Augustyn Becomes #4 D3 Performer in 200 Back as MIT Dominates NEWMACs

2024 New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Championships

  • February 22-25, 2024
  • Zesiger Center Pool, Cambridge, MA
  • Short Course Yards (25 yards)
  • Meet Results

The 2024 NEWMAC Championships ended in the same way they have for the past 13 years – with the MIT Engineers atop the team standings. The women’s team claimed their 13th-straight title while the men claimed their 15th. The Coast Guard women finished 2nd, their highest team finish ever, while the Coast Guard men claimed their 8th-straight runner-up finish.

Women’s Recap

MIT teammates Kate Augustyn and Ella Roberson were the only two athletes across the entire meet to sweep three individual events.

Augustyn, a junior, was named Women’s Swimmer of the Year for the second year in a row. She won her third-straight title in the 200 IM (2:02.77), 400 IM (4:22.84), and 200 back (1:56.98), as well as contributed key legs to the Engineers’ winning 200 medley, 400 medley, 400 free, and 800 free relays. Augustyn’s time in the 200 back was a personal best by nearly a second and makes her the #4 performer in D3 of all time, as well as only the 4th athlete to swim under 1:57.

Augustyn leads the rankings in the 200 back, where she is the defending runner-up. Her time would have beat out Williams’ Sophia Verkleeren for gold last year (1:57.66). She also popped a 54.16 100 back leading off MIT’s 400 medley relay to rank #2 behind Verkleeren.

First-year Roberson completed the 50-100-200 freestyle sweep. While her time of 23.15 in the 50 free wasn’t quite a season best, it was still enough to defeat Springfield’s Kay Shen (23.56). Roberson broke 50 seconds in the 100 free for the first time in her collegiate career to top the field by over a second (49.95), though she was still a couple tenths off her prelims time from the MHSAA Division 2 State Championships.

Roberson’s winning time in the 200 free (1:49.09) was a personal best and a meet record. She didn’t swim on MIT’s 800 free relay, where the quartet of Natalie Tang (1:51.75), Sonia Seliger (1:53.13), Sydney Smith (1:51.94), and Augustyn (1:49.40) still won handedly (7:26.22), but her flat-start time gives the Engineers a lot of potential room to drop come NCAAs. For her efforts, Roberson was named the Women’s Rookie of the Year.

Wellesley sophomore Kavita Sekhon swept the breaststroke events, upsetting reigning NEWMAC champion and 2022 NCAA 100 breast champion Edenna Chen with personal bests of 1:02.37 in the 100 breast and 2:18.02 in the 200 breast.

The final multi-event winner of the women’s meet was MIT first-year diver Fiora Beratahani, who was named Women’s Diver of the Year after amassing 509.30 points on 1-meter and 549.00 points on 3-meter.

Wheaton’s Lily Watson had a strong meet, taking home her first NEWMAC title as a senior in the 500 free (4:58.11), and a 3rd and 4th-place finish in the 100 free (51.71) and 200 free (1:52.53) respectively. The last first-time NEWMAC champion was MIT first-year Camila Pierce in the 1650 free (17:11.08) and

The rest of the events were won by last year’s champions. A pair of MIT sophomores Lauren Levy and Annika Naveen repeated in the 100 fly (56.02) and 100 back (55.57) respectively, while Coast Guard junior Grace Keogh narrowly defended her title in the 200 fly (2:04.57).

MIT swept all five relays, including a NEWMAC meet, open, and Zesiger pool record in the 200 free relay. The quartet of Kailey Simons (23.99), Naveen (23.27), Melody Wen (23.34), and Roberson (22.41) put together a time that tied Denison for the #2 time in the nation (1:33.01). The Engineers got another trio of records in the 400 free relay, with Smith (51.68), Augustyn (50.70), Helen Sun (51.69), and Roberson (49.84) combining to win the event by over four seconds (3:23.91).

Men’s Recap

No athlete went three-for-three in individual events in the men’s meet, with a caveat. Senior Tobe Obochi competed in all five of MIT’s relays, limiting his individual entries to only two events. Obochi defended his titles in the 50 free (20.11) and 100 free (43.76), though he was faster leading off the Engineers’ 200 free relay (19.93) and 400 free relay (43.57). He’s ranked #1 in the 100 free this season courtesy of a 43.40 from the 100 free prelims. Obochi was named Men’s Swimmer of the Year for the third year in a row.

Led by Obochi, MIT had a perfect relay record, including two #3 rankings in the 200 free relay (1:19.71) and the 400 free relay (2:56.57). MIT won a pair of national titles in the relays in 2022; Obochi is the only returning member from both squads.

Coast Guard junior Colin Twiss also took home two individual titles in the 200 free (1:37.22) and 500 free (4:30.06), his third title in the 500 and second in the 200. Instead of competing in the 1650 free on the final day, as he has for the last two NEWMAC Championships, Twiss took on the 100 free where he recorded a runner-up finish behind Obochi (44.54). In his stead, teammate Sean Lyman hit a personal best in the mile to lead the field (15:40.50).

Lyman also won the 400 IM in a personal best (3:54.12), holding off a trio of MIT swimmers including defending 2023 champion Roderick Huang. Huang did manage to defend his title in the 200 breast, clocking 2:01.39 to hold off another Coast Guard athlete, John Kaleta (2:01.95).

In the shorter IM race, senior Jaden Luo grabbed his second-straight title in the event, clocking 1:48.59. Luo holds a personal best of 1:46.99 from 2023 NCAAs where he recorded a runner-up finish. Luo also finished 2nd in the 200 free (1:37.54), an event where he was the 2022 NCAA runner-up, and 3rd in the 100 free (45.08).

Springfield first-year Christian Butler was dominant on the boards, and was the only non-MIT recipient of an individual award. He swept the 1-meter (527.40) and 3-meter (530.65) and was named the Men’s Diver of the Year.

MIT first-year Jason Wang claimed victory in the 200 fly (1:50.70), capping off a successful first NEWMAC campaign that also included runner-up finishes in the 200 IM (1:49.32) and 400 IM (3:56.75). His classmates Aitor Arrese-Igor and Bryce Roberts also won individual titles in the 100 back (49.15) and 100 fly (47.96) respectively. Roberts established a new meet record in the 100 fly, and was named Men’s Rookie of the Year.

Thomas Wu, an MIT sophomore, had a big swim in the 100 breast (54.45) to establish a meet and pool record and take home his first individual title. He was just 13-hundredths of a second off Jaden Luo’s open record of 54.32.

To wrap up the individual events, MIT sophomore Zack West swam 1:48.08 in the 200 back. He also hit a personal best in the 100 fly en route to 3rd-place finish (49.04) and 100 back leading off MIT’s 400 medley relay (49.30).

Final Team Scores

Women

  1. MIT – 1565.5
  2. Coast Guard – 750
  3. Wheaton – 713
  4. Springfield – 693.5
  5. Wellesley – 595
  6. WPI – 451
  7. Babson – 284
  8. Smith – 271
  9. Mount Holyoke – 254
  10. Clark – 220

Men

  1. MIT – 1483.5
  2. Coast Guard – 896
  3. WPI – 825
  4. Babson – 740.5
  5. Wheaton – 532
  6. Springfield – 519
  7. Clark – 221

Individual Awards:

  • Women’s Swimmer of the Year: Kate Augustyn, MIT
  • Women’s Diver of the Year: Fiora Beratahani, MIT
  • Women’s Rookie of the Year: Ella Roberson, MIT
  • Men’s Swimmer of the Year: Tobe Obochi, MIT
  • Men’s Diver of the Year: Christian Butler, Springfield
  • Men’s Rookie of the Year: Bryce Roberts, MIT

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WSCoach
1 month ago

Camila Pierce (aka Sprint Cami) is a beast.

DCC Parent
1 month ago

Roll Tech!!

PFA
1 month ago

Tobe nearly even split the 100 free in finals 21.77-21.99