Schenectady, NY-- Traveling to Union College for their first dual meet of the season Men's Swimming and Diving looked to open up strong on what they hope will be yet another successful season. Under head coach Steve Kuster Williams has captured 10 straight NESCAC championships as well as an 8th place finish at last year's NCAA championships. Having worked hard over the offseason to ensure that they were sufficiently prepared for the start of yet another season, the men saw their long hours spent in the weight room and conditioning training pay off in the form of a 219-79 victory over the host Dutchmen.
Senior Paul Dyrkacz, fresh off an appearance at U.S. Olympic trials over the summer, turned in a pair of strong individual performances, winning both the 100 yd breaststroke (58.46) and 200 yd backstroke (1:54.04). Dyrkacz finished over three seconds ahead of the second placed finisher, classmate Chris Corbett (1:01.88), in the breaststroke, with junior Chris Greeno (1:02.46) finishing third. In the backstroke sophomore Dan Druckman came in second with a time of 2:00.27 while Corbett would finish fourth (2:05.77).
Sophomore diver Rohan Bhatt, coming off a disappointing finish to the previous season that saw him unable to compete at either conference championships or NCAAs due to injury, turned that frustration into motivation in his first competitive meet of the year. Fending off the challenge posed by four divers from Union Bhatt turned in the highest scoring meet of his Williams career in both the 1m and 3m springboard events. In the 1m Bhatt torched the field by over 60 points, scoring 301.43, nearly 8 points higher than his previous career best from last year. He would do even better on the 3m board, registering a mark of 325.04, over 20 points higher than the previous season, and over 85 points higher than the closest competitor.
First year Jake Tamposi turned in an extremely impressive debut in his first dual meet wearing purple and gold. Tamposi won both the 200 yd freestyle (1:46.65) and 200 yd breaststroke (2:13.17). In the freestyle it was a hard fought battle between Tamposi, the eventual winner, and senior co-captain John Armstrong, who despite lunging for the wall nearly in line with his teammate came up just short, finishing a scant 18 hundredths back in 1:46.83. First year Knox Young was also right up with the lead pack, turning in a time of 1:46.99, only 16 hundredths back from Armstrong and under half a second off the leader, Tamposi, to take third. In the backstroke Tamposi had a much more comfortable margin of victory, finishing five seconds ahead of the pack with a time of 2:13.79. sophomore Adrien Downey came in second (2:18.79), just ahead of classmate Timothy Lattimer in third (2:18.96).
Downey and Lattimer would combine once again for points in the 1000 yd freestyle, where Downey led the way for the Ephs in finishing first with a time of 9:59.24. Lattimer claimed second place, slightly off the winning pace in the long event, finishing in 10:12.29. For Knox Young his time to shine came in the 200 yd Individual Medley, where he took first place with a time of 1:57.14, easily outdistancing the field. Lattimer would place second in another strong performance from him in 2:06.25.
Sophomore Christian Gronbeck was another two event winner for the Ephs, capturing first place in both the 100 yd backstroke (53.89) and the 500 yd freestyle (4:41.39). In the backstroke senior Phil Treesh was locked in a close battle with Union's Andrew Welch for second place before narrowly losing out and taking third (55.09). First year Seth Montgomery placed fourth (56.06). In the freestyle Gronbeck took the race out strong early then consistently out split his opponents to bring home the victory, including negative splits on his final seven laps. The winning margin, therefore, was understandably large, nearly 15 seconds over second placed sophomore Chris Weihs (4:55.93).
A Williams sweep in the 50 yd freestyle was led by first year Nels Snyder (22.01), who finished just ahead of sophomore Will Brown (22.49) and senior Chris Faux (22.86) in the blistering race. The Ephs would switch things up for the second round of sprints, with first year Alex McCarter winning the 100 yd freestyle in 47.68 over sophomore Alexander Nanda (48.89) and senior John Armstrong (49.12).
All in all the Eph men have a lot to be excited about following the first meet of the year, possessing a squad that is both large (40 members) and strong. They will be looking to build off of early season times as they buckle down to prepare for two Division I opponents in the form of Boston College and Fordham on December 1st.