MEN'S SWIMMING: Unbeaten in Regular Season, Harvard Falls in Ivies

Di-Spensing Justice
Angeline L. Baniqued

Freshman Spenser Goodman was a force in the pool this year for the Crimson. After winning a race and placing second in another at his first meet in a Crimson uniform, the rookie never looked back. At the Ivy League Championship, Goodman and his 800-yard freestyle relay team were named to the second-team All-Ivy after taking second in the event. A number of freshmen made significant contributions this season, including Wes Stearns and Oliver Lee.

After completing an undefeated regular season, including a clean sweep in the HYP meet, the Harvard men’s swimming and diving team fell short at the Ivy League Championship, finishing second to Princeton.

“We had a really strong team,” senior Zac Ranta said. “Having an undefeated season was great. We would have loved to be successful at Ivies but can’t be disappointed with an undefeated season.”

The Crimson (9-0, 7-0 Ivy) started the season on a tear, easily beating Dartmouth and Cornell in the year’s first two matches, 222-78 and 216-82, respectively.

In the home opener, Harvard took on Columbia and jumped out to an early lead when Crimson freshman Wes Stearns won the 1650-yard freestyle.

Stearns finished the race in 15:52.83, 10 seconds faster than the rest of the field.


The team never looked back. In the next event, the 200 freestyle, Harvard freshmen Chris Satterthwaite and Spenser Goodman finished one and two, respectively, giving the Crimson a commanding lead en route to a 196-102 win.

Harvard continued to dominate as the season progressed, recording wins over Boston University, Connecticut, Brown, and Penn. None of these teams came within 50 points of the Crimson.

But the competition got a little tougher in the annual HYP meet against Yale and Princeton.

The Tigers, who were also undefeated heading into the match, proved to be Harvard’s first real challenge all season, but the Crimson held on for a 189-164 win. The Bulldogs didn’t put up much of a fight, and Harvard crushed Yale, 266-87.

Sophomore Michael Stanton won the three meter and the one meter while Stearns capped off the victory with a NCAA provisional mark of 4:28.23 in the 500 freestyle.

“The highlight of the year would have to be winning HYP,” captain Justin Davidson said. “That’s the meet that everything really came together for us. It was great to be able to celebrate a victory like that with the team.”

A month after the HYP victory, the Crimson tried to maintain its position as the top team in the Ancient Eight at the year’s biggest meet: the Ivy League Championships.

But Harvard’s reign atop the Ivies proved to be short-lived.

Princeton took the early lead and barely held off the Crimson, tallying 1,400 points to Harvard’s 1,394.5.

The Crimson kept it interesting to the end. With only the 400-meter freestyle relay remaining, Harvard had a shot at taking the meet, trailing the Tigers by 7.5 points. But the Crimson placed second in the race behind Columbia, and Harvard finished second in the championship.


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