The Amherst men’s swimming and diving team returned to action this weekend, Feb 17-19, at the NESCAC championship tournament. Hosted by Wesleyan University, all eleven NESCAC schools faced off at this three-day meet.
Finishing the meet with 1,402 points, Amherst took second place out of the eleven teams, edged out by Williams, who ended with 1,671 points. Tufts (1,391), Connecticut College (1,331) and Bates (997.5) rounded out the top five teams.
Day one was highlighted by a number of top three finishes from the purple and white. Both Elijah Spiro ’19E and Eric Wong ’20 captured NESCAC titles. Spiro won the 50-yard breaststroke in a pool record time of 24.95. Wong took the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 4:33.15. Right behind him was teammate Connor Haley ’17, who claimed second in the event with a time of 4:34.84. Jack Koravos ’20 also claimed a runner-up finish by clocking 20.66 in the 50-yard freestyle. Amherst finished off the day with a strong third-place finish in the 400-yard medley relay (3:20.41) by the team of Craig Smith ’20, Sean Mebust ’20, Sam Spurrell ’18 and Alex Dreisbach ’17.
The purple and white continued their success on day two, and Spiro led Amherst with two more NESCAC titles on the day. Finishing in a time of 55.23, Spiro captured his second individual win in the 100-yard breaststroke. The junior was also a part of the victorious 200-yard medley relay, along with Koravos, Spurrell and Dreisbach. The team finished in a pool record time of 1:30.12.
The 800-yard freestyle relay tallied another victory for the purple and white. Composed of Koravos, Wong, Haley and Charlie Seltzer ’19, Amherst finished in 6:44.83, just a one-hundredth of a second in front of the Williams relay team, thanks to Seltzer’s stretch to make it a photo finish. At the end of the day, however, Amherst remained in second place with 1,049 points, 96 points behind first-place Williams.
Amherst finished the three-day meet with more solid performances. Sean Mebust ’20 claimed his first NESCAC title in the 200-yard breaststroke, coming in at 2:00.36. Wong placed fourth in the 1,650-yard freestyle with a final time of 16:03.59. The 400-yard relay team of Wong, Koravos, Seltzer and Dreisbach ended the NESCAC championships with a fifth-place finish (3:04.27).
Many members of the Amherst team posted NCAA “B” cut times, which means they have a chance of being invited to the NCAA Division III Championships.
Swimmers who achieve the “A” standard automatically qualify for the meet, and the remaining spots are filled by swimmers who hit the “B” standard. Individuals who met the “B” cut times include Wong, Koravos, Spiro, Mebust, Smith and Spurrell. The 200-, 400- and 800-yard medley relay teams also secured “B” cut marks.
Next up for Amherst is the NCAA Division III Championship meet, which will take place on March 15 in Greensboro, N.C.