No. 10 Amherst tops No. 8 Williams
Jeffs’ win nine of 13 events, improve to 5-0 on the season
AMHERST, Mass. -- Winning nine of the day’s 13 events, 10th-ranked Amherst upset eighth-ranked Williams 145-98 to improve to 5-0 on the season.
Saturday marked the Jeffs' first victory against the Ephs at Pratt Pool since 2004, as the visiting team had won each of the past four meetings. Amherst extended its dual meet win streak to 14.
Looking to set the tone early, Amherst’s 400-yard medley relay team of Conor Deveney, Ben McBratney, Tyler Bulakul and Nick Egan touched in at 3:28.06, a full second ahead of the Ephs' ‘A’ team.
Holding onto a small lead after the first three legs, Egan held off a charging Will Brown in the freestyle to help Amherst notch its first win of the day.
Senior co-captain Tim Whitemade it two in a row for the Jeffs, cruising to a win in the 1,000-yard freestyle (9:37.86), but the Ephs’ John Armstrong and Christian Gronbeck took second and third to pare the Amherst lead to 25-11.
Neck and neck with Amherst’s Ryan Lichtenfels in the 200-yard freestyle, Williams’ Tom Vieth finished strong and created some breathing room in the final 50 yards en route to a pool-record time of 1:40.69.
With the Ephs suddenly within six at 31-24, the Jeffs’ Tyler Hampton responded in the 50-yard freestyle by touching just five one-hundredths of a second (22.08) before Williams’ Graham Righi (22.13) in one of the day’s closest races.
Trailing after the backstroke, Williams’ Paul Dyrkacz made up ground in the breaststroke and freestyle en route to a win in the 200-yard IM. Despite the junior’s pool-record time of 1:53.27, Amherst’s Connor Beaulieu and Michael Rochford placed second and third, respectively, to give the home team a 53-40 lead heading into the first of two diving events.
After Colin White and Mark Idleman helped extend the Amherst margin to 18 by placing first and third in the 1-meter dive (287.03, 236.78)), Rochford recovered from a slow start in the 200-yard butterfly and edged out Williams’ Stuart Horgan with a time of 1:56.08.
Vieth then captured the 100-yard freestyle (46.87), with Egan and Hampton placing second and third, respectively, to up the Lord Jeff lead to 86-64.
Deveney and junior Daniel Schwab kept things rolling for Amherst by coming in one-two in the 200-yard backstroke, marking the fourth consecutive year the Jeffs have taken the event's top two times against the Ephs. Tim White and Lichtenfels followed it up by taking the top two slots in the 500-yard freestyle to give the Purple and White a commanding 101-68 advantage.
Colin White then notched his second win of the day by earning the top score in the 3-meter dive (297.60), with Idleman once again placing third (251.18). Beaulieu, who trailed at the midway point of the 200-yard breaststroke, quickly closed the gap and passed a pair of Eph swimmers in the final 50 yards for another Lord Jeff victory.
The Ephs’ ‘A’ team closed out the meet with a win in the 400-yard freestyle, edging out Amherst’s ‘A’ team of Deveney, Tim White, Rochford and Lichtenfels with a time of 3:08.67.