The last day was our toughest with many of the guys doubling up in the first two days. Ned was done, Nick was done, and Johns was done at this point - but the Bates Bobcats weren't!
We had lifetime bests from Dan Huston (2), Venka Duvvuri (2), Andrew Buehler, Tom Boniface, Nick Karlson, Pat Carroll, Chris Makrides, Peem Chatikavanij, Kick Sullivan, Alexander McKeown, and Dan Aupi.
Travis Jones also placed 7th on 3meter and 1meter for his lifetime best scores - and two top 8 finishes! Not bad for having 6 months of diving under your belt, eh? All in all, we posted 65 lifetime bests. Add that to the 70 we had with the women and we are sitting at 135 lifetime bests from 43 individuals! That is averaging more than 3 each if you are doing the math at home!!
The last individual event of the night we also witnessed our first ever Men's NESCAC Champion in Won Ho Chang going 1:52.1 in the 200 fly. He was third at the final turn and came home VERY fast with a 28.4 split - and first place. Those 4 extra points for first place came in handy as we were up by 8.5 going into the last relay over Hamilton. As you can imagine, the pressure and intensity going into our last two relays (400 Free A and B) was awesome.
Our B relay stepped up huge all averaging 48.6 and going 3:14, getting 5th behind Hamilton's 4th place finish - only about a tenth behind them. The lead was now 6.5 points with our A in lane 8 and Hamilton's in 7. Needless to say both teams couldn't have been positioned better for the final showdown. When all was said and done we saw Won go 47.5, Aupi go 46.3, Scott go 47.4, and Tom Boniface go 47.2. 3:08.67 was .5 off our school record, but more importantly... .01 ahead of the Hamilton team!
YEAH .01. 7th place was ours... one slot ahead of last year's finish - our best since '03 - and most importantly, it followed a year full of adversity and challenges. Bottom line, when you lose two of your expected A relays guys (on 4 of the relays) - another is sick at the meet, and a fourth is coming off a broken ankle, well, you have two choices; either feel bad and give it your all, or see it as an opportunity for others to step up and play a major role. We chose B.
We saw team captains swim the best times of their life, we saw a freshman walk-on score 1 point in the 100 back. And we witnessed greatness from every single individual in between. It was truly a great experience - one that wouldn't have happened if they were swimming for themselves instead of for Bates College. It is amazing what can happen when you put the program ahead of yourself.