WMass boys swimming championship preview: Amherst Regional looks for another top finish

Last modified: Saturday, February 22, 2014
Amherst Regional will look to improve on last season’s third-place showing at the Western Massachusetts Boys Swimming & Diving Championships.

Minnechaug won its sixth straight title last year and is the leading contender this season. Amherst was almost 30 points behind Westfield.

The championship is Sunday at 3:30 p.m. at Springfield College.

“I expect a good meet,” Amherst coach Keith McFarland said. “We’re just keeping our fingers crossed for good weather.”

Last year’s championship was cancelled due to poor weather, but teams organized an unofficial makeup. With decent weather forecast for Sunday, the championship should go off without a problem.

The Hurricanes (8-2, 4-2 Minuteman) enter the championships following a solid season in which they finished third in the top league. With several top qualifying times, Amherst could have another top finish.

“We’re just going to go in, compete, and have fun,” McFarland said.

The strength of Amherst lies in its relay teams. The team has the No. 1 seed in the 200-yard medley relay, the 400 free relay, and is second by 0.40 to Longmeadow in the 200 free relay.

The combination of Eric Chen, Ciaran Dillon-Davidson, Marc Klepacki and Alan Tang set the school record in the 200 free relay with a time of 1 minute, 31.99 seconds, however, its listed seed time for the meet is 1:35.60.

The team of Chen, Dillon-Davidson, Klepacki and Tang also has the top qualifying time (1:42.60) in the 200 medley relay.

Amherst’s Samson Braun, Chen, Dillion-Davidson and Tang broke the school record in the 400 free relay and holds the top seed at 3:30.20.

The Hurricanes have several top times in individual events.

Tang has the No. 1 seed in the 100 free (49.89) and 100 backstroke (56.25).

Dillon-Davidson is No. 1 in the 200 free (1:47.82) and second in the 500 free, less than two seconds behind Northampton’s Aidan Winn, who is also second behind Tang in the 100 back.

Marc Klepacki (22.43) is second in the 50 free behind Taconic’s George Sommerville (22.19). Klepacki is also second to Sommerville in the 100 free (53.99 to 54.34).

South Hadley has a pair of top swimmers. Nathan McClure is second in the 200 free, while Ryan Manniello is third in the 200 free and second in the 100 free.