The Harvard men’s swimming team split its matchups in this weekend’s annual HYP meet, topping Yale, 268-85, but falling to No. 24 Princeton, 207-146.
The Tigers swept their matches, topping both the Crimson and the Bulldogs, 285.5-67.5, to extend their perfect record in Ivy League competition.
The trio of ancient eight teams entered the meet tied at 4-0 in conference play the season. After the weekend’s dust has settled, the Tigers claim sole ownership as leader of the Ivy League standings.
“We went into the meet knowing it was a good test of where we are in the season, and despite our loss [to Princeton], I feel that the meet put us in a good position going forward into the Ivy League Championship,” freshman Chuck Katis said.
The previously undefeated Harvard team looked at the weekend’s competition as a test of its championship readiness.
“Our team was just trying to get some fast times out there at [the meet],” sophomore Oliver Lee said. “We haven’t really had a meet yet with stiff competition this season, and so we were just really psyched for this weekend’s meet.”
Despite the split result this weekend, the Harvard swimmers were relatively satisfied with the performance, as the squad beat the Bulldogs by a margin of almost 200 points and saw several swimmers and divers come close in losing efforts.
The Crimson’s 200-free relay team—formed by classmates Lee, Will Brophy, Chris Satterthwaite, and freshman Griffin Schumacher—gave Harvard its first of five first-place finishes of the weekend with a time of 1:20.50. The Tigers narrowly trailed behind the Crimson men by .52 seconds while Yale’s squad took third with a time of 1:22.74.
In the individual 200-free race, Princeton’s Colin Cordes and David Paulk finished first and second with times of 1:37.91 and 1:38.09, respectively, and set the tone for what would be a demonstration of domination by the Tigers, which tallied an impressive 12 first-place finishes in the weekend’s 19 events.
Princeton continued its winning style in sweeping the top three spots in the 100 backstroke. Tiger freshman Michael Strand touched the wall first at 49.10, followed closely by teammates Raigla and Maher with respective finishes of 49.57 and 49.91.
In the 100 breaststroke, freshman Chuck Katis, who entered the meet ranked 47th in the nation and third in the Ivy League for the event with a time of 55.08 seconds, had a season-best finish at 54.29 seconds. But Katis was bested by a margin of .46 seconds, as Princeton senior Jonathan Christensen swam to No. 11 in the nation and first in the conference with a time of 53.83.
Clocking in at 1:47.04, Yale’s Alwin Firmansyah posted the Bulldogs’ only first-place finish of the weekend in Friday’s 200 butterfly.
As the battle for first in conference resumed Saturday, both Harvard and Princeton were decisively ahead of Yale, each with a score exceeding the Bulldogs by 100 points or better. The Crimson began within striking distance of the Tigers trailing 104-82.
But the Princeton men emerged as the clear victors, taking the first five events of the day and earning a total of 103 points to increase the margin between Princeton and Harvard to a comfortable 61 points.
The Crimson pushed back with first-place finishes in the 400-freestyle relay and the three-meter dive. Harvard freshman Kyle McIntee gave the Crimson another victory when he took the 500 free by swimming a time of 4:28.1 in a heat leading up to the final.
“It was really unexpected, not from our point of view, but especially for [the opposing] teams,” Katis said.
But McIntee’s success and the other four Crimson first-place finishes of the meet weren’t enough to overtake a strong Princeton team whose swimmers boast 16 times within the nation’s top 50 in 13 different events.
One such swimmer, Tiger Paul Noelle, finished far ahead of the rest in the 1650 free. After touching the wall at 15:30.62, Noelle surfaced to watch his closest opponent finish nine seconds later.
—Staff writer Marina Watson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.