WALTHAM, Mass. – The Brandeis University swimming and diving teams celebrated their final home meet of the season with one school record and one win by the narrowest of margins in a meet against Clark University. The Judge men picked up their first home victory in the recently-renovated Linsey Pool with a remarkable 131.5 to 130.5 triumph. On the women's side, Brandeis fell to the Cougars, 170-107, but rookie Joanna Murphy (Sarasota, Fla./Riverview) erased a 15-year-old record in the 1,000-yard freestyle.
On the men's side, the Judges' one-point win marked the first at home for the Judges under head coach Mike Kotch and first home victory since February of 2009 for the program, which was inactive during the 2010-11 and '11-'12 seasons and competed only on the road in 2009-10.
The meet was in doubt until the final race of the day, the 200-yard freestyle relay. With the Judges ahead by 14 points entering the event, a third-place finish was all they needed to hang on for the win. The quartet of rookie Allan Chuang (Charlottesville, Va./Charlottesville), junior Max Fabian (Keene, N.H./Oak Meadow), rookie Danny Icaza (Panama City, Panama/International School of Panama) and the team's lone senior Joe Jacobowitz (Syosset, N.Y./Syosset) hung in with a time of 1:39.12. Jacobowitz's time in the anchor leg, the last home race of his career, was 24.01 seconds, the top of the four legs for the team and it provided enough to give the Judges the narrow win.
Overall for the Brandeis men , the Judges touched the wall first in all but two races. That included a rare tie in the 50-yard freestyle, with sophomore Brian Luk (Hong Kong/Northfield Mount Hermon) and Clark's Clive Green both touching in 22.30 seconds. Luk also turned in two other sprint wins, defeating Green in the 100 with a time of 48.96 seconds and taking the 200 in 1:46.89.
Fabian continued his excellence in the distance freestyle races by destroying the field. Fabian won the 1,000 by more than 1:23 with a time of 10:03.94. In the 500, his time of 5:00.17 was 15 seconds faster than the next competitor. Fabian also took the 200 yard butterfly with a time of 2:03.90, a six-second margin.
Sophomore David Lazarovich (Stowe, Vt./South Burlington) was a third triple winner for Brandeis. He took both breaststroke events, winning the 100 in 1:04.56 and the 200 in 2:21.09. He also claimed the 200 IM with a mark of 2:07.30. Rookie Edan Zitelny (Syosset, N.Y./Syosset) was the final individual winner for the Judges, with a three-second win in the 100 backstroke and time of 57.58 seconds.
Murphy's record was one of nine Brandeis wins in 16 events for the women. In the first individual event of the meet, she posted a time of 10:37.65, lowering by 10 seconds the record that had stood since 1999. The old record was set by Kelsa Teeters '99 at the UAA Championships as part of a split in the mile. Murphy won two other individual events as well. She came out in the very next event after the 1,000 to take the 200 free by 17 seconds with a time of 2:00.06. Murphy also went on to a 15-second victory in the 500 free with a mark of 5:16.88.
The Judges had one other multiple individual winner on the women's side, sophomore Fallon Bushee (Malden, Mass./Mystic Valley Regional). Bushee showed some versatility, winning the 100-yard freestyle in 1:15.70 and taking the 100 breaststroke in 1:15.70, winning both races by less than a second.
Rookie Margot Farnet (Fayetteville, Ga./Our Lady of Mercy Catholic) helped the Judges to a freestyle sweep with a time of 27.53 seconds in the 50, while sophomore Fay Laborio (Cranston, R.I./Cranston West) eked out a win in the 100 backstroke by 0.31 seconds with a time of 1:09.53.
The Judges also took both relays, with Farnet anchoring the 200 medley relay with a split time of 26.47 seconds to clinch a time of 2:06.90, and Bushee anchoring the 200 free relay with a 26.83 split for a finish of 1:50.42.
Brandeis is off for two weeks until they head to Atlanta for the University Athletic Association championships at Emory University, starting on Feb. 12.