Ennis Swimming and Lifesaving Club’s, Teddy Pender, took top honors at last weekend’s New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Swimming and Diving Championships held at the Samuelson-Muir Pool, Williamstown, Massachusetts.
Pender a sophomore student at Bates College, Maine, won the men’s 50 Freestyle, also picking up second place spots in the 100 and 200 Freestyle and 4×100 freestyle relay, setting Bates College records and achieving NCAA ‘B’ qualifying times in all four events.
Led by Head Coach Peter Casares, Bates has had a highly successful season, arguably one of the best in the program’s history.
“We’re getting faster year-on-year,” remarked Pender, adding: “The team’s performance at the NESCAC Championships was outstanding. We produced personal bests, made finals, broke college records and achieved National Championship qualifying times. All of this is testament to the hard work and dedication of the team and our superb coaching staff.”
The Ennis swimmer won the NESCAC conference title in the 50 freestyle on Friday evening, lowered his own Bates record in the 100 freestyle by 0.30 seconds in Sunday morning’s preliminary heats, beating the old mark of 45.71 he set at the NCAA Championships last year in Texas. His prelim time of 45.41 seconds led the field. In Sunday evening’s championship final, Pender went even lower to 45.35 seconds, though Jamie Finnegan of Williams College won the race in 45.27.
The Bates Head Coach said: “Teddy’s performances over the three-day championship weekend were that of the finest champion. His actions in the pool were not only those of someone who wanted to improve but of an athlete who wanted the whole program to succeed. As another coach mentioned to me, Teddy’s a true warrior, ready to take big risks and put it all on the line. And this time, those risks paid off – much to the benefit of Bates College.”
Bates finished off the NESCAC Championship meet with a thrilling second-place finish and one final team record broken in the 400 freestyle relay. Pender leading off the Bates quartet in 45.23, lowering the college record he had set 30 minutes earlier in the 100 freestyle final.
Along with Pender on the relay were sophomore Mike Connolly (Duxbury, Massachusetts), sophomore Riley Ewing (Bedford, New Hampshire) and junior Jack Dina (Kenilworth, Illinois). The four-man Bates relay finished in an NCAA B-cut qualifying time of 3:03.25, trailing only Williams College, which set the meet and pool record in a time of 3:00.79.
Pender received five All-NESCAC mentions this week, highlighting Bates’ haul of awards as the New England Small College Athletic Conference officially announced its all-conference men’s swimming and diving team.