March 20, 2013

Ubellacker Wins 50 Free, Engineers Touch First in 200 Medley Relay on Day 1 of NCAAs

SHENANDOAH, Texas - On the first day of the four-day, eight-session NCAA Division III Championship, 11 members of the MIT men's swimming and diving team swam individual events, with four of them making it back to finals. Senior Wyatt Ubellacker (Georgetown, Ky.) won his first national title in his career in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 19.81. Sophomore Austin Fathman (Hamilton, Mich.) also competed in the 50 free, while senior Brendan Deveney (Newtown, Conn.) swam the 200-yard Individual Medley and junior Remy Mock (Victoria, British Columbia) was in the 500-yard freestyle. After the first day of competition, MIT are in third place with 88 points.

Going into the meet, Ubellacker was seeded third in the 50 free with a 20.01, a time that earned him a first place finish at the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) championship late last month, as well as a NEWMAC meet and open record. He also broke his own MIT record for the third time this season. In the preliminary session, he touched first with a 19.51, just over a tenth of a second off the NCAA record, breaking the 20 second mark for the first time. He managed to hold on to the lead in finals, touching first in 19.81 with Erik Klontz of Carleton College finishing right after him in 19.86. Ubellacker earned 20 points to go towards MIT's final score.

Fathman also swam in the championship of the 50 free after tying for sixth place in prelims with his time of 20.23. In finals, he touched in eighth place with a 20.37, earning 11 points. This is the first year that the sophomore has swam an individual event at nationals, as he qualified last year as part of two relays.

Mock was the first of the Engineers to hit the water in finals, swimming in the consolation final of the 500 free. In prelims, he swam a 4:31.31, improving his time from NEWMACs by over two seconds, earning a 13th place seeding going into finals. From the start of the race, he was ahead of the crowd. He touched first in the heat with a time of 4:28.39, almost a full second ahead of the second place finisher, cutting another three seconds from his best time and breaking the MIT record of 4:29.97 from the 2011-12 season.

Going into finals of the 200 IM, Deveney was seeded 12th with a 1:50.58, just over a second off his best time of 1:49.08 from NEWMACs. In the consolation final, he tied Blake Weber of Claremont with a 1:49.74, earning eight points.

In prelims, freshman Thomas Norris (Cincinnati, Ohio) swam a 4:34.97 in the 500 free, coming in 24th place. Fellow freshman Alex Lednev (Glenmont, N.Y.) swam the 200 IM, narrowly missing finals with his 18th place finish with a 1:51.15. Classmate Luke Schlueter (St. Louis, Mo.) moved up one place from his seeding to finish in 43rd place with a time of 1:53.96, bettering his time by a second.

In the 50 free, sophomore Brendon Chiu (Monterey Park, Calif.) moved up four places to 21st with a 20.70 and senior Tony Chen (Clemmons, N.C.) also moved up four places to 28th place with his time of 20.83. Junior Craig Cheney (Sherwood, Ore.) came in 29th place in 20.84 and freshman Bradford Jokubaitis (Newtown, Pa.) finished in 49th with a 22.27.

The 200-yard medley relay wrapped up the first day of competition. The combined effort of freshman Bo Mattix (La Canada, Calif.), Chiu, Ubellacker and freshman Kale Rogers (Newberg, Ore.) that was seeded in 11th place going into the meet finished prelims in fourth with a time of 1:30.44. That night, the relay, that was composed of Mattix, junior Michael Liao (Newport Beach, Calif.), Ubellacker and Cheney touched the wall in first place with a time of 1:28.57, crushing the MIT record of 1:29.94.

After the first day of competition, the Engineers sit in third place out of 26 teams with 88 points. Denison University is just one point ahead in second place with 89 and Kenyon takes the lead with 110 points.

Day two of NCAAs will begin with the 200-yard freestyle relay and will be followed by the 400-yard Individual Medley, 100-yard butterfly, 200-yard freestyle and 400-yard medley relay. Prelims every day will start at 10:00 a.m. CDT/11:00 a.m. EST and finals will begin at 6:00 p.m. CDT/7:00 p.m. EST.

Live stats- http://collegeswimming.us/results/21478/

Video- http://www.ncaa.com/liveschedule/2013/03/20