The 2019 men’s swimming and diving NESCAC championship was held in the Middlebury Natatorium last weekend, February 21-24, where the Panthers placed eighth. Williams captured the first place spot for the 16th time in 17 years, collecting 1,822 points. Coming in as runner-up was Tufts with 1,775.5 points, followed by Amherst (1,506 points). Middlebury rounded out the top eight (589.5 points), behind Bowdoin, Bates, Colby and Connecticut College.
In the one-meter diving final, Mike Chirico ’20 dove to an All-NESCAC performance for his third consecutive year, earning an NCAA “B” cut of 445.90 points to claim third place. For the past three years, Chirico has scored within the top three of the conference. His impressive performance is not a surprise, as he has consistently dominated both the one-meter and three-meter boards this season. In Sunday’s three-meter event, Chirico took fourth, scoring 435.30 points.
Thursday and Friday’s events led to several top 10 finishes. The 800 freestyle relay team of Morgan Matsuda ’19, Jack Dowling ’19, Alec Wilson ’21 and Zach Einhorn ’21 took ninth with a 7:01.03. Corey Jalbert ’21, Will Pannos ’20, Jake Gaughan ’22 and Brendan Leech ’19 claimed sixth in the 200 freestyle relay (1:24.01). Leech, Bryan Chang ’22, Pannos and Jalbert then scored seventh in the 400 medley relay, swimming a 3:25.48. Two Panthers secured individual top scoring titles. Leech finished eighth in the 50 backstroke final (23.52) and Pannos finished ninth in the 50 free (21.10).
On Saturday, the 200 medley relay squad of Leech, Jacob Fleisher ’20, Pannos and Jalbert opened the meet with a ninth place finish (1:34.15). Wilson and Leech swam to twelth in the 1,000 free (9.43.14) and 100 backstroke (51.41), respectively. In the 100 butterfly, Pannos finished second in the consolation final, earning 10th place overall with a 50.32.
Starting off Sunday strong, Alec Wilson swam the 1,650 freestyle final in 16:36.75, good for 19th place. Kevin Santoro ’21 then touched the wall 15th in the 200 backstroke (1:53.61). In the 200 butterfly, Dowling took 13th with a time of 1:54.29. Closing out the weekend of competition, the 400 free relay squad of Pannos, Jalbert, Gaughan and Leech podiumed in eighth, stopping the clock in 3:06.36.
Next year, the women’s team will host their half of the NESCAC event.