March 20, 2008
OXFORD, Ohio - Men's swimming and diving is in 27th place after the first day of competition at the 2008 NCAA Championships. The Engineers earned 10 points on opening night and were paced by a 12th-place finish in the 400 medley relay.
Thursday's evening session featured a good ending for MIT, which finished fourth in the consolation final of the 400 medley relay. The Engineers touched the wall in 3:27.19 to finish just back of Middlebury and one spot ahead of NEWMAC-rival Coast Guard. Sophomore Jeff Zhou led off with a split of 54.69 in the back while a tremendous split by Rastislav Racz in the breast (55.33) moved MIT up to second place. Junior Laurent Charpentier produced a split of 50.49 in the fly and sophomore Luke Cummings anchored the effort with a clip of 46.23, although Middlebury nipped MIT for third with two phenomenal splits in the stretch.
Backed by the same quartet, MIT couldn't match its seed time in the 200 free relay and missed finals after finishing in 20th place with a time of 1:26.04. Cummings authored Tech's fastest split of the relay during the second leg (20.82).
Charpentier and freshman Michael Dobson also competed in individual events on opening night. Charpentier finished 39th in the 50 free in 21.56 while Dobson swam 4:42.22 to finish 30th in the 500 free.
During Thursday's trials in the 400 medley relay, Racz hammered out the fastest split of the meet in the breast, clocking 54.97 to set up an exciting run in the individual events later this weekend.