Sports

Men’s swimming and diving sets six program records in seventh-place finish at Ivies

Riley Springman ’18 smashes two school records, posts Brown’s top finish at Ivy Championships

By
Senior Staff Writer
Monday, March 2, 2015

Coaching and structural changes marked a transition year for the swimming and diving teams. The year culminated with Ivy Championships, where many Bears swam personal bests but could not beat opponents.

The men’s swimming and diving team capped off its 2014-15 season this weekend with a seventh place finish at the Ivy Championships, outscoring only Dartmouth. Six school records fell in the process, marking a year of program growth for Bruno.

“Our goal was to learn how to compete with the upper levels in the sense that we perfect our races and be confident athletes,” said co-captain Brian Barr ’15. “That was the biggest change that was made this year, and it was a step in the right direction.”

In individual medley competition, Riley Springman ’18 broke the first Brown record of the weekend with his performance in the 200-yard individual medley, though his time placed him 20th in a competitive field. He issued a repeat performance in the 400-yard individual medley on day two, smashing a five-year-old record by more than three seconds and earning a 10th-place finish. Springman continued to shine in the 200-yard butterfly, earning fifth place — Bruno’s top finish of the weekend — with a time of 1:45.96.

“Tommy Glenn (’14) left a big hole to fill on this team, but Riley is well on his way to fill that spot,” said Connor Lohman ’17.

First-years saw their fair share of record-breaking swims this weekend. Grant Casey ’18 swam the 1,000-yard freestyle in 9:08.57, 2.34 seconds faster than the previous program record and enough to earn a 10th-place finish at the Ivy Championships.

Casey “stepped up in every event,” Barr said. The top performances by young athletes bode well for the squad’s future.

The medley relay team of Alex Pascal ’15, Christopher Meyers ’16, Jeffrey Strausser ’15 and Daniel Klotz ’17 made big contributions with two sixth-place finishes in the 400-yard medley relay and the 200-yard medley relay. Their time of 1:28.55 in the 200 earned them a new school record.

“Of course, we all knew lots of people were capable of breaking (the school records), but it’s not often that everything comes together all at once like that,” Lohman said.         

Meyers also contributed to the record-breaking performances, swimming the 100-yard breaststroke in a time of 54.75 in preliminaries to best a four-year-old record. Lohman also chipped in, swimming the 200-yard breaststroke in a time of 1:59.23 to set yet another program record and finish 11th in the event.

“What’s most impressive is that (the record breaking) was from four different people, not one guy,” Barr said.

Jonathon Schlafer ’17 represented Brown from the diving board, finishing eighth in both the 3-meter and 1-meter dives.

“Watching our divers compete so well at Ivies was one of the best parts of the weekend,” Lohman said. “They have improved a lot this year and really were huge point-scorers for us, topping off a great year for diving.”

The freestyle relay teams also garnered points for the Bears as the quartet of Klotz, Strausser, Pascal and Jack Nee ’17 finished seventh in the 200-yard freestyle relay and eighth in 400-yard freestyle relay. Klotz also finished 10th in the 50-yard freestyle with an NCAA “B” cut time as Strausser finished 15th in the race. The relay team of Barr, Cory Mayfield ’16, Kevin Mertz ’17 and Talbot Jacobs ’18 rounded out Bruno’s scoring with a seventh-place finish in the 800-yard freestyle relay.

Though the results may seem disappointing on paper, the season marked a transition for Bruno in coaching, training and structure as the program attempts to generate a new upward trajectory.

“This year was about improving the team while also adjusting to a new program with almost all new coaches,” Lohman said. “Teams don’t always show immediate improvement in transition years, and I think our performance this year is just a preview of what’s coming up.”

The squad is focused on competing at an elite level going forward and sees this season as a stepping stone to further success. Competing against top athletes at Ivy Championships gets them one step closer.

“I actually took a picture of the crowd last night because it made me realize the level of what we’re competing at,” Barr said. “It’s a cool atmosphere to be in once you realize you’ve come that far.”