Men's Swimming and Diving Places Second at NESCACs
Issue   |   Wed, 02/25/2015 - 00:24

Men’s swim and dive were runners-up in the 2015 NESCAC championships Feb. 20-22. The team had five first-place finishes and set one pool record and two school records to finish the meet with 1,579 points. Fifteen swimmers will be competing in NCAA regionals next weekend.

When the first of three intense days came to a close on Friday, the Amherst men’s swim and dive team sat securely in second place. Senior captain Connor Sholtis led the team with a first-place finish and new school record in the 50-yard free, touching the wall in NCAA ‘B’ cut time of 20.63. Sholtis also anchored the second-place 400-medley relay team, which also included Michael Rochford ’15, Elijah Spiro ’18 and Sam Spurrell ’18. The senior finished off the race for his team, coming in in 3:19.43. The time was good for the second of seven NCAA ‘B’ cut mark’s the team would earn that day.

Amherst finished the day with strong performances in the short distances, as well as the 200 free relay. Spiro took third in the 50 breast with a time of 25.69, Rochford claimed fifth in the 50 back with a time of 23.48 and Hampton took sixth in the 50 free. Hampton also helped the 200 free relay team of himself, Alex Dreisbach ’17, Anderson and Keegan Simmons ’17 to a fourth place time of 1:24.27.

“The first night I just kept hearing guys walking around saying, ‘You’re going to swim fast. You’re going to swim so fast,’ and man we did,” Sholtis said. “I am so proud of all of our guys that went out and left it all in the pool.”

With 577 points, the Jeffs entered day two behind Williams (709) but in front of third-place Connecticut College (534.5). The team swam hard throughout the day and the effort did not go unnoticed.

The purple and white started the day with a second-place and NCAA ‘B’ cut finish in the 200 free relay. Matt Heise ’16, Spiro, Hampton and Sholtis set a new school record with a time of 1:30.94. Sholtis took another second-place relay finish, anchoring the 800 free relay. Taking the last leg of the race after teammates Anderson, Grimes and Dreisbach, the senior touched the wall in 6:49.19.

The last day was a strong one for the Jeffs, who would finish the day with three more event titles. Sholtis continued his impressive run, earning his third victory in as many days in the 100 free. His time of 44.63 was good enough for an NCAA ‘B’ cut mark. Amherst proved itself a powerhouse in that race with Hampton, Dreisbach and Simmons taking third, fifth and eighth respectively. They finished with times of 45.81, 46.34 and 46.85.

The 400 free relay consisting of Hampton Dreisbach, Anderson and Sholtis earned another ‘B’ cut mark, won another event and set a new pool record when the anchor touched the wall 3:01.79. Amherst earned three more ‘B’ cut times in each the 1,650 free and the 200 fly. In the 1,650 free, Grimes led the team with a second place time of 15:56.60.

Brody and Haley followed behind taking fourth and fifth with times of 16:05.62 and 16:05.92 respectively. In the fly, Anderson led the Jeffs with a second-place time of 1:49.22. Spurrell finished in third with a time of 1:50.24 and John Janezich ’18 finished in 1:52.00 to take sixth.

“It looks like we’ll have a solid group headed to nationals as well,” Grimes said. “So right now we have a lot to celebrate and even more to look forward to.”

After their outstanding weekend, the Jeffs are back at the pool training for NCAA regionals, which start Friday, Feb. 27.