It may not have been the campus attraction that was the Harvard-Princeton basketball game, but the Ivy League title was still on the line for the men’s swimming and diving team this past weekend. Ultimately the squad was unable to add another championship to the Crimson’s total.
Harvard (9-0) hosted the other seven Ivy competitors for the Ivy League Championships this past Thursday through Saturday at Blodgett Pool and managed to finish in second place with 1,394.5 points, just 5.5 behind the champion Tigers’ 1400.
“We were coming into the meet with a lot of momentum after HYP,” junior Rob Newell said. “I do think we were the underdogs coming into it and that Princeton was favored...It’s tough to lose by such a close margin, but we were a lot closer to Princeton than we had been in the past.”
From the first day of competition, it had been clear that the title would come down to Harvard and Princeton—whom the hosts had already beaten earlier this season.
The team of senior Will Heyburn, junior Nicholas Tan, and freshmen Oliver Lee and Chris Satterthwaite got things started off for the Crimson by nabbing third place in the 200-yard freestyle relay, finishing in 4:24.98.
Freshmen Wes Stearns and Spenser Goodman earned Harvard even more team points with second- and fourth-place finishes in the 500-yard freestyle, respectively.
Lee picked up another second place finish for his squad in the 50-meter freestyle with a time of 20.13, just missing first place for the event.
In the 400-yard medley, the Crimson finished up the first day of the competition in fourth place in the event, 13 points behind the Tigers.
“I think those first days are our weakest days,” Newell said. “We didn’t let it get us down too much.”
On the second day of the meet, Harvard slipped even further behind the Tigers. After two days of events, the Crimson stood at 916 team points, while Princeton led the meet with 950 points.
Co-captain Justin Davidson, Tan, and freshmen Lee and Jack Pretto teamed up to begin the evening session with fourth place in the 200-yard medley. Pretto followed up the solid medley finish by taking third in the 100-yard backstroke, posting a time of 49.03 seconds.
In the 1,650-yard freestyle, Stearns won his heat but finished second overall with a time of 15:18.62.
The Crimson ended the day with another second-place result in the 800-yard freestyle relay, as sophomore Gregory Roop and freshmen Danny Crigler, Goodman, and Satterthwaite finished in 6:34.95.
Harvard went into the third day down by 34 points, but key victories moved the Crimson within striking distance of Princeton.
Junior Rob Newell pushed Harvard closer in terms of team points to the Tigers by placing third in the 200-yard backstroke.