Men's swimming starts strong at NESCAC Championships

Joseph Tocci '17 qualified for Friday night's 1-meter diving finals. (File photo by Sarah Crosby/Bates College)

BRUNSWICK, Maine – Bates College men's swimming and diving set four team records and notched two top-three performances on day one of the 2014 NESCAC Men's Swimming & Diving Championships at Bowdoin College's LeRoy Greason Pool on Friday.

The Bobcats currently sit in fifth place as a team with 349 points just behind Tufts (429 points) and one spot ahead of Bowdoin (321.5). Williams (636.5), Amherst (607), and Connecticut College (566) hold spots one, two, and three respectively while Middlebury (275), Hamilton (189), Colby (158), Wesleyan (136), and Trinity (114) occupy positions seven through 11 in order.

Highlights for Bates on day one included:

  • Junior Andrew Briggs (York, Maine) finished second in the 50-yard breaststroke with a school-record time of 26.01 after swimming a 26.23 in the prelims. He will earn All-NESCAC honors at the conclusion of the meet for his top-three finish.
  • First-year Milan Brankovic (Belgrade, Serbia) joined Briggs in the A Final of the 50 breast coming in seventh with a time of 26.48 after swimming a personal-best 26.38 in the prelims. All four times from the duo eclipsed the previous team record of 26.60, which Briggs set at last year's NESCAC meet.
  • Junior Matthew Gagne (Winnetka, Ill.) earned a third-place finish in the 50-yard butterfly behind a program-record time of 22.54, breaking the previous school-best mark of 22.62 which he set at the same meet last season. Classmate Will Patton (Asheville, N.C.) also took part in the A Final finishing in eighth with a 23.31 after a 23.09 in prelims.
  • First-year Matthew Phillips (Acton, Mass.) established a new program record in the 500-yard freestyle on the strength of a 4:45.40 in the morning session. He broke David Bear's previous high mark of 4:45.67 from March 1, 2002.
  • In 1-meter diving competition, first-year Joseph Tocci (Belmont, Mass.) qualified for the evening session after scoring 322.10 points in the prelims. In the finals, he came in eighth with 335.95 points.
  • The foursome of first-year Paden Brunault (Orlando, Fla.), classmate Edward Thunem (New Canaan, Conn.), Gagne, and rookie Jack Dina (Kenilworth, Ill.) chalked up a new school record in the 400 medley relay with a time of 3:26.32. They broke the previous mark of 3:26.92 set by Matt Johns, Briggs, Gagne, and Nick Karlson at last year's NESCAC meet.

The championships continue tomorrow with sessions at 10 a.m. and 5:50 p.m.