No. 13 Tufts takes down Wheaton to begin spring semester

Then-junior Russell Weeks swims breaststroke in a dual meet against Wheaton College on Jan. 23. (Julia Press / The Tufts Daily Archives)

This semester started off with a win for the Men’s Swimming and Diving team. On Jan. 21, the Jumbos traveled to Norton, Mass. to take on Wheaton College. Tufts defeated Wheaton 172-122, the team’s swimmers raced well throughout the meet and the divers put on solid performances.

In that meet, Tufts swimmers took first place in races like the 200 backstroke, the 200 breast, the three-meter dive and many more. Juniors James McElduff,  Zachary Wallace and senior tri-captain Matt Rohrer won those events, respectively. Additionally, junior Aaron Idelson posted NCAA qualifying scores in the one-meter dive.

Wallace expressed that the importance of this meet goes beyond the win.

“I was amazed by all the fast swimming, because I know we’re all tired from all the training we’ve been doing,” Wallace told the Daily in an email. “The real takeaway from this meet was not the win, but the fact that we all continued to race extremely well [despite] how tired we were, and most importantly, that we had fun doing it.”

According to senior tri-captain Russell Weeks, the Jumbos saw this meet as a means of preparing for the road ahead.

“We had just gotten back from a two-week training trip,” Weeks said. “We definitely saw a lot of good races, and it was nice to get the win. Going into the last two meets of the season, I think a lot of the guys really wanted to fine-tune their technique and their racing.”

After a fourteen-day training trip in Puerto Rico, the Jumbos took on Boston College at home on Jan. 17. The Jumbos faced some impressive Div. I talent from the Eagles and ended up losing the meet, 218-139. This came after another loss at home to MIT two days prior. The Jumbos lost that meet to the Engineers, 194-106.

“It was tough to lose to MIT and BC,” Weeks said. “But it was nice racing those kinds of teams. MIT ranked fourth nationally last year and BC is a competitive [Div. I] team. I’m proud of the way we raced against those two schools.”

The meet against MIT was also Senior Day for Tufts. The Jumbos have six seniors, including their three captains, and they were all honored in the festivities before the meet.

First-year Roger Gu noted that Senior Day was a particularly special day for the team.

“You could really feel the emotions going. Everyone was there to support the seniors. It was really special,” Gu said. “The seniors — and the captains especially — are always the first ones to step up and let us know what we’re supposed to be doing. They always lead by example.”

Wallace, a junior, echoed Gu’s statements.

“That was a very special day for all of us, not just seniors,” Wallace said. “This year’s senior class has been phenomenal. They are all great leaders and great people. It was sad having to say goodbye to them, but they will all leave their own unique legacy … and go off and do great things.”

Looking forward, Tufts will take part in the Middlebury Invitational, which will be its last meet of the regular season. That meet precedes the NESCAC Championships, which will begin on Feb. 17.

Gu said there is a lot of anticipation and excitement surrounding the team as it goes into the last meet of the regular season.

“Half the team will be tapering for the Middlebury Invite. The other half will be practicing for NESCACs,” Gu said. “For some people, that’s the last meet of their season, so I think we’re all really excited to see how everyone does.”

Weeks added that the meet will serve as a tone-setter for the NESCAC Championships.

“The guys that are tapering will be going for their best times, and that really sets the tone for NESCACs, which will be two weeks out,” Weeks said. “We want to have a lot of fast swims there that get people excited.”

The Jumbos will travel to the Middlebury Invitational on Jan. 27 as they look to close out the regular season with a win.