Many thanks to James Martin, who contributed this swimming coverage.
Both the men and women of The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) sit in first place after day 1 of the New England Men’s and Women’s Athletic Conference Swimming and Diving Championships at MIT’s Zesiger Sports & Fitness Center in Cambridge, MA.
The 200 yard freestyle saw the women’s team from MIT; Elena Hu (SR), Katie Siegal (FR), Michelle Cunnigham (SO) and Lena Yang (FR), take down the NEWMAC record (1:35.09) set in 2010 by MIT with a blazing fast NCAA ‘A’ qualifying time of 1:33.46. Second place Springfield (1:36.77) saw the fasted split from junior superstar Kellie Pennington (22.77). Wheaton (MA) was third in 1:38.82.
In one of the most talked about events of the night, the 200 Freestyle Relay, favorite MIT was absent from the final because the prelim ‘A’ relay got disqualified. This left the field wide open, but Coast Guard was the victor, 1:24.46. Springfield was a close 2nd in 1:24.65. Wheaton College (MA) was 3rd in 1:25.21. The fastest time in the event came in the consolation final as MIT’s ‘B’ squad swam a very impressive NCAA ‘B’ qualifying time of 1:22.39.
Kate Yu, a freshman from MIT was the winner of the women’s 500 yard freestyle in a provisional NCAA ‘B’ cut time of 5:01.48. In a surprising swim, freshman Cathleen Pruden from Mount Holyoke College dropped an additional 3 seconds off her prelim time to snag the second spot in 5:06.22/5:09.70p. Springfield’s Ashleigh Monroe was third in 5:07.32.
The men’s 500 freestyle saw some impressive swims. In the consolation final, Babson freshman An Truong and Coast Guard senior Nicholas Poehler battled it out to the finish. Both men met the NCAA ‘B’ provisional standard with a 4:36.88 and a 4:37.16 respectively. The final saw two men faster than Truong ad Poehler as MIT junior Remy Mock won the event in 4:33.66. MIT senior Max Pruner was second in 4:36.03. MIT freshman Michael Lu was third in 4:38.35.
The top 4 finishers in the women’s 200 IM met the NCAA ‘B’ provisional qualifying time. MIT senior Anna Kokensparger broke her own NEWMAC meet record set in 2010 (2:04.90) with a very fast NCAA ‘A’ automatic qualifying time in 2:03.97. Springfield freshman Callie Phillips was second in 2:06.78, MIT junior Katelyn Rossick third in 2:07.07 and Coast Guard junior Chantel Ferguson fourth in 2:08.46 (2:07.36p).
The men’s 200 IM saw a couple of record breaking swims. During the prelim session, MIT freshman Alexander Lednev broke the NEWMAC meet record in an NCAA ‘A’ automatic qualifying time of 1:50.80. He would have to settle for second place overall (1:51.39) as MIT senior Brendan Deveney crushed his own NEWMAC record with stellar an “A’ cut time of 1:49.08. Springfield freshman Michael Normoyle was third in 1:53.75 (1:53.18p). MIT freshman Dion Low and Coast Guard senior Kevin Smit rounded out the heavy field of NCAA ‘B’ provisional qualifiers in this event (1:53.92/1:54.32).
The women’s 50 freestyle saw defending champion Kellie Pennington with the fastest swim in 23.48. MIT finished second through sixth with senior Elina Hu snagging second in 23.82. Freshman Lena Yang was third in 23.86 – all three times met the NCAA ‘B’ provisional qualifying standard.
No surprise that MIT senior Wyatt Ubellacker won the men’s 50 freestyle in a NEWMAC record time of 20.01. This is his fourth win in as many years. He will play a huge role as the MIT men fight for a top 3 finish at this year’s Division III NCAA Championships in Shenandoah Texas from March 20-23. Coast Guard sophomore Christian Brindamour snagged the second spot with an NCAA ‘A’ automatic qualifying time of 20.33. MIT sophomore Brendon Chiu was third in 20.69, a ‘B’ provisional qualifying time.
Springfield College owned the diving boards as sophomore Jennifer Thompson grabbed the top spot in the women’s 3-meter event with a score of 547.30. Senior Kenny Pancoast won the men’s 1-meter event with an impressive score of 535.65.
The final event of the evening, the 400 Medley Relay, saw some very fast races as MIT secured wins in both. The women’s team of Christy Rogers (JR), Kristen Finney (FR), Katie Siegal (FR) and Anna Kokensparger (SR) commanded the lead from the start taking the win with a NEWMAC record setting swim of 3:49.23. The men’s team of Bo Mattix (FR), Michael Liao (JR), Wyatt Ubellacker (SR) and Craig Cheney (JR) won the event by more than 5-seconds in 3:19.79, just missing the NCAA ‘A’ qualifying standard by .06 of a second.
After one day of competition the scores are as follows:
- MIT 312 1. MIT 323
- Springfield 172 2. Coast Guard 158
- Wellesley 117 3. Springfield 153
- Coast Guard 109 4. Babson 118
- Mount Holyoke 94 5. WPI 117
- Wheaton (MA) 84 6. Wheaton (MA) 94
- Clark 58 7. Clark 68
- Babson 52
- WPI 47
- Smith 40