WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- The Bates College men's swimming and diving team finished in sixth place at the conclusion of the 2012 NESCAC Championships on Sunday, tying for the team's best finish in the meet's 12-year history with the 2001, 2002 and 2003 squads.
Bates scored 796 points in the meet, well ahead of seventh-place Middlebury (646.5), representing the first time the Bobcats have outscored the Panthers at NESCACs. Bates trailed fifth-place Bowdoin by 107 points but also outscored Colby, Hamilton, Trinity and Wesleyan.
Sunday's action featured several highlights for the Bobcats, including three team records getting rewritten, for a total of seven new team standards in the past three days.
Senior Dan Aupi (Branford, Conn.) needed to break his own Bates record in the 100 freestyle just to make the A Final in the event on Sunday, which he did, finishing his preliminary heat in 46.87 seconds. He finished eighth in the A Final in 47.29 seconds. Aupi's own former team record of 47.30 was set two years ago at NESCACs.
Senior captain Tom Boniface (Youngstown, Ohio) took 12th place in the event at 47.42 in the B Final, following a prelim time of 47.34. Scott placed 16th in 48.34 and first-year Nathaniel Ainley (Los Angeles, Calif.) was 19th with a C Final time of 47.91.
Racing in a time trial in the 100-yard butterfly, first-year Matthew Gagne (Winnetka, Ill.) in 49.91 seconds, an NCAA 'B' cut time and the new Bates record in the event, eclipsing Won Ho Chang's mark of 50.04 set a year ago. Gagne also won the B Final of the 200 fly on Sunday in 1:54.03 for ninth place overall.
Junior captain Travis Jones (Ithaca, N.Y.) captured fourth place in 3-meter diving, Jones' second fourth-place showing of the meet, with 447.90 points, an NCAA 'B' cut score.
Bates capped the evening and the meet with an outstanding effort in the 400 freestyle relay, shattering the team record and finishing fourth overall in 3:06.06. Two of the relay team members -- Aupi and senior Nathaniel Depew (Hudson, Ohio) -- were on the last record-breaking squad, when they were freshmen in 2009 and joined by Chris Berry '09 and senior Ned Scott (Maplewood, N.J.), also then a freshman. This time, Bates undercut the old record by 2.09 seconds, powered by Boniface's anchor split of 45.61 seconds following the first three legs by Gagne, Aupi and Depew.
Bates started the night session Saturday with an eighth-place time of 1:35.38 in the 200 medley relay, just .01 away from matching the team record set a year ago. Junior Matt Johns (Seaford, N.Y.), senior Alex McKeown (South Windsor, Conn.), Scott and Depew represented the Bobcats in the race.
The Bobcats finished Day 2 of the meet by placing fourth in the 800 free relay, with a time of 6:58.50 (only .20 shy of the team record) notched by Gagne, Aupi, Depew and Boniface.
Other Saturday highlights:
- Gagne made the A Final of the 100 fly with a preliminary time of 50.55 seconds. Gagne took seventh place in the final at 50.77. Scott (51.62) and sophomore Venkatesh Duvvuri (South Orange, N.J.; 51.84) were 11th and 12th, respectively.
- Aupi went 52.61 in the preliminary heats of the 100 backstroke, then swam a 52.62 in the B Final for 10th place. Depew (53.80) and Johns (53.83) were 14th and 15th, respectively.
- Boniface placed 11th overall in the 200 freestyle, in 1:44.06, after a prelim time of 1:43.93.
- Junior Andrew Buehler (Kenilworth, Ill.) placed 15th in the 400 individual medley, in 4:21.30.
- Senior Richard Sullivan (Westfield, Mass.) finished 18th in the 1,000 free, in 10:09.58.
Four team records fell as the Bates men's swimming and diving team assumed sixth place out of 11 teams on Day 1 of the three-day NESCAC Men's Championships at Williams on Friday.
Aupi, junior Nick Karlson (Wayland, Mass.), Gagne and Scott broke the team record in the 200 freestyle relay to start the evening session, finishing sixth in 1:24.21. The former record of 1:24.55 was set two years ago by Aupi, Pat Carroll '11, Depew and Scott.
After missing nearly the entire season with injury, Scott nabbed third place in the A Final, and what will become his first All-NESCAC honor, in the 50-yard butterfly, in 22.81 seconds.
Aupi set a new Bates standard in the 50-yard backstroke when he recorded the third fastest prelim time in the field, at 24.13 seconds. The former team record of 24.14 was set by Chris Berry '09 in 2009. In the A Final, Aupi timed in at 24.46 for seventh place. Matt Johns and Depew came in 10th and 13th, respectively, in the B Final.
Gagne broke Aupi's former team record in the preliminary round of the 200-yard individual medley, in 1:56.33. The time wasn't quite good enough to qualify him for the A Final, but Gagne won the B Final for ninth place overall, and shaved another 1.14 seconds off his own record with a time of 1:55.19.
Other Friday Bates highlights:
- Boniface also bested the former team record in the 200 IM in both the prelims (1:55.66) and the B Final (1:55.90), finishing 11th overall.
- Jones came in fourth in the 1-meter diving event, with 414.45 points over 11 dives.
- Duvvuri took 11th place in the 50 fly, in 23.35.
- The Bobcats finished the night by finishing sixth in the 400 medley relay in 3:29.91, just .23 shy of the team record. Aupi led off with the 100-yard backstroke, timing his leg in 52.28 seconds -- incredibly, beating another former Berry team record by one hundredth of a second. McKeown followed in the 100 breast, followed by Gagne in the 100 fly and Boniface in the anchor 100 free leg.