Crimson Capitalizes On Winter Break Races

The Harvard men’s swim team made a splash in its first appearance of 2010, claiming an easy 183-117 victory over the Quakers of Penn on Saturday. The win boosts the Crimson’s record to 4-1 for the season, while remaining undefeated at 4-0 in the Ivy League.

“It got the new year off to a good start,” Harvard coach Tim Murphy said. “There were a number of good races, and I was pleased with the guys’ energy and focus.”

Harvard began the meet with a bang, capturing a 1-2-3 finish in the 1000-yard freestyle event. Co-captain Alex Meyer led his team with a time of 9:30.61 for a strong first-place finish in the race. Junior Blake Lewkowitz and senior Mason Brunnick followed in second and third with times of 9:31.50 and 9:35.51, respectively.

The Crimson’s sophomore sprinters claimed a second 1-2-3 finish in the 200-yard butterfly. Nicholas Tan captured the race for Harvard, touching the wall in 1:51.65, while classmates Niall Janney and Ross Ford placed second and third in the event.

Tan also posted a first-place finish in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 50.16.

Meyer racked up his second first-place finish in the 500-yard freestyle, with a time of 4:36.09. The Ithaca, N.Y.-native was followed in this race once again by Brunnick, who finished in 4:37.70.

Sophomore Rob Newell was Harvard’s third swimmer to claim multiple first-place finishes during the contest. Newell won both the 100-yard and 200-yard backstroke events, touching the wall in 51.91 and 1:51.38, respectively.

Further distancing itself from Penn, the Crimson captured 1-2 finishes in the 400-yard IM and 200-yard freestyle races.

Freshmen Greg Roop and Brendan McIntee led the way in the 200-yard freestyle event. Roop touched the wall in 1:42.08, while McIntee who posted a 1:43.48 time.

Janney and freshman Owen Wurzbacher followed, capturing the 400-yard IM with times of 4:02.86 and 4:07.27, respectively.

The Harvard swimmers finished the day with a victory in the 400-yard freestyle relay to seal the fate of the Quakers. The relay team of Tan, juniors Will Heyburn and Eric Taylor, and sophomore Nicholas DuCille recorded a 3:06.83 mark for the win.

“It was a really strong performance,” senior co-captain Tommy Gray said. “Our team came out firing.”

“Everyone was really ready to go, and I was pleased with everybody’s fitness level,” Gray added.

The Crimson will look to build on this victory as it embarks upon a weeklong intensive training trip in preparation of its final two home meets of the season. Harvard will be back in action on Jan. 22nd as it welcomes Ivy League rival Brown to Blodgett Pool before facing off against cross-town opponent Boston University on Jan. 23rd.

—Staff writer Alex. J. Mihalek can be reached at amihalek@fas.harvard.edu.

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