March 22, 2010

Men's Swimming Takes 8th at National Championship

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – Last week, ten members of the MIT men’s swimming and diving team traveled to the University of Minnesota for the 2010 NCAA Division III Championships hosted by Beloit College and the College of Wooster.

After four days of competition, MIT’s men ended 8th of 61 scoring teams, logging the second-best finish in program history, topped only by the team’s seventh-place showing in 1982.

Luke Cummings was a standout performer for MIT’s men, scoring more than a quarter of the team’s points. In the 50 Free preliminary (20.59), the senior narrowly slid into the championship heat, qualifying .02 second ahead of the cutoff. In the final, he improved his time to 20.37, setting a new Institute record and finishing 4th in the event.

In his other individual event, Cummings swam a 45.60 in the prelims of the 100 Free, advancing him to the consolation final, but a false-start in his second swim disqualified him from scoring.

Tech’s four All-American relays accounted for nearly three quarters of the team points and propelled the Cardinal and Gray toward the top of the scoreboard. In the 200 Medley Relay, Cummings teamed with freshman Wyatt Ubellacker and fellow seniors Rastislav Racz and Jeff Zhou to finish 3rd in the championship final (1:29.92), becoming MIT’s first team to break the 90-second barrier.

Cummings, Zhou and Ubellacker swam with sophomore Brett Boval in the 200 Free Relay, taking 4th place with a time of 1:22.23. Freshman Brendan Deveney sided with Cummings, Zhou and Ubellacker for the 400 Free Relay which took 6th place in 3:03.19.

The 400 Medley Relay featured Cummings, Racz, junior Toomas Sepp and freshman Ron Rosenberg, who swam to a 5th-place finish (3:20.49) to snatch yet another All-American award and team record for the Engineers.

Other MIT-record times included Deveney’s performances in the preliminaries of the 200 IM (1:52.57) and 400 IM (4:00.41) as well as Sepp’s marks in the prelims of the 100 Fly (49.95) and 200 Fly (1:52.95).

Racz, a five-time All-American in individual events struggled in the 100 and 200 Breast, taking only 12th in both events.

Tech’s other national qualifier, sophomore Tim Stumbaugh, finished 18th in the 200 Back (1:51.24), edging out Deveney in 19th (1:51.30) and Rosenberg in 20th (1:51.37).

With 163 points, MIT’s 8th-place finish improves upon its showing of 9th last year.

Entering next season, the Engineers are losing three of this year’s national qualifiers. Racz, a ten-time All-American, retires with five MIT records; Cummings ends his career as an eight-time All-American, currently holding seven Institute records; and Zhou departs with six All-American honors and four MIT-bests.