2018 NESCAC MEN’S CHAMPIONSHIPS
- Tufts 1671
- Williams 1590
- Amherst 1467.5
- Bowdoin 976
- Connecticut 906.5
- Bates 854.5
- Middlebury 667.5
- Colby 570.5
- Trinity 565
- Wesleyan 494
- Hamilton 376
The Williams men had won fifteen consecutive NESCAC titles, and the Ephs were hunting for their sixteenth straight this year. In fact, since the inaugural NESCAC conference championships in 2001, the Williams men had only lost one meet title, when Middlebury won in 2002. This dominance is seen on the women’s side, too– since 2001’s first NESCAC meet, Williams has won every single meet but one: the 2013 champs that went to Amherst.
That all changed at the 2018 NESCAC Men’s Championships, when Tufts flipped the script. Buoyed by the individual performances of Roger Gu, Kingsley Bowen, and James McElduff, and bolstered by a deep roster, the Jumbos put forth an exceptional effort to unseat the Ephs from their throne. It was the first NESCAC title for Tufts, making them the third team to ever win a NESCAC title on the men’s side.
The sophomore Gu, who is now cemented as the best sprinter in NESCAC history, set conference records in the 50 free (19.95) and 100 free (44.31). He was also essential on relays, helping Tufts to a 400 medley relay win with a 43.85 anchor leg as well as a 400 free relay leg with an even more impressive 43.02 anchor leg. Bowen, a junior, won all three backstrokes, going 22.24 in the 50 (yes, the NESCAC does 50’s of stroke), 48.22 in the 100, and 1:46.88 in the 200. McElduff, a senior, posted a 3:56.65 to win the 400 IM and was 1:49.31 to grab 2nd in the 200 fly.
Williams, without any divers and without a full 24-person roster, was still very dominant in some events. Senior Timothy Kostolansky set a new NESCAC record with his win in the 50 fly (21.70) and touched 2nd to Tufts’ Bowen in the 50 back (22.50) and 100 back (48.22). The Ephs’ distance group was staggering, headed by freshmen Jamie Lovette and Jackson Karofsky and sophomore Andrew Trunsky. Lovette (4:29.60), Karofsky (4:30.35), and Trunsky (4:31.37) went 1-2-3 in the 500 free, and the same trio was 1-2-4 in the mile, led by Lovette again (15:37.40).
Trunsky also won the 1000 free for Williams (9:24.68), with Karofsky opting for the 400 IM and Lovette the 200 free on Day 2 of the meet. Karofsky wound up 2nd in the IM (3:58.66) and Lovette 2nd in the 200 free (1:38.69). Sophomore Lucca Delcompare was another winner for Williams in the 200 fly (1:48.68), and the Ephs also turned in a 6:40.85 to win the 800 free relay.
Amherst‘s breaststrokers excelled, and it showed, while host team Bowdoin grabbed swimmer of the meet, diver of the meet, and celebrated its highest finish in school history with a 4th place finish.
For Amherst, senior Elijah Spiro won the 50 breast (25.07) and 100 breast (55.38), while sophomore Sean Mebust busted out a 2:00.60 to win the 200 breast. The Mammoths truly dominated the 100 breast, going 1-2-3-4, and they were also 1-3-4-6 in the 50 and 1-3-6 in the 200. Amherst also won the 200 medley relay, with Spiro going 24.65 on breast.
Bowdoin junior Karl Sarier racked up three victories, going 1:50.07 in the 200 IM, 1:37.89 in the 200 free, and then unseating Gu, who set the conference record during prelims, in the 100 free (44.47). Junior Mitch Ryan won both boards, posting scores of 480.95 on 1 meter and 458.10 on 3 meter.
5th place Conn College earned two wins at NESCACs, one in a relay and one individual. Kaison Ifill, who transferred from Amherst, was 48.73 to win the 100 fly, while Conn’s 200 free relay was 1:21.64 to win there, too, as Drake Freiberg, a senior, split a 19.95 and Ifill anchored a 20.05.
Williams has been so dominant for so long in the NESCAC– in 2017 and 2016, they won the meet by more than 200 points over the next-best team, and as recently as 2015, they won by nearly 500 points. Tufts made its move this year, though, and really had unmatched depth to go along with their stars to claim the crown, scoring almost 300 more points than they did in 2017 and jumping from 3rd to 1st in one season.