And the streak continues.
With victories over Brown and Penn on Saturday, the Harvard men’s swimming and diving team (7-0, 5-0 Ivy) continued its undefeated season in quest of its second consecutive Ivy League title.
The Crimson defeated the Bears (1-2, 0-2) by a score of 237-63 and the Quakers (3-5, 2-5), 190-108, topping the podium in 13 of 16 events. In its first return to Ivy competition since November 21st when Harvard faced Columbia, the Crimson looked to be in peak form heading into the important Harvard-Yale-Princeton meet in two weeks.
“Our goal for the weekend was just to do better than we did at Duke and South Carolina, [and] overall as a team we did that,” freshman Steven Tan said. “We had better times, we had better swims, and it was just an overall better meet for us…. We stepped up to race right at the beginning, which we didn’t do at Duke, so we had a lead right from the beginning.”
While the victory was a team effort, two of Harvard’s youngest swimmers led the charge. Tan led the pack with four wins on the day. Meanwhile, fellow freshman Shane McNamara was close behind with three first place finishes.
“We’ve seen a lot of growth in the freshmen,” co-captain Michael Gaudiani said. “Time-wise, they’ve been really fast, but also I’ve seen growth mentally a lot as athletes. The college season is pretty different from what they’re used to in high school, and I think these freshmen especially have made great strides adapting to that college mindset.”
Tan and McNamara kicked off the meet with a victory in the 200-medley relay alongside classmate Koya Osada and sophomore Paul O’Hara, posting a time of 1:30.34, which beat out the Crimson combination of sophomores Jack Manchester, Eric Ronda, junior Jacob Luna, and senior Griffin Schumacher who took third.
But that first place finish was just the start for Harvard. The team would go on to win the next six consecutive events to solidify its lead. Wins from senior Spenser Goodman, Tan, McNamara, junior Christian Carbone, and Schumacher seemed to put the meet out of reach for the Crimson’s opponents.
Senior Michael Mosca continued his domination on the diving board for Harvard, sweeping both the one-meter and three-meter events.
The meet started with a win by Tan and ended in similar fashion. The rookie was first to touch the wall in two of the final three wins for the Crimson.
Brown did not win any events, with its top event coming on a second place finish by Jonathan Schlafer in the one-meter dive with a score of 307.60. The Bears fell to both Harvard and the Quakers in the meet.
Penn, on the other hand, was 1-1 on the day as it defeated the Bears by a score of 203-95. The team showed its strength in the distance events, with junior Chris Swanson claiming victories in the 1000 and 500 freestyle races.
The Crimson returns to its home pool in two weeks for its final contest before the Ivy League Championship against Yale and Princeton in the storied HYP meet.
Harvard will face its toughest Ivy competition when it competes at HYP, as the Tigers and Bulldogs are also undefeated in Ivy competition and are a consistent threat every season for the Ivy title. According to Tan, though the Crimson has won several meets with ease thus far this season, the focus for the rest of the season will not be the past wins, but the wins the team continues to seek as it heads into the peak of the season.
“Once you step on the blocks, its time to race,” Tan said. “Whether or not you’re tired, you’re sore, or we had a hard week of training, as soon as you step on the blocks and you see your teammates or competitors, it's race time. It’s really not a time to think about the past but really focus on the present.”
—Staff writer Theresa C. Hebert can be reached at email@example.com.
Crimson Capitalizes On Winter Break RacesThe Harvard men’s swim team made a splash in its first appearance of 2010, claiming an easy 183-117 victory over the Quakers of Penn on Saturday. The win boosts the Crimson’s record to 4-1 for the season, while remaining undefeated at 4-0 in the Ivy League.
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