MEDFORD, Mass. – The Tufts University men's swimming and diving team won their first-ever New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Championship this weekend after the third and final day of competition wrapped up Sunday at Bowdoin.
|Gu had a hand in setting nine records over the three-day event.|
With the Jumbos' victory, they break Williams College's 15-year streak of claiming the NESCAC championship. Williams had been crowned champion in 16 of the previous 17 years the event has been held with Middlebury being the only other team to ever win back in 2002.
Tufts finished the three-day event with a team score of 1,671, beating second place Williams, who finished with 1,590, by 81 points. Amherst claimed third with a 1,467.5 and Bowdoin was a distant fourth with 976.5. Head coach Adam Hoyt's Jumbos led the competition at the end of all three days.
At the end of the day, the top three finishers in each event earn All-NESCAC honors. Competitors can also qualify for the NCAA DIII Championships with their times at the conference meet. If they make an NCAA A cut, they will receive automatic NCAA qualification. If they make the NCAA B cut, they will be entered onto a provisional qualifying list, which will make them eligible to qualify, but will have to wait to see how their time stacks up against the rest of the country before qualification is made official.
Over the whole the weekend, the Jumbos claimed seven event victories, set 13 program records, two meet records, and one NESCAC record.
"It was a special weekend for our team and program," Hoyt said. "To be honest, I'm speechless. Williams has set the standard in NESCAC Men's Swimming since the conference creation in 2000. I'm thankful they've been there along with the other great schools to push our athletes and coaches to the level we reached this weekend. The team's performance exceeded our expectations and was needed to win the championship. It was a culmination of hard work, a high level of focus and great attitudes throughout this year. For our program this has been a culmination of decades of great tradition, coaching, performances, and training. The support we get from our swimming and diving friends, family and alumni has been amazing and inspires our team to be the best we can be each year. This year it all came together and everyone of our athletes stepped up to the challenge. I'm very proud and enjoying every minute of this special time."
They picked up two of those victories and four program records on Sunday. The first victory came in the 200 backstroke when Kingsley Bowen came in first with a time of 1:46.88 (32 points) and Nathan Mitchell took fourth with a 1:50.20 (26 points). Both of them made the B cut. Zach Wallace also came in sixth in the race with a time of 1:51.47 (24 points). The next first-place finish of the day was in the 400 freestyle relay where a team of James McElduff, Bowen, Lorenzo Lau, and Roger Gu set both program and meet records with a time of 3:00.79 (64 points) while making the B cut.
The other program records on the day were set in the 1650 freestyle, the 200 butterfly, and the 100 freestyle. John LaLime claimed third in the 1650 freestyle setting a program record of 15:39.93 (27 points) and made the B cut. Brandon Jinn finished seventh in the event with a 16:17.48 (23 points). McElduff finished in second in the 200 butterfly, made the B cut, and set a program record with a time of 1:49.31 (28 points). In the 100 freestyle preliminaries, Gu set a program record with a 44.31, making the B cut. He later finished in second in the finals of the event with a 44.78 (28 points) and Lau took eighth with a 47.04 (22 points).
On the weekend, Bowen had a hand in five event wins, three individually and two in relays. Gu had three, one individual and two in relays. McElduff had one individual win and one relay win. And Matthew Manfre, Zach Wallace, and Lau all had one win as part of a relay team.
In terms of records set, Gu claimed six program records, three individual and three relay, three meet records, two individual and one relay, and one NESCAC record. Bowen set six program records as well, two individual and four in relays, and one meet relay record. McElduff set four program records, two individual and two relays, and one meet relay record. Lau set two program relay records and one meet relay record. Manfre, LaLime, and Tyler Tatro all set two records. Manfre's were both program relay records, while Tatro and LaLime's were both individual. Wallace and Costantino Camerano were each a part of one program relay record.
Hoyt was named NESCAC Coach of the Year after the meet. Idelson received the Four-Year High Point Diver award.
The next event for the squad will be the NCAA Zone Diving Qualifier next weekend at Middlebury.
Written by Curtis Stoychoff, Athletic Communications Intern