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Men's NESCACs, Day 1: Bates sets three team records

Matthew Gagne '15 finished third and set Bates' record in the 50 fly at NESCACs on Feb. 22, 2013. File photo by Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College.

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. -- Bates started out the 2013 NESCAC Men's Swimming & Diving Championships on Friday in excellent form, setting three team records, including one all-conference performance.

Sophomore Matthew Gagne (Wilmette, Ill.) swam the third-fastest prelim time in the 50-yard butterfly, at 22.79, then finished third again in the A Final of the event in 22.62 seconds, breaking the team record of 22.71 set by Won Ho Chang in 2011. Gagne earned his first All-NESCAC (top three) honor with the performance. Bates junior Venkatesh Duvvuri (South Orange, N.J.) also made the A Final in the event with his prelim time of 23.14. Duvvuri finished the A Final in 23.20 for seventh place.

Sophomore Andrew Briggs (York, Maine) swam the fourth-fastest preliminary time in the 50-yard breaststroke and broke a 21-year-old team record in the process at 26.60 seconds. Briggs finished seventh in the final at 26.95. Bates' former record of 27.20 seconds was set by Jon Dreibelbis in 1992.

Bates finished the evening session with a sixth-place showing in the 400 medley relay finals in a team-record time of 3:26.92. The quartet of senior Matt Johns (Seaford, N.Y.), Briggs, Gagne and senior Nick Karlson (Wayland, Mass.) went nearly three seconds under the former team record of 3:29.68 set in 2009 by Chris Berry, Alex McKeown, Ned Scott and Dan Aupi.

Other Friday highlights for the Bobcats included:

  • Senior captain Travis Jones (Ithaca, N.Y.) placed eighth in the 1-meter diving finals with 386.30 points, after scoring 390.20 in prelims. First-year Porter Harrast (Decatur, Ga.) came in 10th with 352.45 points in prelims.
  • Karlson swam the ninth-fastest prelim time in the 50 freestyle at 21.34 seconds, moving to the B Final and swimming that in 21.30 for 11th place, just .02 short of breaking Aupi's team record of 21.28 from 2010.
  • Johns came within .09 seconds of resetting another Bates record held by Aupi, finishing the B Final of the 50-yard backstroke in 24.22 seconds.
  • Bates placed sixth in the 200 free relay finals to begin the evening session, with Karlson, Briggs, Duvvuri and Gagne finishing in 1:25.58.

With two days remaining in the meet, Bates stands in sixth place with 319 points. The Bobcats placed sixth among 11 teams at last year's NESCAC Championship.