Faced with such competition as top-ranked Texas, No. 5 Arizona, No. 7 California, No. 9 Michigan, and No. 12 Arizona State, you would think that the Harvard men's swimming and diving team, ranked No. 22 in NCAA polls, wouldn't stand a chance.
You would have thought wrong.
Harvard did more than just participate at one of the fastest meets in the country this past weekend at the University of Texas--it gave the other teams a run for their money.
"It was a good meet for us to be at," Harvard Coach Tim Murphy said. "Some of the top teams in the country were there, and it was a very fast meet."
Standout swimmers for the weekend included seniors Michael Im and Will Oren, junior Kyle Egan and freshman John Cole, all of whom turned in lifetime-best performances, broke school records, or qualified for the NCAA Championships in the process. Overall, the five-time defending Eastern champions finished fifth out of twelve teams, scoring a total of 398 points.
"We had an amazing meet," freshman Rassan Grant said. "We really excelled across the board. Everyone was swimming well."
Harvard beat out such highly-ranked teams as No. 9 Michigan and No. 19 SMU. No. 1 Texas placed first, as expected.
The Crimson began the three-day meet with a sixth-place finish as seniors Matt Fritsch and Jamey Waters, junior Leif Drake and freshman Brad Burns clocked 1:21.51 in the 200-yard freestyle relay. The team lost no momentum as Kyle Egan won the consolation heat of the next event, the 100 butterfly, with a time of 48.71.