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Sobel Named Diver of the Year As Men's Swimming and Diving Finishes Third at NEWMAC Championships

Brian Sobel Norton, Mass. - March 1, 2009 - Brian Sobel was named the NEWMAC Diver of the Year after he captured the three-meter competition and the 400 free relay team set a new school record as the Springfield College men's swimming and diving team finished third at the 2009 New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Championships on Sunday evening.

Two-time defending NEWMAC men's swimming & diving championship runner-up Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) captured its first league title since 2003 and fourth overall on Sunday at Wheaton College's Balfour Natatorium to cap the three-day meet. With 1,030 points, the Engineers outdistanced second-place United States Coast Guard Academy, which had won the past three NEWMAC crowns and finished with 784.5 points. Springfield College totaled 613 to round out the top three.

Following the competition, MIT junior Rastislav Racz was named NEWMAC Swimmer of the Year, Engineer freshman Tim Stumbaugh earned top rookie honors, and Springfield's Sobel earned diver-of-the-year honors after taking both the one- and three-meter events.

Sobel, who won the one-meter competition on Saturday night, dominated the competition once again as he won by nearly 75 points with a NCAA qualifying score and pool record mark of 540.60. Sobel led a Springfield sweep in the diving competition for the second straight night, as teammate Matt Fitzgerald finished second with a score of 465.65, and Tyler Gunningsmith took third with a 397.50.

Springfield's 400 free relay squad of Tony Bruno, Andrew Blakesley, Matt Manoni, and Greg Pearsall wrapped up the meet with a second place finish as they swam a NCAA 'B' Cut time of 3:04.00. This year's relay team set a new school record that was set last year by former Springfield great Roy Burch, Manoni, Bruno, Pearsall, who established the old record of 3:04.15.

Pearsall also took second in the 100 freestyle as he touched in a NCAA 'B' Cut time of 45.53. Pearsall also clocked in a NCAA 'B' Cut time of 45.27 in the prelims, which was the fastest time heading into the championship race. Blakesley also met 'B' Cut standards as he finished fifth after touching in 46.45.

Despite not qualifying for the championship heat, Brian Way met NCAA 'B' Cut Standards with a 1:54.09 in the 200 fly. Way rebounded after a time of 2:01.12 in the prelims to clock in over seven seconds faster in his last individual race of the meet. In the 200 breast, Ryan Mackstutis also had a top finish for the Pride as he touched fifth with a time of 2:09.79.

Team Standings
1. MIT - 1,030 points
2. Coast Guard Academy - 784.5 points
3. Springfield College - 613 points
4. WPI - 365 points
5. Wheaton College - 360 points
6. Clark University - 341 points
7. Babson College - 243.5 points

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Head Coach John Taffe

John Taffe John Taffe enters his 25th season in 2013-2014 as the head coach of the men's and women's swimming teams at Springfield College. Under Taffe’s leadership, the Pride has returned to its status as one of the best collegiate swimming and diving programs in Division III. Read more.

Contact Head Coach John Taffe

E-Mail | Phone: 413.748.3169

Diving Coach Peter Avdoulos

Peter Avdoulos Peter Avdoulos is regarded as one of the top diving coaches in the nation, and will enter his 29th season as the diving coach for both the men's and women's programs in 2013-2014. The current NEWMAC Women's and Men's Diving Coach of the Year, Avdoulos has coached countless All-New England and All-American divers, as well as several National Champions. Read more.

Contact Head Coach Peter Avdoulos

E-Mail | Phone: 413.748.3445

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