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M. Swim Tops Big Red, Big Green

By Chris Schonberger, Contributing Writer

Just one week after dropping a disappointing five-point decision to Princeton at the H-Y-P meet, the Harvard men’s swimming and diving team bounced back with a sweep of Cornell and Dartmouth at Blodgett Pool on Saturday.

The Crimson beat the Big Red 168-74 and defeated the Big Green 148-92. The tri-meet was a confidence booster for Harvard (7-1, 6-1 EISL), which was hosting its last home meet of the regular season.

“A bunch of us swam off events,” said junior James Lawler, who took first in the 500-yard freestyle in 4:41.52. “[Junior] John Cole likes to swim the 100[-yard] freestyle even though he’s a distance swimmer, so he got a chance to do that.”

Cole finished fourth (47.15) in the 100-yard freestyle.

Despite its jumbled lineup, the Crimson easily outmatched both of its opponents, winning nine of the 13 events. Nonetheless, the meet was very competitive, with the top five positions being decided by less than a second in many events.

After Dartmouth (4-8, 1-8) opened the meet with a .38-second win over Harvard in the 400-yard medley relay, the Crimson began its onslaught. Senior Ben Hanley kicked off the individual events with a win in the 1000-yard freestyle, finishing in 9:30.31. Co-captain Cory Walker posted two wins, taking the 200-yard freestyle (1:41.74) and the 200-yard butterfly (1:51.85), while junior Kemi George captured first (20.98) in the 50-yard freestyle.

With the swimmers setting the tone for the meet, the Harvard divers followed suit with a dominant performance. Junior Enrique Roy and freshman Danil Rybalko finished first and second, respectively, in both the 1- and 3-meter events.

“[Enrique] definitely dove better than he did last weekend,” Rybalko said. “He really pushes me to keep getting better.

“It was nice to see Enrique back on top,” Rybalko added. “We rely on our divers, especially in close meets.”

Next weekend, the Crimson rounds out its regular season schedule with another Ivy matchup at Penn. However, the team has its sights set on the EISL Championships at the beginning of March, where it hopes to improve on last year’s second-place finish.

“Princeton beat us last weekend at H-Y-Ps,” Lawler said. “We hope to reverse that at Easterns.”

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