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Men's Swimming and Diving | Tufts splits two weekend meets

Published: Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Updated: Tuesday, January 21, 2014 08:01

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Caroline Geiling / The Tufts Daily

The Tufts men’s swimming and diving team improved their record to 3-2 with a 188-106 victory over Wesleyan on Sunday afternoon. The Jumbos won eight events overall, with Drew Berman, Anthony DeBenedetto and Johann Schmidt all winning two apiece. 

Senior tri-captain Austin Wood described the win as a huge mental victory for the Jumbos, who trained in Florida over winter break.

“It felt great,” Wood said. “We swam well against a stacked MIT team (the day before) and it was fulfilling to swim a technically sound meet against a conference rival. Having just completed a grueling training trip, a lot of us were really broken down, so it was great to get the W.”

DeBenedetto, a sophomore, won the 50 and 100-yard backstroke. He also helped Tufts finish second in the meet’s first event: the 200 medley relay. Schmidt continued his stellar season by winning both diving events, scoring 307.5 points in the three-meter event and 306.97 in the one-meter. 

Berman doubled by winning the 50-yard breaststroke and the 100 individual medley. On top of that, the senior finished runner-up in the 100 breaststroke and was part of the Jumbos’ third-place 200 medley relay. 

Wood applauded Berman on for winning a couple of close races, victories that “definitely amped the team up” in Wood’s opinion. 

Freshman William Metcalfe and sophomore Will Parker won events as well. Metcalfe scored Tufts’ first win of the day by racing a 4:13.83 time in the 400 individual relay, with sophomore Michael Winget finishing less than a second behind him for second place. Parker won the 100 freestyle in 49.41 seconds, just ahead of Winget’s 49.60, and also finished runner-up to DeBenedetto in the 50-yard backstroke. 

The Jumbos’ final win of the day came in the 200 freestyle relay, in which the foursome of Winget, Parker, Wood, and sophomore Harry Wood placed first. They were followed closely by the second-place quartet of Greg Spiropoulos, Jack Thomas, Craig Olynyk and Cameron Simko.

Wood felt that Tufts was able to win because they were in good spirits despite losing the day before.

“A lot of us swam our secondary events, so there was a little less pressure on us and I think people generally enjoyed the meet more,” Wood said. “I think that the energy level was a little bit higher against Wesleyan and that we had some more fun with the meet.”

Tufts’ win over the Cardinals came on the heels of a tough loss to MIT the day before, in what was the Jumbos’ first meet of the spring semester. Despite losing 190-110 to the Engineers, Tufts still produced several highlights in the losing effort by winning five events and placing second in four others. 

Schmidt and Simko were standout performers by contributing all but one of the team’s first place finishes. Simko notched Tufts’ first victory of the meet by winning a closely contested 200 freestyle with his 1:44.44 time, then won the 500 freestyle later in the meet with a 4:43.54 time. 

“It was really nice to get back into the pool and see how the training trip treated all of us,” the sophomore said. “We definitely saw some kids really step up during the trip to Florida, and their hard work paid off at the meets this weekend.”

Schmidt won both diving events by comfortable margins. The senior tri-captain scored 324.70 to win the one-meter and 377.20 in the three-meter competition. Freshman Matt Rohrer was the runner-up in the one-meter with 292.55 points. 

The other Jumbo to win an event was freshman Gus Simms, who won the 200 butterfly in 1:54.53. Sophomore Anthony DeBenedetto was right behind him, finishing second at 1:55.34. 

After a day off to recuperate on Monday, the Jumbos will look to stay on the winning track Tuesday night against Division 1 Boston College. 

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