Men's Swimming & Diving | Underclassmen step up for men’s swimming and diving team
Published: Monday, December 3, 2012
Updated: Monday, December 3, 2012 07:12
The men’s swimming and diving team finished in the middle of the field at this weekend’s MIT Invitational, taking fourth place out of seven teams, the same finish the team achieved at the event last season.
But the story of the day was undoubtedly the performance of freshman Anthony DeBenedetto, who continued his strong start to the season and broke a seven-year-old team record in the 200-yard butterfly.
“It had been a goal of mine to break the record by the end of the season,” DeBenedetto said. “But since I had been swimming pretty well this weekend, I decided to go for it.”
DeBenedetto’s NCAA “B” qualifying mark of 1:52.09 was only good for fourth place at the invitational, but blew the previous Tufts mark of 1:54.27 out of the water.
“Normally I don’t swim this well in-season, and I don’t usually come anywhere near my best times until my championship meet,” DeBenedetto said. “Coach Hoyt’s training is different from what I’m used to, but it’s definitely working for me, and allowed me to get personal life-time records in three individual events this weekend.”
DeBenedetto’s performance belied a generally positive performance by Tufts’ swimmers. Though the meet was filled with strong teams, Tufts still managed to finish above Wheaton, Bowdoin and Colby.
“The swims this weekend were some of the fastest I’ve seen in my three years at Tufts,” junior Kyle Savidge said. “And the season is only halfway done.”
Host MIT took first place with 1,445 points, with Keene St. and Harvard finishing out the top three.
Tufts also benefited from the performances of several other underclassmen, as well as the times of the various relay teams. In fact, freshman Michael Winget captured the only other top-five finish on the weekend when he took fourth in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 52.87.
“I was really excited to swim at this meet,” Winget said. “The team has been training very hard and we all knew we were going to swim at our best. During the meet, I saw all of my teammates swimming their hardest, and that really motivated me to swim my best.”
In the relays, Winget and DeBenedetto combined with junior Drew Berman and sophomore John Devine to finish fifth in the 400-yard medley relay, while Berman, Wignet, Devine and junior Eric Douglas finished fourth in the 200-yard medley relay.
“At the meet, whenever anyone swam fast it really motivated me to swim fast as well, especially on the relays which were really big for us at this meet,” Winget said. “It was a fast, competitive meet and I believe everyone really stepped up and performed.”
In diving, defending national champion junior Johann Schmidt came in second to Harvard senior Michael Stanton in both the one- and ghthree-meter dives, marking a rare loss for the veteran. The result was even more surprising considering that Stanton only placed third at the Ivy League Championships last year and did not challenge for the NCAA title.
The MIT Invitational was the last meet for the men’s team this semester, and the team will now go through its annual winter break training trip. They will return to action on Jan. 19 when they head back to MIT.