When a Harvard athletic team makes a trip to a large state school, it might feel a little intimidated. Not so for the Harvard men's swimming team as it took to the pool in the Texas Invitational.
The Crimson made a strong showing this past weekend as they competed against teams from Southern Methodist, Texas A&M, Arizona and Nebraska.
"Overall, we did really well," said junior Alex Kurmakov. "We were shaved."
Most of the competition came from Arizona, who, according to Kurmakov, "was also shaved."
Kurmakov anchored the leg of the 400 medley relay, which included co-captains Dave Schwartz and Eric Matuszak and junior James Zenyuh. The relay clocked in at 3:18.68--good enough for fourth place and the NCAA Consideration Standard.
Matuszak and Kurmakov also were a part of the winning 200 free relay which finished in 1:20.50. Senior Matt Cornue and junior John Samuel were also a part of the relay, which also met the NCAA Consideration Standard.
Two swimmers made the NCAA Automatic Qualifying Standard in races at Texas. Junior Greg Wriede took first in the 400 individual medley in 3:49.45. Senior Mike Kiedel grabbed second in the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:36.38.
"Last year at this time I wasn't qualified," Wriede said. "Not many make the automatic qualifying."
Several have for Harvard, though.
"We already have eight or nine going to the NCAAs and the most ever for Harvard was ten," Kurmakov said. "We are definitely going in the right direction."
The meet was a good opportunity to make the cuts for the NCAAs.
"Many of our swimmers also had best times," Wriede said.
In terms of the overall season, things look good for the Crimson.
"We are only two-and-a-half months into the season," Kurmakov said. "We still have four months to go. We are already doing so well, so we must be doing something right."
Next up for the team is a training trip to Hawaii during the break. There the team can do some outdoor swimming. They will also compete in an invitational at Hawaii.
The next big meet, however, comes February 6 and 7, when Harvard faces Ivy League foes Princeton and Yale.
The women's swimming team and part of the men's swimming team hosted the Harvard Invitational over the weekend.
The women's relay team of co-captain Jennifer Steffen, freshmen Lillian Brown and Pia Chock and sophomore Nancy Jo took first in the 800 freestyle relay with a time of 7:39.28. The 400 free relay team of Steffen, senior Sandie Stringfellow, junior Jocelyn Ludwick and senior Keiko Iwahara clocked in at 3:35.45 to win.
Sophomore Ana Cenanovic won the 200 backstroke with a time of 2:08.26. Steffen grabbed first in the 500 freestyle in 5:04.55.
In the 100 fly, Iwahara, a senior, won with a time of 57.97. In the 200 individual medley, Jo, claimed first with a time of 2:10.18.
On the men's side, the 400 freestyle relay of P.J. Thum, Dan Barnes, Chris Park and Adam Shaw captured first with a time of 3:08.92. The 200 medley relay also captured first with a time of 1:35.51. The team consisted of Dan Bazylewicz, Shaw, Marek Biegluk and Thum.