“The men just swam out of their minds this weekend,” said Coach Nick Nichols.
Starting off the meet in the 200-yard freestyle relay, the ‘A’ team of Chuck Clinton ’05, Dan Morash ’04, Mike Pohorylo ’04 and Pat Kennedy ’03 finished in fifth. Amherst got its first NESCAC victory of the meet in the 500-yard freestyle courtesy of tri-captain Rob Winograd ’02, who set a new pool, meet, NESCAC and school record, in addition to qualifying for Nationals with a dazzling time of 4:30.16. He was followed not far behind by Steve Shapiro ’04 who placed fourth and also qualified for Nationals. In the 50-yard backstroke, Russell Lang ’03 took second while tri-captain Chris Morton ’03 took fifth in the 200-yard IM, making the National ‘B’ cut. Pohorylo also made the ‘B’ cut from the consolation final heat, placing ninth overall, followed by Morash who finished in 11th. Kennedy made the ‘B’ cut as well in the 50-yard free that followed, placing fourth with his best time to date.
The Amherst men wrapped up Friday’s finals with an incredibly exciting win in the 400-yard medley relay. The team of Winograd, Pohorylo, Morton and Kennedy captured first by more than a second, making the ‘B’ qualifying time for Nationals.
“The women’s team was fantastic for support that night,” said Morton. “Almost all of them made it to the meet and it was really helpful to have that much cheering in the stands.”
By finals of day two, the men were in even better shape to score points and shed some serious time in their events. The 200 medley relay team of Lang, Pohorylo, Morton and Kennedy captured third, making a National ‘B’ cut. In the 1,000-yard freestyle, Winograd took his second NESCAC victory of the meet, again setting a new pool, meet, NESCAC and school record, in addition to qualifying for Nationals. He was followed again by Shapiro in third, who also qualified for Nationals, and by Dan Gach ’05 in eighth.
Morton captured second in the 100-yard fly, making a National ‘B’ cut, followed by Nicholas Federico ’05 in seventh and Jeff Sunderland ’03 in ninth. In the 100 breaststroke, Pohorylo and Kennedy pulled off an impressive 2-3 finish. Both made the National ‘B’ cut and Pohorylo set a new school record. In the 100-yard backstroke, Lang took fourth, also making a National ‘B’ cut.
“There were definitely some shocking swims that night,” said Jon Malowitz ’02.
Unfortunately, Pohorylo, the team’s star breaststroker, came down with the 24-hour flu that night and, as the team prepared for the next morning’s races, Pohorylo decided he couldn’t swim the 200-yard breaststroke, an event in which he was expected to place first or second. The team rallied, though, and pulled out several other impressive swims. In the 1,650-yard freestyle, Shapiro qualified for Nationals with a fourth place finish and Lang followed in the 200-yard backstroke with a third place finish and a ‘B’ qualifying time. In the 200-yard breaststroke, Kennedy pulled out an incredible fourth place finish with a ‘B’ qualifying time and Winograd and Morton finished first and second, respectively, in the next event, the 200-yard butterfly. Both swimmers made the ‘B’ cut as Winograd set yet another meet and school record.
Morash pulled out possibly the most shocking swim of the meet in his 100 IM, capturing his first NESCAC victory with an impressive time of 54.29. The men’s 400 freestyle relay team of Winograd, Morash, Morton and Kennedy took sixth, making a ‘B’ cut for Nationals and finishing off the meet.
With three victories and several new records under his belt for the weekend, Winograd certainly stood out among the Jeffs, tying with a senior from Hamilton for most points scored at the meet.
National qualifiers will now train for the next three weeks until March 21 when Nationals commence.