The Harvard men’s swimming and diving team cruised to another dominant victory against Columbia in its home opener on Friday night.
With former team members in the stands of Blodgett Pool for Alumni Weekend, the Crimson (3-0, 3-0 Ivy) swept 10 of 16 events, beating the Lions (2-1, 2-1), 192-108.
“We did a great job of cheering for each other,” said sophomore Chuck Katis, who won the 100 breaststroke in 55.25 seconds and the 400 IM in 3:58.34. “For the most part, everyone had faster times this weekend, and I think part of that is the excitement of being at home for the first time.”
In its first career meet at home, the freshman class impressed. Freshman Christian Carbone took home victories in the 200 breaststroke and 200 fly, and he also raced in the 400 IM to cap off the night with a second place finish.
Carbone was not the only freshman to complete a difficult triple. After taking second place in the mile, freshman Steven Kekacks beat out sophomore teammate Mike Gaudiani by three seconds to win the 500 free. He also swam the 400 IM.
“[Carbone’s and Kekacks’ triples] are two incredible feats of endurance, and they had great races,” Katis said.
The Crimson’s strongest performance came in the penultimate event of the night, when Katis, Carbone, and freshman Christian Yeager took the first three spots in the 400 IM, beating out Columbia’s fourth place finisher, Stephen Raynes, by 4.5 seconds.
The freshman class was ranked sixth in the nation coming into the season by CollegeSwimming.com and features five swimmers who competed in Olympic trials this summer.
For the second week in a row, sophomore Mike Mosca swept both diving events, beating out his competition in the 1- and 3-meter events by 32 and 25 points, respectively.
Harvard senior Michael Stanton came in second in the 3-meter and third in the 1-meter. The Lions’ best divers of the night were senior Jason Collazo and sophomore Micah Rembrant. Both turned in quality dives but suffered from inconsistency.
The Crimson began and ended the night with relay victories. In the first event, sophomores Katis and Griffin Schumacher combined with juniors Jack Pretto and Oliver Lee to take the 200 medley relay by three seconds.
The last event of the night brought a tighter finish, but Schumacher, Lee, and senior co-captain Greg Roop pulled off a come-from-behind win anchored by junior Chris Satterthwaite to solidify Havard’s victory.
“It was a great stepping-stone from last weekend,” Katis said. “It did a great job showing our progression.”
Satterthwaite shone individually as well, taking home a win in the 200 free when he edged Roop by .12 seconds. In the 100 free, he swam another close race and topped teammate Schumacher by .11 seconds.
“I think more people swam their best events today,” assistant coach Alex Meyer ’10 said. “It was a good chance for some people to get engaged early in the season.”