Men's swimmers tenth at NESCACs
The Colby men’s swimming and diving team traveled to Brunswick, Maine this past weekend to compete in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Championships.
The meet took place over the course of three days. Each day, the athletes competed in morning trials and evening finals. Williams College won the meet for the ninth straight year, while Colby came in tenth place overall.
The Mules got off to a strong start on Friday in the 50-yard breaststroke. Senior captain Craig Zevin took eighth place overall, and teammate Mason Roberts ’12 won the “B” finals (the ninth through 16th place qualifiers) of the same event. Ryan Trafton ’12 and Andy Peterson ’14 continued to represent Colby well in the sprints; both finished in fourteenth place in the 50-yard butterfly and 50-yard backstroke in 23.59 and 25.14 seconds, respectively.
Colby finished the day in tenth place with 151 points. The score brought them within just two points of Trinity College.
Williams swam out to a 117-point lead by accumulating 693.5 points. Day two saw Amherst College gain some ground on the Ephs, but the Lord Jeffs still needed to add another 103 points to their tally in order to take the crown.
Senior captain Charlie Wulff said, “as of Saturday evening, Colby has done exceptionally well. Everyone has been dropping a significant amount of time in all of their events. Even though we are one of the smallest teams at [the] NESCACs, we are definitely putting up a good fight and doing a great job at bringing back swimmers every night.”
Indeed, Colby’s team is small in numbers; it includes only four seniors and sophomores among its ranks and sixteen swimmers in total on its roster. The top teams in the competition, Williams and Amherst, have 29 and 28 swimmers on their rosters, respectively.
On Saturday, Zevin raced in the 100-yard breaststroke, John Madiera ’14 competed in the 400-yard individual medley, Trafton sprinted in the 100-yard butterfly and Roberts swam in the 100-yard breaststroke. “Other standouts included Ray Reiling ’12 and Adam Spierer ’13, who both put forward great relay and individual swims both nights.” Roberts, Peterson, Trafton and Tom Hurley ’12 achieved Colby’s highest finish of the day, with ninth place in the 200-yard medley. In the 800-yard relay, Peterson, Madiera, Reiling and Ryan Fischer ’12 came in tenth with a time of 7:14.37. Once again, Colby finished the day in tenth place after having amassed 264 points.
With only four events remaining in the competition, Amherst had pulled to within four points of Williams on Sunday, but the Ephs held off the surge and won by the closest margin of victory since 2003 (127 points).
Colby fought off Wesleyan University later that day to claim tenth place by 5.5 points. The outcome of the meet came down to the last event, and the 400-yard freestyle relay team of Hurley, Peterson, Reiling and Trafton took eleventh place, which was just enough to keep Wesleyan from passing Colby.
Other strong performances turned in by the Mules include Fischer’s twelfth-place finish in the 200-yard breaststroke and Roberts’ 17th-place performance. Roberts’ final time would have earned him tenth place overall, but his preliminary time had placed him in the “C” race finals. Peterson and Madiera finished with 18th and 19th-place finishes in the 200-yard backstroke, respectively.
After the meet, Zevin had nothing but great words to say about the team. “We swam unbelievably well. It was a real team effort and people came up big when they needed to. Everyone was thrilled with the team’s performance, including head coach Tom Burton.”
This weekend marked the end of both Zevin and Wulff’s swimming careers. Colby’s 2011-2012 team will have some big speedos to fill.