Big Red, Big Green Fall to M. Swimming

The Harvard men's swimming and diving team managed to defend its home waters by soundly defeating both of its opponents in the Harvard-Cornell-Dartmouth dual meet Saturday at Blodgett Pool.

"We did well this weekend because of all the hard work that we've been putting in," junior Dan Barnes said. "We're starting to wrap up our season and are looking forward to Easterns [in early March]."

By the end of Saturday's competition, Harvard had handed Cornell a 136-72 loss and had also defeated Dartmouth, 145-77. Saturday's dual meet was the Crimson's last competition before it attempts to win the Eastern Championships during the first weekend of March.

The Crimson's freshman class, which has performed brilliantly throughout the season, again turned in stellar individual showings during Saturday's dual meet.

"It's cool having such a close freshman class," freshman Rick Dewey said. "We're one of the closest classes on the team."

Harvard freshman Andrew McConnell won the 1650-meter freestyle with a time of 15:42.54, and sophomore Ben Hanley finished second behind McConnell after clocking in at 15:53.49.

"[McConnell] is a big part of what I've been able to do this season," Hanley said. "The freshman class has just been amazing this year because they've already added a lot to our program."

Harvard dominated the 200 freestyle by sweeping the top three spots. Freshman Cory Walker, classmate Dan Chevchik and senior Brian Swinteck finished 1-2-3 in the race, with Walker recording an impressive time of 1:41.41.

The Crimson also captured the top four spots in the 50-meter freestyle with strong performances by freshman Leif Drake, Barnes, junior Chris Park and sophomore Kyle Egan. Drake outpaced the field with a time of 21.33.

Dewey continued his classmates' success in the 200-IM by finishing his race in 153.83. Junior Mike Groves followed closely behind with a time of 1:55.72.

"It was a pretty good meet for us," Dewey said. "We kept up our intensity throughout the entire meet."

One of the nation's most consistent and successful performers, senior Tim Martin, who is also a Crimson editor, won the 200-meter butterfly with a time of 1:53.01. Senior Ping Tjin Thum finished second, with Groves and freshman Jan Cieslikiewicz following close behind in third and fourth, respectively.

Sophomore Matt Wrenshall won the 100-meter freestyle in 47.38.

Cornell sophomore Ryan Buckham won the 200-meter backstroke with a time of 1:53.51, and fellow Big Red junior Jim Drvostep finished second in 1:55.87. Harvard freshman Mike Gentilucci was the only Crimson swimmer to place in the event, taking third place with a time of 1:56.08.

In the 500-meter freestyle, Martin dominated the field and captured first place with a time of 4:36.84 and McConnell finished almost two seconds behind Martin, placing second in 4:38.09.

Sophomore Michael Sabala was the only Harvard swimmer to place in the 200-meter breaststroke, winning his race in 2:18.49.

The men's diving team also performed well for the Crimson Saturday afternoon. Freshman Erik Patton won the one-meter and three-meter events, and freshman Adam Grant placed third in the three-meter competition.

"I was really happy that I could finally put everything together," Patton said.

Sophomore diver Erik Frost did not compete Saturday because of a sprained back.

Both the swimmers and divers are now preparing for the Eastern Championships at Princeton, scheduled to take place March 2-4.

"A lot of people considered [Saturday's dual meet against Cornell and Dartmouth] a tune-up for Easterns," Hanley added. "We've all been practicing a lot lately and getting ready for it."