March 11, 2008

Red Performs Well, But Below Expectations

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With months of training behind them, the men’s swimming and diving team concluded a solid season of competition at the EISL championship meet at Harvard, last Thursday through Saturday.
Knowing how competitive the league was this year, the Red set obtainable goals and went in aiming to beat three teams it felt within its reach—Penn, Dartmouth, and Brown. It was only able to beat two of the three and fell short of its goal of sixth place, but the Red was able to come out with many individual victories as well.
The Red sat in fourth place at the end of the first day of competition and in sixth at the end of the second day, but couldn’t hold off Brown for sixth place on the third and final day.
The Red finished seventh in the nine-team league on Saturday, beating Penn and Dartmouth with a score of 707.5 points, behind Brown’s total of 793. Harvard was the clear meet winner, with 1,564 points. [img_assist|nid=28730|title=20,000 Leagues|desc=The men’s swimming team went into the EISL championships this weekend looking to beat Penn, Dartmouth and Brown. The Red took seventh after beating Penn and Dartmouth.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
“Overall the team is feeling good about things,” junior Phil Baity said. “I think most of the members of the team performed pretty well, but not up to the expectations that we would have hoped for. I think I did a decent job and a bunch of other members such as [junior] Wes Newman and other freshmen and even our seniors Nick Oates and Brad Gorter all had wonderful meets, no doubt.”
Although not finishing in as high a place as it had originally hoped, the Red saw a few impressive performances in individual events and several personal lifetime bests. Newman, a co-captain, won the 200-meter freestyle with a time of 1:39.26. He also took third in the 500-meter freestyle and 200-meter fly, earning 86 points for the team.
“In my mind, Wes Newman would be the star swimmer of the meet,” Baity said. “Wes captured his first individual championship title and he also broke the school record in the 500 free. He’s been training really hard this season, and it definitely showed off at this meet.”
Baity got second in the 200-meter backstroke and fifth in the 100-meter backstroke, earning 54 points for the team.
“It wasn’t a spectacular meet for myself because I didn’t get any personal best times,” Baity said. “But I’m still satisfied with getting second, although I was leading the race for most of the time.”
Senior co-captain Brad Gorter and Sophomore Nick Campbell also performed well, contributing 47 and 72 points to the team score, respectively.
Junior diver Chris Donohoe earned 33 points in the consolation rounds of the diving events, finishing third in the B finals for the one-meter diving and 10th in the three-meter diving event. Freshman Mike Sheppard contributed 25 points earned from various diving events.
As usual, the Red performed well in the relay events. The team placed fourth in both the 200 free and the 400 medley, and seventh in the 800 free. The 200-medley team got disqualified due to an early start, but would have gotten third.
The meet ended with the 400-free relay consisting of Newman, Gorter, Kevin Carey and sophomore Sasha Dobrolioubov.
The team placed fourth and posted a personal-best time of 2:59.13. It was faster than its previous season best by more than three seconds, not to mention a new school record.
While the season is officially over for the Red, individuals continue to train for meets outside of the realm of college. Newman and freshman Ilya Brotzky both plan to swim at the Canadian Olympic trials this spring, and Baity will swim in the US Olympic trials this summer.