BRIEF: Men's Swimming Picks Up Victories in Las Vegas

One after the other, they took that final stroke and stretched their upper bodies to touch the wall as quickly as possible. One after the other, racers came up for air only to see the familiar faces of teammates greeting them in the neighboring lanes, as Harvard men’s swimming swept a number of races this past weekend in Las Vegas.

Buoyed by one-two-three finishes in four separate events, the Crimson (8-0) raced past Air Force (14-1) and UNLV (0-7) on Saturday in its final meet of winter break. This contest also marked Harvard’s final non-conference challenge of the season as it turns its focus to completing the Ivy League portion of its schedule now. The Crimson edged the Falcons, 163-132, while beating the Runnin’ Rebels, 188-105.

Freshman Danny Tran, an Irvine, Calif. native, was part of three races that ended with a Harvard 1-2-3, finishing ahead of two teammates in the 200 backstroke and 200 individual medley while claiming third behind two Harvard swimmers in the 200 freestyle. Tran has now won the 200 backstroke against seven different schools across four dual meets in his short collegiate career.

Fellow freshman Logan Houck continued his dominance of the long-distance freestyle events, winning both the 500 and 1000-yard races. With the opportunity to race in front of his friends and family in his hometown of Las Vegas, Houck edged out Harvard teammates in both events, with the Crimson claiming second and third behind him.

Sophomore Kent Haeffner came in second in the 1000 free while finishing third in the 500-yard event, while another freshman, Brennan Novak, claimed second in the 500. Novak also won the 200 freestyle, completing a successful day for Harvard’s freshmen.

Sophomore Ed Kim brought home second place in a couple events, finishing runner-up in the 200 free behind Novak and the 100 free behind Air Force’s Jordan Dahle. The Sammamish, Wash. native followed up his second place finish in the 50 free against Brown and Penn last week with a strong display this weekend.

The Crimson got off to a perfect start in the diving events, with sophomore David Pfeifer continuing his strong start to the campaign with wins in both the one-meter and three-meter contests. A former four-time state champion, Pfeifer won the one-meter event with 304.25 points, four ahead of the Falcons’ Nathanael Zillweger.

Pfeifer then recorded a more comfortable win in the three-meter event, with 27.8 points separating him and Zillweger at the top. Harvard sophomore Bobby Ross finished third, 51.35 points off the pace.

The meet was decided by the 15th event, with Harvard’s swimmers then swimming exhibition for the 200 IM and 400 freestyle relay.

–Staff writer Manav Khandelwal can be reached at manavkhandelwal@college.harvard.edu.

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