Game of the Week: 15th Ranked Men, Despite Youth, Hold Off Tufts

MIT’s 15th-ranked men’s swimming and diving team improved its dual meet record to 6-1 Saturday afternoon, as the visiting Engineers edged past Tufts University, 154-144. Laurent Charpentier ’09, Luke R. Cummings ’10, Rastislav Racz ’10, and Toomas R. Sepp ’11 were each a part of three victories to help lead MIT against the Jumbos, who fell to 4-2 after their second consecutive loss.

A trio of 1-2 finishes proved vital for the Engineers in helping to keep their slim advantage. MIT swept the top two spots in both the 100-yard and 200-yard butterfly events, led by rookie Sepp with times of 53.21 seconds and 2:00.99, respectively. He was followed by Charpentier in the 100 (54.57 seconds) and Deke Hu ’09 in the 200 (2:03.31), earning Tech a majority of the events’ points. The Cardinal and Gray also took first and second-place in the 100-yard freestyle, as Charpentier (48.62 seconds) finished just ahead of teammate Cummings (48.74 seconds).

A pair of narrow victories that went the Engineers’ way also had a great effect on the final outcome. Racz secured crucial first-place points in the 100-yard breaststroke by beating Tufts’ James Longhurst by just 0.18 seconds, while Cummings was fastest in the 50-yard freestyle by a slim 0.04 seconds over the Jumbos’ Andrew Shields.

MIT once again dominated in the relay events, as it has all season. Jeffrey Y. Zhou ’10 led off the 400-yard medley relay, followed by Racz, Sepp, and Cummings, and the crew touched the wall first with a time of 3:33.42. Cummings, Zhou, and Peter J. Wellings ’10 were then anchored by Charpentier in the 200-yard freestyle relay, which the Engineers won with a time of 1:26.58.

Freshman Michael J. Dobson ’11, who set the Institute record in the 1,000-yard freestyle less than one week ago with a time of 9:47.07, was yet again a force in the distance freestyle events. The native of Houston, Texas won both the 500-yard (4:48.67) and 1,000-yard (9:56.22) freestyle to continue his phenomenal rookie campaign.

MIT’s other victories included Racz in the 200-yard breaststroke (2:12.16) and Charpentier in the 200-yard freestyle (1:46.04).

Why this is Game of the Week?

Despite their youth, MIT was able to hold on for a close victory against a solid Tufts team, as sophomores Racz and Cummings came through in the clutch with very narrow victories.