22, Liam Sullivan '23, David Pearcy '21, and Jamie Lovette '21. Leclerc blasted out in a 49.87 backstroke split, warming up the lane for Sullivan's entrance. Sullivan, fresh off his 50 breast win earlier in the evening, had an unbelievable split of 53.78, the fastest in the field by over a second. Next up was Pearcy, also coming off an individual title tonight. Pearcy's split of 47.91 paved the way for anchor leg Lovette. Lovette closed out the relay in a 43.80, with the relay finishing in a 3:15.36, which resulted in another pool record for the Ephs.

On the first full day of competition, Eph head coach Steve Kuster said, "I liked the way we battled tonight.  Obviously some great performances, but also some important gritty swims where guys moved up in their heat and got us more points.  That is obviously going to be critical in what will be a very close meet. Also loved that we had several of our relays tonight really step up and perform well."

The Ephs continue their conquest tomorrow morning starting at 10am with the 400 individual medley.