Aquamen Making Ripples

Early Success Gives Crimson 4-0 Record, EISL Lead

The pundits predicted a stellar season for the Harvard Men's Swimming Team and so far they've been exactly right.

The Aquamen are now 4-0 and atop the EISL after defeating Brown Tuesday night at Blodgett pool.

While Tuesday's weather was cold and rainy outside, the Crimson enjoyed the warm confines of Blodgett, knifing its way through the water en route to a 143-90 drubbing of the Bears.

Harvard took seven of 10 events including a sweep of the 200-yard freestyle and the diving competition. The win was Harvard's third in four days.

While most students were relaxing at home over the Thanksgiving weekend, the swimmers were racking up victories at Columbia and Navy.


Sunday at the Naval Academy, incredible performances were turned in by senior Co-Captain, Tom Peterson and freshman Tim Carver. Peterson broke the pool record in the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 2:01.92 which placed him in consideration for the NCAAs.

Meanwhile, Carver's 55.44 time broke the pool record in the 100-meter backstroke. The day before, in just his second collegiate race, Carver had set a new record in the 100-yard backstroke at Columbia. His time of 50.49 also earned him consideration for the NCAA competition.

"It's tough to swim on a Tuesday night." Said first-year Crimson coach Mike Chasson. "We came in off a difficult weekend with two meets and won. It was a tough mental challenge and we swam really well."

"The team is progressing very well and according to plan," Chasson said. "We're turning in faster times than last year under similar circumstances. Our work ethic and training attitude is excellent."

Part of the team's success this year can be attributed to the strong and enthusiastic freshmen whom Swimming magazine ranked as one of the top recruiting classes in the country. Seven of Harvard's nine top swimming prospects decided to matriculate here.

If there is one characteristic that marks this year's Crimson, it is team cohesiveness.

"It's incredible. I couldn't ask for more as far as camaraderie," Carver said. "There's great spirit. You never know beforehand what you'll get in a team, but the support is just tremendous here."

Another critical factor in the team's extraordinary performance thus far is Coach Mike Chasson. Chasson, who came from Stanford where he had been the assistant women's swimming coach since 1988, draws high praise from his swimmers.

"The team loves him," sophomore Matt McKay said. "He gets along well with everyone and he really knows his stuff."

"The program is great," junior Will Lane said. "Everything is pointed toward winning the Eastern Championships at the end of the year. When you're told the purpose of what you're doing everything is a lot easier."

Tonight the Aquamen will swim against some of the best teams in the East at the University of Pittsburgh Invitational tournament. Pitt, Bowling Green, Miami of Ohio and Florida will be at the three-day event.

"This meet is a great opportunity for us. It will be the only time other than Easterns where we'll be swimming in an invitational format," Co-Captain Don Bae said. "It should be very competitive."