NESCAC Day 1: Williams Claims Early Lead with 800 Free Relay Victory

Contributed by Robert Reiser


  • February 21st-24th, 2019
  • Middlebury College, Middlebury, Vermont
  • Teams: Amherst, Bates, Bowdoin, Colby, Connecticut College, Hamilton, Middlebury, Trinity, Tufts, Wesleyan, Williams
  • Live Results

800 Free Relay

  1. Williams College, 6:34.03
  2. Amherst College, 6:41.03
  3. Tufts University, 6:43.73

Williams was through the halfway point in 3:18 with a body length lead, followed by Amherst and Connecticut and Tufts in a virtual tie.  At the 600 Williams had extended its lead to a half pool.  In the end, no one was close, and the team of Lucca Delcompare (1:39.56), Henry Marquardt (1:38.50), Curtis Maher (1:37.94), and James Lovette (1:38.03) won with a pool, Meet, and NESCAC record.  Amherst was second, Tufts third.  It was a monster split for Maher who has broken 1:40 individually only oince (his freshman year at NCAA’s).  Colby was a surprising 4thin 6:47.80.

Bowdoin used NCAA runner up Karl Sarier as their leadoff.  He was sixth at the 100 and used his patented last 50 to pull the team to third but only in 1:41, well off his best of 1:36.96.  Sarier won the individual 200 his first three years, but with multiple swimmers under 1:40 in the relays he may be in trouble this year.

Like with the women’s meet, shifting this relay to the first night yielded faster results than last year with six of the top seven teams faster than in 2018 (Williams dropped from a 6:40.85 and Amherst from a 6:47.69), but not a plethora of NCAA cuts and only the top three were under the time it took to qualify in 2018.  Tufts, the only team in the top seven slower than last year, graduated two legs from their 2018 relay.

B Relays

B relays count in the NESCAC (although not double points), and with the scores expected to be close between the top three teams placing in those relays could be critical this year.

The Williams B relay of Jackson Karofsky (1:40.40), John Gaffney (1:40.47), Andrew Trunsky (1:40.26), and David Pearcy (1:39.15)went 6:40.28, breaking the pool and meet record. Tufts was second in 6:44.81 and Amherst held off Bates for third in 6:53.00 to 6:53.81.  The prediction that Amherst, Tufts, and Williams would take the top e spots in all of the A and B relays almost fell in the first race as Bates was third for most of the race before falling to fourth.

Combined Team Scores – Through Event 1

1. Williams College 90
2. Tufts University 76
2. Amherst College 76
4. Bates College 68
5. Colby College 66
6. Connecticut College 64
7. Bowdoin College 58
8. Trinity College 52
8. Middlebury College 52
10. Hamilton College 46
11. Wesleyan University 42

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Dominating performance by Williams. Looks like two of those teams (Williams and Amherst) will be in the “night” final of the 800 free relay. Also note 8 swimmers with sub 1:40 splits so expect a very fast 200 free final on Saturday night. I also predict some very fast 400 free relay times Sunday night as the sprinters will benefit from all relays swum as timed finals.


Two statement swims from Williams in their first season not as the defending champions. This team is definitely hungry and this will be an excited weekend to watch. Cautiously optimistic about Williams chances this weekend after this race, but I’m cautious because the women similarly came out to a flying start and despite a dominating win the times were a little flat across the board.

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