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Men's Swimming & Diving | Jumbos go 1−2 on the weekend against tough competition

Published: Thursday, January 24, 2013

Updated: Thursday, January 24, 2013 07:01

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Courtesy Johann Schmidt

Johann Schmidt dealt with a rare loss to Williams on Sunday afternoon, but still picked up wins against MIT and Boston College.

The men’s swimming and diving team entered this past weekend set to take on its biggest challenges of the season.

Returning to the pool for the first time in over a month and a half, the Jumbos lost to No. 1 MIT (205−101) on Saturday before splitting its tri−meet on Sunday, losing to No. 11 Williams (184−105) and defeated Wesleyan (218−59). Its stretch of three meets in four days ended Tuesday after a hard−fought dual meet loss to Boston College (205−146). The Jumbos are now 3−4 overall and 3−1 in the NESCAC.

On Saturday, MIT won all but two of the events, but the Jumbos, fresh off a winter break of training, showed promise. Junior Christian Jones came from behind to win the 1,000−yard freestyle, and freshman Michael Winget placed first in the 50−yard backstroke. Second place finishes by freshman Cam Simko and juniors Eric Douglas and Drew Berman, as well as seasonal and personal bests in nearly every event, gave coach Adam Hoyt confidence that his team will be ready for the NESCAC championships in a month.

Hoyt credited the individual improvements to the training trip the team took to Florida over the break.

“It’s grueling training for three to five hours per day with only one day off in 12 days,” Hoyt said. “They stepped up to the challenge and kept a high level of focus.”

Sunday’s tri−meet saw continued strong performances from the Jumbos. Winget won the 100−yard and 200−yard backstroke, and also placed second in the 400−yard individual medley, all in personal best times.

His weekend performances earned him NESCAC Performer of the Week, making him the second freshman to earn the award this year, along with Anthony Debenedetto, who won the award in November.

With their recent successes, Debenedetto, Winget and Simko have thrown themselves into the conference championship picture.

“[They] have raced extremely well up to this point and I think the three of them are in a position to challenge the top swimmers in our league,” Hoyt said. “As freshmen that’s an exciting opportunity to have.”

Their times also stacked up well in the dual meet against Boston College, as the freshmen won a combined five events. Berman and Douglas each won one of their races, yet the Jumbos were unable to match the depth of their Division I opponent.

The biggest surprise of the weekend, however, came in the diving well, as junior diver Johann Schmidt lost to Williams sophomore Rohann Bhatt in a rare Division III loss for the reigning national champion.

Coach Brad Snodgrass seemed unworried about the loss. Schmidt’s improved 3−meter dives and his big−meet experience make him a favorite to repeat his NESCAC and national titles.

“He’s improving every day, so I like his chances at both meets,” Snodgrass said. “We’re trying to stay focused on improving and doing just a little better each day.”

The Jumbos will compete next on Jan. 26 at home against Wheaton College. Winget and Schmidt will take a backseat to the seniors, who will be competing in their final home meet on Senior Day.

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