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Swimmers Stay Perfect

Crimson men beat Brown, place second at Invite

By Megha Parekh, Contributing Writer

After earning second-place at the Notre Dame Invitational this past weekend, the Harvard men’s swimming team continued its success yesterday afternoon with a win against Brown at Blodgett Pool. Although some of the team had to endure an extended layover in Chicago because of the inclement weather, the Crimson (2-0, 2-0 Ivy) was able to return home in time to dominate the contest against the Bears (1-3, 0-3) and win 193.5 to 97.5.

Not bowing to jet-lag or fatigue, Harvard held Brown to only five wins out of the 16 events the teams swam.

“There were some guys that did even better against Brown than at Notre Dame,” junior Cameron Moccari said. “We did not let our energy level go down.”

The longest stretch of Crimson victories was a five-event win streak in the middle of the meet after the two squads split the first four heats that gave Harvard a clear advantage entering the homestretch.

Senior Rassan Grant started the string of good fortune for the Crimson, leading senior Jonathan Lin and freshman Joc Christiana in a one through three sweep in the 100-yard breaststroke, and sophomore David Cromwell punctuated the run by eking out a 0.18 second victory in the 100-yard freestyle.

Cromwell was unable to beat out Brown’s Timothy Wang earlier in the meet when Wang took the 200-yard freestyle by the same margin.

Harvard’s relay teams proved to be especially dominant when they competed in the first and last events of the afternoon.

During the 200-yard medley relay, the ‘A’ team, comprised of Cromwell, Grant, junior Ryan Smith and junior Andrew Krna, claimed first place, followed one second later by the Crimson’s ‘B’ relay group with freshman Jason Degnan-Rojeski, Lin, junior Nicholas Langan and co-captain Kemi George.

Brown’s ‘B’ team claimed the Bears’ only spot in the top five, as Harvard’s ‘C’ and ‘D’ teams rounded out the top spots.

In the 200-yard freestyle relay, all of Harvard’s teams beat out Brown’s and swam into the first four spots. This time, however, it was the all-senior ‘C’ team that came in first, with George, Grant, Lin and co-captain Kevin Budris touching first.

At times, the Bears were so far behind that it seemed as though the Crimson swimmers were racing against each other. During the 50-yard freestyle, George, who finished in 21.04 seconds, was closely tailed by Krna and senior Brad Burns, who came in at 21.23 and 21.43 seconds respectively. Sophomore Bill Cocks and junior Alexander Siroky—separated by just 0.17 seconds themselves—finished well before their competitors in the 200-yard breaststroke, winning by more than four seconds.

Brown’s divers proved to be incapable of giving their team the edge as well. Senior Enrique Roy and sophomore Danil Rybalko traded taking first and second place in both the one-meter and the three-meter diving competitions.

Notre Dame Invitational

The Crimson’s win over Brown came on the heels of its second-place finish at the Notre Dame Invitational, in which it competed against 11 other teams.

One of Harvard’s vital first-place finishes on Saturday came from Cromwell, who beat out Notre Dame’s Doug Bauman in the 200-yard backstroke by 1.3 seconds—1:48.19 to 1:49.49. The time was an improvement for Cromwell from his preliminary run in which he finished in 1:52.02.

Cromwell also finished first in the 100-yard backstroke on Friday.

The Crimson’s ‘A’ relay team won the final race of the day, with sophomore Mark Knepley, George, Krna and Cromwell taking first-place in the 400-yard freestyle event.

During the 200-yard medley relay, Harvard’s ‘A’ swimmers—Cromwell, Grant, Krna and junior Ryan Smith—finished less than one second behind Notre Dame, earning them second place.

The ‘A’ relay team also stuck to second place in the 800-yard freestyle relay, in which Cromwell, Kneply, Krna and freshman John Voith came in second behind Notre Dame yet again.

Other individual high finishes came from Grant, who finished second in the 200-yard breaststroke; Knepley, who finished third in the 100-yard freestyle; and the duo of Roy and Rybalko, who came in second and third in three-meter diving.

The second-place finish came after a slow start last Thursday. After some disappointing finishes, the Crimson saw Roy finish first and Rybalko third in the one-meter diving competition.

“We could’ve done better on Thursday,” Moccari said. “But I was happy with the way we responded after not swimming well. We came back with more energy and enthusiasm the next two days.”

The ‘A’ relay team of Cromwell, Grant, Smith, and Knepley turned it up by the end of that first day and won the 400-yard medley relay, just 0.4 seconds ahead of Notre Dame.

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Men's Swimming