ST. MARY’S CITY, MD – Day two of the 2010 Capital Athletic Conference Swimming Championships proved an outstanding day for the York College men’s swimming squad. The Spartans’ AJ Bean (Ijamsville, Md./Urbana) nabbed an individual title while both relays took second place.
In what would be grossly understated as an exciting race, Bean secured his gold medal in the 100 backstroke with an outstanding 54.44. Cole jumped out in front by covering the first 50 in a mere 26.60 while the Spartan junior notched a 26.79. However, Bean then ripped off a 27.65 to Cole’s 27.92 over the final 50. Down to the wire, Bean just out-touched Mary Washington’s Andrew Cole by a mere 0.08 to ensure the title.
“I was kind of trying a new strategy,” Bean commented on his 100 backstroke win. “I’m not really a sprinter so the 100 back has always been a problem for me. I just wanted to go out and make sure I had enough left to bring it back. That’s what I did and it worked out for me. I really just wanted to go out there and have fun and whatever happened, happened. [It was] just in my favor.”
Earlier in the evening, Bean helped the Green and White to yet another second-place relay finish as this time the Spartans grabbed the runner-up spot in the 200 medley. Bean, Steve Tobin (Estell Manor, N.J./Holy Spirit), Clark Arnold (York, Pa./Northeastern), and Will McLennan (Sparks, Md./Calvert Hall) combined to post a 1:38.62, providing 36 valuable second-place points for the Spartan side.
York would later bookend Saturday’s finals by taking another second in the 800 freestyle relay. Led off by Alex Diehl (Pottstown, Pa./Owen J. Roberts), the Spartans followed with Steve Yeager (Sinking Spring, Pa./Wilson), Jack Gottschalk (Forest Hill, Md./Fallston), and finally Mike Murphy (Farmingdale, N.J./Colts Neck) to form a squad that posted a solid 7:13.27.
Including Bean’s 100 backstroke victory, York would grab ten individual top-eight finishes. Freshman Steve Mercer (Rockville, Md./The Heights School), one of the talented rookies on the squad this season, posted fourth in the 400 IM. The newcomer swam to a 4:23.03 in the finals, dropping well over three seconds off his time from the morning preliminaries. Andrew Demarest (Galloway, N.J./Abesegami), who also dropped time in this event as compared to this morning, nabbed seventh. Senior Dan Kresser (Washington, N.J./Warren Hills Regional) swam an outstanding race in the consolation finals as he posted a 4:31.73 to take ninth, while Matt Kempel (Millington, Md./Queen Anne's County) finished 11th.
The 100 butterfly saw three Spartans place among the top-eight, led by Arnold. The senior secured a time of 53.72 to take fifth in the event. Andy Woods (York, Pa./Dover Area), in just his first CAC Championships, posted a 53.93 for sixth while Ben Hilt (Mt. Joy, Pa./Hempfield) swam his way to seventh with a 54.63. Richard Janosky (Dover, Pa./Dover) and Kresser both placed in the top-16, taking 11th and 13th, respectively.
Murphy, the 800 freestyle relay anchor, posted a strong 1:46.56 in the individual 200 to take fifth in the event. Diehl nabbed seventh with a 1:48.24 while Yeager posted a tenth-place finish.
The 100 breaststroke saw Tobin place seventh by clocking a 1:01.53. Jamie Hicks (Kingsville, Md./Fallston) collected 11th for the Green and White while Mercer took 12th.
Bean’s event, the 100 backstroke, had a total of five Spartans place among the top-16. Aside from Bean’s triumph, Woods posted the other medal-stand finish, posting a 57.43 to secure seventh. Hilt, Chris Schleicher (Greensburg, Pa./Hempfield), and Tom DeCoursey (Cherry Hill, N.J./Cherry Hill West) grabbed 10th, 11th, and 13th, respectively.
With day two now complete, the Spartans stand in second place with 458 points. Mary Washington currently leads the men’s overall with 637 points while St. Mary’s holds third with 274.
York returns to action on Sunday in the final day of the 2010 CAC Championships. Preliminaries for the 200 backstroke, 100 freestyle, 200 breaststroke, and 200 butterfly will be run in the morning as will the beginning heats of the 1650 freestyle. In the evening session, the 400 freestyle relay is slated to close out the championships.
Photo: AJ Bean won the 100 backstroke while Mike Murphy and Andy Woods also posted medal-stand finishes