Cambridge, MA --- The WPI men's swimming & diving 200-yard freestyle relay team won a NEWMAC title on the first full day of the conference championships Friday at MIT. The host Engineers lead with 549 points followed by Coast Guard with 357.5 and the Boynton Hillers with 341.5.
The foursome of senior Alex Powers (North Scituate, RI), sophomore Karim Elsayed (Cairo, Egypt), senior Nathan Hughes (Arlington, VA) and junior Andrew Bauer (Cumberland, RI) clocked a third-place 1:24.51 in the 200 free relay prelims to setup the title race for sophomore David Smallwood (Bangor, ME), freshman Jack Bauer (Cumberland, RI), Hughes and Andrew Bauer. The evening's team set the WPI record, achieved a B cut and came in under last year's NCAA Division III Swimming and Diving Championships invited time with a 1:21.98. The B team of freshman Jackson Perry (Cumberland, RI), Elsayed, sophomore Chris Massar (Monroe, CT) and Powers teamed to finish 13th in a time of 1:26.45.
Later in the evening, Jack Bauer, junior Tim Petri (Eksjo, Sweden), Smallwood and Hughes broke the school 400-yard medley relay record with a second-place 3:20.49. The time is a B cut and would have also qualified for last year's NCAAs. Powers, Petri, Perry, and Hughes swam the morning session for the Engineers and finished the prelims in third place (3:26.70). Junior Matt Houghton, junior Andrew Kelleher (Poughquag, NY), sophomore Cam Back (St. Louis, MO) and sophomore Sam Carley (Trumbull, CT) posted a 3:32.19 before the lineup of Houghton, Kelleher, junior Seth MacDonald (Sherrill, NY) and Powers collaborated to finish 12th overall with a 3:26.03.
Smallwood had the best time in the 50 free prelims (20.88) and ended up tied for third with a 20.98. Andrew Bauer was .07 better to earn a runner up finish. In the B final, Elsayed turned in a 22.07 while Perry followed with a 22.11 as they duo placed 17th and 18th, respectively. Massar was one of the alternates with a 22nd-place time of 22.65 in the prelims.
MacDonald moved from seventh (1:54.61) to third (1:53.93) while freshman Alex Gallant (Lakeville, MA) placed 10th (1:55.59) in the 200 IM A final. Powers won the B final (1:53.18) as Kelleher and Petri followed in 18th (1:56.99) and 20th (1:57.55).
Sophomore Craig Barrett (Edinburgh, Scotland) touched the wall seventh in the 500 free in a time of 4:41.96 as Hughes took ninth (4:43.00). Freshman Roberto Esquivel (Tegucigalpa, Honduras) and sophomore James Macfarlane (Ijamsville, MD) secured 13th and 14th-place points with times of 4:46.87 and 4:48.46.
Day three will feature the 400 IM, 100 fly, 200 free, 100 breast, 100 back and 200 medley relay, as well as the men's 3-meter dive. Swimming trials get underway at 10am and finals are set for 6:30pm.