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Men’s Swimming and Diving | Tufts shines at Middlebury Invitational

Published: Thursday, February 6, 2014

Updated: Thursday, February 6, 2014 09:02

The men’s swimming and diving team kicked off the championship phase of their season at the Middlebury Invitational last weekend. Twenty-one swimmers and two divers competed in the meet, a non-scoring event that included five other teams: Middlebury, Williams, Amherst, Springfield College and the University of Vermont. 

Head coach Adam Hoyt said he was pleased with how well his group has performed, particularly because several Jumbos posted their finest scores of the season. 

“The Middlebury Invitational was a great meet for Tufts,” Hoyt said. “The results were outstanding, with most of the swimmers improving on their personal best times and the divers finishing with some season-best scores.” 

Senior tri-captain Austin Wood echoed his coach’s sentiments, and said the team “absolutely rocked it this weekend.”

Tufts achieved its best results in the 100 backstroke, taking four of the top five spots. Sophomore Michael Winget won the event in 53.52 seconds, while classmate William Parker finished third. Parker was followed by freshman Adam Hotaling in fourth and senior Craig Olynyk in fifth. 

The Jumbos’ other first place finish came in the 400 individual medley, which freshman William Metcalfe won in 4:18.29. Fellow freshman Tim Savidge placed third in the race, 2:19 behind Metcalfe.

Senior tri-captain diver Johann Schmidt said he was in awe of how well the team’s younger swimmers performed over the weekend. 

“They really put their all into their swims,” Schmidt said. “Mostly everyone on the team had best times.” 

Tufts also scored three second-place finishes at the meet. Winget was runner-up in the 200 backstroke with a time of 1:53.68, and classmate Anthony DeBenedetto finished second in the 200 fly. Parker narrowly missed out on winning the 50-yard freestyle, coming in a quarter of a second behind the winner, sophomore Jason Ring from Williams College.

The Jumbos came in third in a number of events as well. The 200 freestyle relay team of Parker, senior Jack Thomas, sophomore Tanner Wiest and freshman David Amirkhanashvili took third, as did both the 400 and 800 free relay “A” teams. Wiest and freshman Jon Arbaugh finished third in their individual events, the 100 freestyle and 200 breaststroke.

“I knew that the guys who rested for this weekend would reap the rewards from all the hard work they put in during the season and their preparation definitely paid off,” Wood said.

The Jumbos that qualified for the NESCAC championships will have three weeks to train before traveling to Bowdoin College from Feb. 21 to 23. Based on what he saw at Middlebury, Coach Hoyt said he is confident his team is primed for additional success.

“This meet was a great start to the championship season and the guys who finished up their season at Middlebury set the bar high for the ones moving on to compete at the NESCAC Championships,” Hoyt said. “I think their performance is a great indicator that the entire team has trained well this season and with some rest the guys will be ready to go at NESCACs.”

Wood agreed with his coach, citing the team’s depth and overall talent.

“I honestly think this is the strongest Tufts swim team I’ve been a part of during my four years,” Wood said. “We have a very deep all-around team and will be able to score a lot of points in a lot of different events at NESCACs.”

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