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While Harvard’s athletic attention may have been focused on The Game over the weekend, the men’s swimming and diving team was busy in the pool.
The Crimson squad traveled to Chapel Hill, N.C., and placed fifth in the Janis Hape Dowd Nike Cup, a meet that started on Thursday and culminated on Saturday.
Coming off of back-to-back Ivy wins last weekend against Dartmouth and Cornell, the team joined in a very competitive field consisting primarily of Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) schools.
Harvard earned 280 points overall in the meet, falling to No. 12 University of North Carolina (1,334), Navy (752), Duke (572.5), and the University of South Carolina (508.5). Other teams in the meet included Old Dominion, East Carolina, and No. 19 North Carolina State, which took sixth, seventh, and eighth, respectively.
“The entire team was going into the meet a little broken down, but I think on the whole the team responded pretty well,” sophomore Chris Satterthwaite said. “It was a good meet overall for the team, definitely a good experience for us.”
On Saturday, standout diver Mike Mosca took fifth place in the three-meter dive event with a score of 340.65—the second of two solid results on the weekend for the freshman.
“We were going up against some of the best teams in the country,” Mosca said. “In order for us to go out there and give it our all—even though we knew we were at a different level—was good at a team standpoint, knowing that we can suck it up and swim fast and dive hard.”
Mosca’s adjustment to collegiate diving has gone smoothly, thanks in part to his teammates.
“I have never really been part of a team, and the team aspect is a really nice thing to have because you are not really diving for yourself anymore ... it is always a good thing to have a different motivation,” Mosca said.
In the 100-yard freestyle, the Crimson’s Satterthwaite took sixth place and was .67 seconds shy of breaking his personal record in the event, finishing in 45.28.
Satterthwaite had a full day on Saturday, also competing in the 400-yard freestyle relay with freshmen Griffin Schumacher and Zach Walters and sophomore Oliver Lee. Together the quartet’s effort was good enough for a sixth-place finish.
On Friday, Mosca had a very strong dive, finishing fourth in the one-meter competition with a total of 352.35, 9.45 points behind the first-place competitor.
Also on Friday, the Harvard 800-yard freestyle relay squad of Satterthwaite, freshman Michael Gaudiania, sophomore Spenser Goodman, and Walters finished fourth with a time of 6:45.70.
Gaudiania also competed individually in the 400-yard individual medley and posted a time of 4:01.57, which was good for seventh place. Sophomore Jack Pretto also finished seventh place in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 50.55.
On Thursday, the 200-yard freestyle relay was Harvard’s most successful event. The Crimson relay squad was composed of Schumacher, Satterthwaite, and Lee, who joined up to finish fifth with a time of 1:51:30.
Another notable finish on Thursday came from freshman Chuck Katis, the sixth-place finisher in the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 1:51.30.
Throughout the meet, Harvard was well-entrenched in fifth place, unable to make the necessary breakthroughs to climb up the standings. But having faced a challenging field, Mosca remained upbeat.
“That much competition for everyone was tiring, and for us to keep going through, we need always need to have high morale, and we did that, so I think that was a major factor,” Mosca said.
Next up for the Crimson will be the USA Swimming National Championships to be held on Dec. 1 in Atlanta, Ga. The next diving event will be on Dec. 2 at MIT.
“As a whole for the team, what we did this weekend was good, but it also showed us some spots we can work on, particularly longer-term endurance,” Satterthwaite said. “Building up the aerobic base to go into the three-day, extended meets and come out on top.”
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