Photo courtesy of Brian Schneider Photography
BOYDS, Md. — When he exited the Germantown Indoor Swim Center pool on the final day of the 2016 Landmark Conference Men's Swimming & Diving Championships following the 400-yard freestyle relay, perhaps the final competitive race of his collegiate career, Goucher's Morgan Richter (Cleburne, Texas/Cleburne) certainly had conference swimmer of the year-type credentials.
Just a short time earlier he had placed first in the 200-yard butterfly, making him a four-time Landmark champion in that event. It was his third conference title during this year's three-day meet and the ninth of his four seasons with the Gophers.
"Very deserving," was head coach Thomas Till's reaction when the official announcement that Richter was indeed the Landmark's Male Swimmer of the Year for 2015-16 was finally made at the conclusion of the three-day meet tonight.
Richter joins Mike Raley as the only two male swimmers in the history of Goucher's swimming program to be named the outstanding swimmer by a conference. Raley was the Outstanding Male Swimmer in the Capital Athletic Conference in 1995-96.
Richter's winning time in the 200 butterfly this evening was 1:49.74, which is a new meet and school record. In addition to it giving the senior a nearly six-second victory over the runner-up, Peter Bajorek from Catholic, his time also provisionally qualifies him to compete at the NCAA Division III Men's Swimming & Diving Championships next month.
"We're thrilled that he made the B-cut," said Till. "That means we keep training and hopefully receive good news (in about three weeks) that he's headed to the national meet."
The Gophers padded their team score by earning 31 points in the 200 butterfly, 20 for Richter's first-place performance and the remaining 11 for the eighth-place finish by Jerel McCord (Fort Wayne, Ind./South Side). McCord completed the event in 2:01.79.
Colin Richter (Cleburne, Texas/Cleburne), who claimed the Landmark 200-yard individual medley title on the opening day of the meet, was runner-up in the 200-yard backstroke this evening. Chris Kahl from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy won the event with his time of 1:49.92, while Richter was clocked at 1:54.07.
Cody Nelson (Duanesburg, N.Y./Schalmont) secured 14 points for the Gophers by placing fifth overall in the 200-yard breaststroke; Justin Prendergast (Evanston, Ill./Evanston Twp.) posted a time of 2:25.10 in the 200 breast consolation finals, good for 15th place.
Ben Shriner (Arlington, Mass./Arlington) completed the 1650 free in 17:11.76, good for seventh place, one position in the individual standings ahead of Furst, who registered a time of 17:14.56.
Just 1-hundredth of a second separated the two swimmers who represented Goucher in the consolation finals of the 100 free: Blake Rhodes (St. Charles, Mo./St. Charles West) took 14th place (:49.72) and Andrew Coon (Cumberland, Maine/Greely) was 15th (:49.73).
Morgan Richter handled the opening leg of Goucher's entry in the 400 free relay and was followed, in order, by Rhodes, Coon and his twin brother. The combined time of the four swimmers was 3:11.85, good for fourth place and 30 points for the Gophers.
Goucher picked up 128 points on the final day of the meet, raising its total for the three-day event to 373. That is the most points the Gophers have scored in the championship meet since the formation of the Landmark Conference and it allowed the Gophers to finish in fifth place.