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Coming off an undefeated 2012-13 dual meet campaign, the Harvard men’s swimming and diving team extended its win streak into the 2013-14 season with a dominating performance in the pool on Friday night.
The Crimson (1-0) turned out a victorious performance in its first dual meet of the season over Cornell and Dartmouth in Hanover, N.H., outscoring the Big Green (0-1), 211.5-88.5, and swimming past the Big Red (0-1), 229-71.
Harvard finished with top times in 13 of the meet’s 16 events, with seven different members of the squad earning first place recognition.
“Going out and putting up some fast times so early in the season is really exciting,” junior Zach Walters said. “I’m definitely optimistic for the future. It’s still early in the season, so we’re at a different spot than we’re going to be later, but going out and beating Cornell and Dartmouth was definitely great.”
Harvard’s team is relatively young, with 11 freshmen on the roster. Rookie Eric Ronda was a key contributor to the Crimson win, placing first in the 100 and 200 breaststroke, with respective times of 57.31 and 2:02.62. Fellow freshman Jack Manchester came out on top in the 200-yard backstroke, finishing in 1:47.27.
“We really rallied behind Jack’s 200 backstroke,” Walters said. “He had a phenomenal time this early in the season and it definitely got us excited to see what we are capable of doing. This is arguably the best freshman class that we’ve ever had, so it’s definitely really exciting to have them as extra support.”
Following suit, classmate Aly Abdel Khalik swam to a win in the 500, finishing with a time of 4:34.65. Not far behind him was freshman Cliff Goertemiller, who finished in second with a time of 4:35.19.
Goertemiller also picked up a first place finish in the 1000-yard freestyle with a time of 9:24.22.
“I was pretty nervous because all the guys were watching and you don’t want to look like you cracked under pressure in front of the team,” Goertemiller said. “It was an incredible feeling to be able to contribute something towards an objective, which was the team’s performance…I definitely felt like I had the team on my back for that one. It’s easy to go fast when you have a great group behind you.”
Co-captains Chris Satterthwaite and Oliver Lee both won their races. Satterthwaite picked up a win in his 100 free with a time of 45.02, while Lee took home first in the 50 free, finishing in 20.63. Satterthwaite was also able to seal a victory in the 200 free, breaking a 32-year-old pool record with a time of 1:39.27.
Sophomores Jacob Luna and Leo Lim took home first and second place in the 200 butterfly, with finishes of 1:50.26 and 1:50.96, respectively.
“[The younger swimmers] are going to push us [veterans] to be better and we’re going to push them to grow and develop into becoming part of our team,” Walters said. “That should provide some pretty exciting results.”
In diving, junior co-captain Michael Mosca won both events, scoring 370.60 points in the three-meter and 326.15 in the one-meter dive. Mosca outscored both Cornell and Dartmouth by more than 43 points combined. Senior Joe Zarrella finished behind Morsca in the two events, earning 333.40 and 320.15 points, respectively.
The Crimson was able to end its night on a high note, taking the 400 freestyle relay in 3:02.48. The winning team was comprised of Lee, senior Danny Crigler, junior Griffin Schumacher, and Satterthwaite.
“Coming back together for the relays is always an exciting thing,” Walters said. “It’s a good way to start and cap off each meet and the whole team really rallies behind these group efforts, so it’s definitely one of the more engaging performances of the meet.”
For Harvard, this was the first meet under new head coach Kevin Tyrrell. Previously one of the team’s assistant coaches, Tyrrell now heads the program after former head coach Tim Murphy left the squad to take the same position at Penn State.
“We’ve had a lot of transitions lately with a new coach and some of our teammates leaving abruptly,” Goertemiller said. “I think a lot of people were kind of rattled going into this meet, but I feel like the fact that we still turned up as a team really pulled everyone back together and refocused the apparatus.”
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