Jan. 21, 2008
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - Freshman Michael Dobson broke the Institute record in the 1000-yard freestyle and also notched a first-place finish in the 500-yard freestyle to help MIT earn a split against New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) opponents Springfield College and the United States Coast Guard Academy on Sunday afternoon. The 15th-ranked Engineers downed Springfield, 181-117, but were narrowly edged by Coast Guard, 154-144.
Coast Guard defeated the host Pride, 187-113, in the afternoon's other match-up.
The loss to the Bears was the Engineers' first setback of the season and moved their record to 5-1 overall and 3-1 in the NEWMAC. Meanwhile, Coast Guard improved to 6-2 overall and 5-0 in the conference with the pair of victories, while Springfield fell to 1-8 and 1-2.
Dobson's time of 9:47.07 in the 1000-yard freestyle was not only over 10 seconds faster than the second-place finisher, but it also shattered the MIT record in the event by over five seconds. Before Dobson's remarkable swim, the previous standard had been set by Mark Liao in 2005, when he swam it in 9:52.62. The rookie also earned maximum points in the 500-yard freestyle by touching the wall ahead of all his opponents at 4:47.35.
The Engineers grabbed victories in both of the afternoon's relay events, starting with the 200-yard medley relay. Jeff Zhou, Rastislav Racz, Toomas Sepp and Luke Cummings teamed up to finish the race in 1:36.74, just 0.31 seconds faster than the runner-up squad from Coast Guard. The Cardinal and Gray then closed the meet with a win in the 400-yard freestyle relay, as Cummings, Zhou and Wellings were anchored by junior Laurent Charpentier to clock in with a time of 3:11.21.
Charpentier also had an individual victory to his credit, winning the 200-yard freestyle (1:45.43) by a full three seconds over Coast Guard's Jack Shadwick.
Sophomore sensation Racz also notched a pair of wins, as he was once again dominant in the breaststroke events. The Bratislava, Slovakia native touched the wall first in the 100-yard (59.43) and 200-yard (2:09.96) versions of the stroke.
The Engineers will return to action on Saturday, Jan. 26, when they will travel to Medford, Mass., to take on Tufts University at 1:00 p.m.