MEDFORD, Mass. – The Tufts University men's swimming and diving team finished off the final day of competition in seventh place at the 2018 NCAA Championships in Indianapolis on Saturday.
The seventh-place finish is the program's best since 1982 when they came in sixth. It is the seventh time the Jumbos have had a top ten finish in the NCAAs in team history. The squad finished with 198 points, six ahead of eighth-place Pomona-Pitzer (192) and 47 behind sixth-place NYU (245). Denison came in first with a 596.5 to win the national championship. Tufts was also the top NESCAC team at the event, with Williams three spots behind in tenth.
Tufts was aided in their journey to seventh place by a strong performance on this fourth and final day of competition with two top-three finishes. The Jumbos were eighth at the end of the first three days of the meet and then vaulted into seventh with today's efforts.
Roger Gu placed second in the 100 freestyle with a school record time of 43.44, only 0.12 seconds behind the winner. It was the best finish by a Jumbo in a swimming event (not diving) at the NCAAs since Jim Wong took second in the 100 backstroke in 1985. Gu earned All-American honors for his performance. He came into the event seeded sixth.
Kingsley Bowen took third place in the 200 backstroke for the second straight year with a time of 1:46.36. He was seeded third in the event, but came in first in the prelims with a time of 1:46.12, setting the school record. He earned his fourth All-American honor of the event for this race.
A team of James McElduff, Lorenzo Lau, Zach Wallace, and Gu also earned All-American honors for their eighth-place finish in the 400 freestyle relay with a 3:00.47. In the prelims, the team tied for second and swam a school record 2:59.62. They became the first 400 freestyle relay Tufts team to go under three minutes in program history. They were seeded eighth coming into the event.
John LaLime competed in the 1,650 freestyle Saturday where he came in 13th with a time of 15:52.00. It was a timed final where the racers competed in two heats and the results were then put in finishing order. He was seeded sixth coming in and earned honorable mention All-American honors.
Ten Jumbos overall won All-American honors (top eight) at the 2018 NCAA meet: Gu (400 freestyle relay, 100 freestyle, 50 free, 200 medley relay, 200 free relay, 400 medley relay), Bowen (200 backstroke, 100 backstroke, 200 medley relay, 400 medley relay), Matthew Manfre (200 medley relay, 400 medley relay), Wallace (400 freestyle relay, 800 freestyle relay, 200 medley relay, 200 free relay), Michael Brienza (200 free relay), Costantino Camerano (200 free relay), McElduff (400 freestyle relay, 800 freestyle relay, 400 medley relay), Noah Cagley (800 freestyle relay), Tatro (800 freestyle relay), and Lau (400 freestyle relay).
Bowen in the 100 butterfly, McElduff and Wallace in the 400 individual medley, and LaLime in the 1,650 freestyle earned honorable mention All-American honors (places nine through 16).
Seven school records were broken over the four days of competition: the 200 medley relay (1:29.13), the 200 free relay (1:21.75), Bowen in the 100 fly (48.69), the 400 medley relay (3:17.29), Gu in today's 100 freestyle (43.44), Bowen in today's 200 backstroke (1:46.12), and today's 400 freestyle relay (2:59.62). Gu tied his 50 free record on Wednesday (19.95).