Although the start of the collegiate swimming season is still months away, 16 members of the Harvard men’s swimming and diving team took to the pool to compete at the highest national level this summer.
This weekend, the Crimson sent a handful of athletes to the NCAA Championships at the McAuley Aquatic Center in Atlanta, Ga. to face the nation’s fastest swimmers.
Harvard (9-1, 6-1 Ivy League) held a close lead over the Tigers (7-0, 7-0) until the fourth-from-last event of the meet, but a late surge saw Princeton edge out the Crimson, 1520.5-1499. This weekend’s win for the Tigers at the Katherine Moran Coleman Pool in Providence, R.I. marked the second time in as many years that Princeton has topped Harvard for the Ancient Eight championship.
No men’s swim team other than Harvard or Princeton has been an outright Ivy League title winner since 1971.
Despite decisively besting Yale (8-3, 4-3 Ivy League), 263-90, Harvard (9-1, 6-1) fell to Princeton (6-0, 6-0), 224.5-126.5, this Friday and Saturday in Princeton, N.J.
A little less than a year ago, the Crimson’s perfect season was dashed when the team fell to Princeton in the Tigers’ home pool to end up second at the 2015 Ivy League Championships. This weekend, Harvard will seek to erase the memory of last year’s disappointing finish when it returns to DeNunzio to take on Princeton and Yale in its final meet of the regular season.
Buoyed by one-two-three finishes in four separate events, the Crimson raced past Air Force and UNLV on Saturday in its final meet of winter break.
In the team’s second and final home meet of the season, Harvard men’s swimming and diving finished the day with a clean sweep in its dual meet against fellow Ivy league squads, Penn and Brown, at Blodgett Pool on Saturday.
The Harvard men’s swimming and diving squad put forth four top-10 finishes on Thursday and Friday at the Wally Nakamoto Hawaii Diving Invitational in Honolulu. Competing against the likes of Columbia, North Carolina, Wisconsin, and Hawaii in an event hosted by the Rainbow Warriors, freshman Luke Martinez and sophomore David Pfeifer led the way on the diving side for the Crimson in the one-meter and three-meter springboard events.
Slowly but surely, Harvard has become an annual recruiting powerhouse in men’s swimming, often attracting athletes away from its well-established counterparts on the West Coast.