The Harvard men's swimming team finished its season with a win this weekend at the Eastern championships at Princeton's DeNunzio pool.
The three-day meet ran for six sessions, two each day--one of preliminaries, with the top 24 swimmers getting to return in the evening for finals.
Harvard won its fifth consecutive meet comfortably, scoring 1,468 points, in front of Princeton (1,233.5 points), Yale (1,141.5 points), the rest of the Ivy League, and Army and Navy. The Crimson started off the meet with a win in the 200-meter freestyle relay, and continued right on through yesterday, never trailing in the overall competition.
Harvard won three of the five relays in the meet, showing its versatility by winning both sprint relays--the 200 freestyle and the 200 medley--as well as the "distance" 800 freestyle relay.
Harvard's swimmers in the 200 free relay consisted of junior Matt Fritsch, junior Jamey Waters, senior Brian Swinteck, and tri-captain Ben Rosen. Waters joined with junior Mike Im, senior Marek Biegluk and sophomore Kyle Egan for the win in the 200 medley.
Harvard's amazing strength in the distance events was shown in the 800 with freshman Cory Walker, Rosen, freshman Dan Shevchik, and senior Jan Sibbersen finishing 2.5 seconds in front of the field.
Four Crimson swimmers made the finals (top eight) in three different events--the maximum number in which any one swimmer is allowed to compete. Dan Shevchik placed second in the 200 individual medley (IM), his lowest individual placing of the meet.
Shevchik went on to win the 400 IM by a full four seconds and the 200 backstroke by 1.5 seconds.
Shevchik's times qualify him for Olympic Trials this summer and possibly for the NCAA championship meet in April.
The other three-event finalists were a part of Harvard's "Distance Aces," placing in the top eight in the same events: the 500 freestyle, the 1000 freestyle, and the mile.
Freshman Andrew McConnell scored points in the finals all three events. He won the 1000 freestyle, setting a DeNunzio pool record of 9:03.74. McConnell also swam third in both the 500 and the mile. His times qualify him for Olympic Trials and a chance at NCAAs.
Sophomore Ben Hanley also had an incredible meet. All year he has been swimming well, and it all came together for him this weekend. He also qualified for Olympic Trials and NCAAs, placing fourth in the 500, fourth in the 1000, and second in the mile.
Tri-captain Tim Martin, nicknamed the "Distance King," won the 500 free and the mile and placed second in the 1000. Martin won the Moriarty Award for most total points scored in the meet, along with Shevchik and Columbia's Gered Doherty.
More impressively, Martin won the Ulen Trophy, which is awarded to the senior who has scored the most total points over his four-year career in the Eastern conference. Martin is also a qualifier for Olympic Trials and NCAAs.
"Tim's win is really quit an honor not just for him, but for the whole team," tri-captain Brian Cadman said. "We are proud of his achievments and are excited that we could share this award with him."
Shevchik said he was honored to tie Martin for the Moriarty Award.
"It was an honor to share the award with someone who has accomplished so much," Shevchik said. " I hope that I can contribute as much to the winning tradition that has been established here at Harvard as Tim Martin has contributed in his four years."
Harvard was in such command of the overall meet that, in three finals--the mile, the 500 freestyle and the 200 fly--it had four of the eight competitors.
In the 200 fly, junior Michael Groves, Walker, Kyle Egan and Ryan Egan were Harvard's representatives. Ryan and Kyle Egan placed first and second in the event, respectively, both qualifying for Olympic Trials and NCAA consideration.
"These three events were great for us," Cadman said. "They not only showed our domination at the meet, but with the representation of the younger classes, this is a great indicator of the future of our team."
Other Crimson swimmers who qualified for the Olympic Trials this summer include Waters, Im, Swinteck, and Cadman. By having this many swimmers qualify, Harvard showed the strength of its squad this year.
Though the loss of graduating seniors will be felt, Harvard hopes to build throughout the next several years and to continue to climb nationally.
"This was a great way to finish my career," Cadman said after finishing the final meet of his career. "I could not have asked for a better group of guys, or better circumstances. Winning a title in my last meet will remain as a very special event."