WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. --- Colby College's Mason Roberts (San Rafael, Calif.) made it three days in a row with a school record and a top-eight finish at the New England Small College Athletic Conference Men's Swimming and Diving Championships at Williams College on Sunday.
Roberts took second place in the 200-yard breaststroke with an NCAA 'B' cut qualifying time of 2:04.08 in the championship final. He broke the school record with a 2:05.95 finish in a preliminary race and then topped that in the final. Roberts had finishes of second, third, and sixth in the three-day meet.
"I am so pleased that everything has come together for Mason this season. He has been a tremendous leader for our team," Colby head coach Tom Burton said. "Mason is very focused and he has put in a significant amount of work over the past four years. His achievements are well earned and deserved."
Jonathan Eck '02 has held all the breaststroke records over the past 10 years.
"In learning of Mason's achievements, Jonathan has already sent his congratulations and well wishes for Mason's continued success at NCAAs," Burton said.
The Colby team had a successful weekend in the pool, finishing in eighth place with 510 points. The Mules finished ahead of Hamilton College (458), Trinity College (384), and Wesleyan University (335.5). Williams won its 10th straight NESCAC title with 2,011 points and was followed by Amherst College (1,959), Tufts University (1,030), Connecticut College (964), Bowdoin College (903), Bates College (796), and Middlebury College (646.5).
"I am extremely proud of our team. At the end of last season, the men set an immediate goal not to finish in the bottom two of the conference," Burton said. "They trained hard over the summer and withstood the challenge of the pool repair in September and October. Led by a great senior class, their focus and effort in training has surpassed those of any men's team before them. To watch them post multiple lifetime best performances, set school records, and to compete together as a team has been extremely enjoyable for our coaching staff."
Colby only led Hamilton by 17 points after the 100 freestyle, but Roberts picked up 28 points for his runner-up effort to Paul Dyrkacz (1:59.70) of Williams. Brian Gilligan (Medford, N.J.) took 18th place and earned seven points for his 2:13.30 effort, while Adam Spierer (Bedford, N.H.) was 21st and had four points for a time of 2:14.22. The Mules picked up a total of 39 points in the breaststroke and were never challenged again by the Continentals.
Vincent Galea (Hunter, N.Y.) won the 'C' final and took 17th place overall with a season-best 47.35 in the 100 freestyle.
Galea also helped the 400 freestyle relay team of Ryan Bachur (North Reading, Mass.), Paul Wennberg (Cape Elizabeth, Maine), and Ray Rieling (Great Falls, Va.) tie for ninth with Wesleyan with a season-best 3:12.67.
In the 200 butterfly, Ryan Trafton (Frankfort, Maine) placed 22nd in 2:00.19 (season-best 1:59.64 prelim) and Jack Mauel (Houston, Texas) was 24th after having a season-best 1:59.23 prelim.