When we hear the words “repeat as champion,” we often think of the great Patriots of the early 2000s or the dominant Miami Heat in the LeBron James and Dwayne Wade era.
However, we shouldn’t look too far past Springfield College’s Jack Lewis. This past weekend, Lewis etched his name in Springfield College and NEWMAC history as he repeated as men’s diver of the year at the four-day NEWMAC Championship at WPI.
As a team, Springfield finished in fourth place in the conference with 671 points. After day one, the Pride led the conference with 144 points, but they were unable to hold on to that lead as MIT, WPI, and Coast Guard made weekend pushes to pass Lewis and Springfield.
Lewis was able to repeat as diver of the year by dominating in the one-meter board and three-meter board. He recorded a score of 510.60 in the one meter on Thursday and was able to post an impressive 565.30 on the three-meter board on Saturday.
“It’s an amazing feeling to win both boards at the NEWMAC Championships, especially being a senior. I have been working very hard throughout the entire season knowing that this is how I wanted to start the ending to my season and it’s just great to go out with a bang,” said Lewis.
Lewis is 12th NEWMAC diver of the year in the past 13 years to be from Springfield. The senior is also the fourth diver from Springfield to win the award multiple times joining Kenny Pancoast, Brian Sobel, and Mike Shaw.
“Winning this award for the second straight year is unbelievable,” said Lewis.
“It just goes to show how great of a coach that Pete is and what he can do to get the best out of every diver as it has been shown 12 out of the last 13 years. Winning the award just makes everything you have put yourself through worth it.”
The Springfield College women’s swimming and diving team also competed at the NEWMAC Championship this past weekend.
The Pride were able to capture a second place finish with 840 total points. Springfield was led Emily Medeiros who won the 200 meter breast and set the school and conference record for the 100 meter breast with a time of 1:03.78. That time was also good enough to qualify the sophomore for the NCAA championship.
Head Coach John Taffe said, “Emily has established herself as one of the top breaststroke swimmers in Division III.
She had a great weekend and for her to break our school and conference record in the 100 breaststroke is a great accomplishment.”
Competing in just one event on Thursday, the women’s team was in fourth place with 38 points. However, with many events later in the weekend, the Pride were able to power passed the competition and grab hold of second place for the fifth straight year.
Even though the Pride have not been able to win the conference championship in recent years, its coaches, swimmers, and divers don’t use the tournament to judge their performance.
Springfield has been in or near the top 10 programs in the nation along with MIT, who won this year’s competition, for several years and that is what the team is most proud of.
“If winning the conference goes along with enhanced performance, so be it, but winning the meet has never been our true measure of success,” said Taffe.
Both the men’s and women’s team will compete in the NCAA Diving Regional Championships on Friday February 27 and Saturday February 28. Springfield will be the host the regional tournament.