Men’s Swim & Dive Places Fourth in NESCAC Championship Meet
Issue   |   Wed, 02/24/2016 - 00:35
Rob Mattson
Jeff Anderson ’16 earned a first place victory in the 200-yard butterfly and third place in the 400-yard individual medley, earning him all-NESCAC honors.

The men’s swimming and diving team took fourth place at the 2016 NESCAC championships, held at Williams.

At the end of day one, the men held third place, behind Williams and Connecticut College, with a score of 501. Senior Asher Lichtig earned first place on the 1-meter diving board with an impressive score of 511.50. Connor Haley ’17 also had a stand out performance with a first-place finish in the 500-yard freestyle with a mark of 4:33.75. Elijah Spiro ’18 and Josh Chen ’19 seized second (25.38) and third place (25.65), respectively, in the 50-yard breaststroke event. Reed Patterson ’17 and Sam Spurrell ’18 also earned second and fourth place, respectively, in the 50-yard butterfly with times of 22.42 and 22.59.
Additionally, Amherst finished second in the 400-yard medley relay with a combined effort from Matt Heise ’16, Spiro, Spurrell and Alex Dreisbach ’17 (3:21.29). The group set a pool record in the preliminary event with a mark of 3:21.10.

With day two coming to a close, Amherst stood in fourth place with 957 points. Spiro earned second place in the 100-yard breaststroke with a mark of 56.06. Jeff Anderson ’16 and Patterson each earned third place in the 400-yard individual medley (4:02.36) and 100-yard butterfly (49.46), respectively. Chen and Spurrell added fifth-place finishes in the 100-yard breaststroke (56.58) and 100-yard butterfly (49.92) as well.

The relay teams also stood out on day two with third-place finishes for Heise, Patterson, Spiro and Dreisbach in the 200-yard medley (1:31.41) and Anderson, Haley, Dreisbach and Charlie Seltzer ’19 the 800-yard freestyle (6:50.79).

After the final day of the meet, Amherst finished in fourth place with 1315 points. Lichtig performed well again, earning second place in the 3-meter event with a score of 494.60. Greg Han ’17 earned a solid first-place finish in the 200-yard breaststroke with a mark of 2:04.01. Anderson also earned first place in the 200-yard butterfly, breaking a pool record with a time of 1:49.68.

“It was very bittersweet being at my last NESCACs,” Lichtig said. “I have been diving for 15 years and can’t image my life without diving, but at the same time, I’m excited about moving on and seeing what life is like without it. I couldn’t have asked for a better ending to my career being at that meet with the best teammates in the world. This team has been amazing and I wouldn’t have wanted to finish up with any other group of guys with me out there.”
11 Amherst swimmers were also named to the 2016 All-NESCAC team, given to the top three finishers in each event over the weekend. Lichtig highlighted the group by taking both the NESCAC diver of the year and four-year high point diver awards. He was awarded the four-year high point award because of his consistently excellent performances over the entirety of his collegiate career. In addition, Lichtig will finish his senior season having been named to All-NESCAC teams twice in the 1-meter board event and three times in the 3-meter board event. He is only the third Amherst diver in history to be awarded the diver of the year award, and the fourth to earn the four-year high point for divers.

Joining Lichtig on the All-NESCAC team were Heise, Anderson, Patterson, Haley, Dreisbach, Han, Spiro, Spurrell, Chen and first-year Charles Seltzer. The combination of upperclassmen and underclassmen on this list ensures that the team will continue to succeed in years to come. It is particularly notable that two first-years made the All-NESCAC teams, as they will have three more years to improve upon their already stellar performances. While the senior leadership will be missed, the team is in good hands in terms of individual talent, and will continue to succeed.

The men will return to the pool for the final time this season this March in Greensboro, North Carolina, to compete at the NCAA Division III tournament. They will look to continue their excellent individual and team performances in their final competition of the year.