Surf & Turf, 2/27
Issue   |   Tue, 02/26/2013 - 21:09
Photo courtesy of Public Affairs
Senior Keri Lambert finished second among Div. III runners in the mile, clocking the eighth fastest time of the year.

SWIMMING

While the Jeffs’ men’s swimming team was unable to match the women by taking home another conference title, they did finish an impressive second at the NESCAC Championships, which were held at Wesleyan last weekend. Their total of 1824.5 points put them over 700 points ahead of their next closest competitor, Conn. College, and just 112 points behind Williams, who reeled off their 11th straight NESCAC title.

In the past, Williams had usually dominated the competition. This time around, however, the Jeffs would take the Ephs down to the wire for the top spot. In fact, the Jeffs got off to such a strong start that they led Williams after Day 1 of competition.

The Jeffs notched two individual wins on the first day of competition, one of which came from diver Colin White ’14. His score of 542 in the 1-meter dive paced the field, setting program and NESCAC Championship records in the process. The other Jeff winner was Matt Heise ’16, who prevailed in the 50-yard backstroke with a time of 23.68. But perhaps the strongest performance on Day 1 came from the 400-yard medley relay team of Conor Deveney ’15, Tom Zhang ’16, Sam Stewart ’16 and Connor Sholtis ’15. They shattered program and meet records while making the NCAA “A” Cut with a time of 3:19.56.

Unfortunately, the Jeffs’ lead would not last long: Williams took back the top spot by the end of Day 2 of competition. But, while the Ephs impressed by picking up wins in five of the day’s eight events, Amherst accounted for two of the other three victories. Program records continued to fall, the next coming courtesy of Stewart, who cleaned up with a time of 48.09 in the 100 fly. His time was good for an NCAA “A” Cut, as was that of teammate Tyler Bulakul ’14, the fourth place finisher in the event. The day’s other individual victory came from Zhang, who posted a time of 56.85 in the 100 breast. Notably, the Jeffs, Zhang included, had at least one NCAA “B” cut finisher in seven of the eight events. Even after their outstanding day, Williams only led the by 76.5 points.

On the final day of the tournament, the Ephs were able to extend that lead and dash the Jeffs’ hopes at a NESCAC title. Even in defeat, however, the Jeffs featured several more impressive performances. Sholtis, Bulakul, Deveney and Tyler Hampton ’15 notched a victory and made the “B” cut in the 400 free relay. Deveney himself turned in an “A” cut effort with a time of 1:48.78 in the 200 backstroke, while Sholtis continued his stellar weekend with a victorious “B” cut time in the 100 free. Finally, Bulakul shattered meet, pool, program and championship marks with his first-place time of 1:48.36 in the 200 fly. Right behind him in second place was first-year Jeff Anderson, who also made the “A” cut. For his outstanding body of work, Stewart was also named the Rookie of the Meet at the conclusion of the event.

To be sure, the Jeffs would have liked to see their NESCAC season end with a championship, but their overall effort provided numerous points of pride and was, in many ways, a satisfying conclusion to a strong season in league play. Now, the Jeffs will wait until March 6, when individual selections for the NCAA Div. III tournament will be announced.

Meanwhile, the Jeff divers will have the Diving Regionals to look forward to this weekend (March 1-2).

TRACK & FIELD
The men’s and women’s indoor track and field teams traveled to Boston Univ. this past weekend to compete in the NEICAAA Championships.

In what has been an impressive indoor season for both squads, the NEICAAA Championship was no exception for the Jeffs, as both squads posted impressive times and competed strongly against fellow Div. III schools and Div. I foes, as well.

Men

The Jeffs finished 23rd out of a field of 31 at the NEICAAA Championships, an event that featured Div. I, II and III competition, at Boston Univ. over the weekend of Feb. 23-24.

Matt Melton ’14 turned in the most notable performance of the weekend, placing third in the 800-meter dash and recording the 10th-lowest time in Div. III competition this season.

He dominated the other Div. III runners in the event and finished just a fraction of a second behind two opponents from UConn. Thanks to Melton, the Jeffs were awarded six team points.

Other strong individual showings came from Andrew Erskine ’13, who took home 10th overall (and third among Div. III runners) in the 3,000-meter run, and Romey Sklar ’15, who placed 11th overall and second among Div. III runners in the 1,000-meter dash.

The Jeffs will be back in action at the Tufts Last Chance Meet on March 1-2.

Women

Like the men, the women’s indoor track and field squad also took part in the the NEICAAA Championships, where they finished 25th out of 34.

Keri Lambert ’13 excelled in her specialty event, the mile, where she finished second among Div. III runners and recorded the eighth-fastest performance of the year.

In the DMR, Lambert, along with juniors Amy Dao and Naomi Bates, set a program record with a time of 11:39.51, also posting the fourth-lowest Div. III time this year.

The Lady Jeffs will join the men next weekend at the Tufts Last Chance Meet.

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