Harvard swimmers broke two records at Columbia’s Uris Pool on Friday, and the Crimson went on to record a convincing 220-79 win over the Lions (1-3, 1-2 Ivy).
In Harvard’s (4-0, 3-0) fourth meet of the year, its swimmers took first place in every event. Sophomore David Pfeifer placed second in both the one meter and three meter diving events.
“I think the team did really well on Friday,” junior Paul O’Hara said. “We had a couple of really good individual performances. A lot of us were tired after the travel, but I think that we really pulled together and did a great job.”
Facing Columbia on the road was a challenge with which the Crimson had struggled in the past, but this year the team was able to overcome the Lions in their home pool.
“We went into the meet with the knowledge that Columbia always performs well at home,” senior Leo Lim said. “The last time we swam against them at Columbia, they gave us a challenge, and we struggled the first half of the meet. However, for this whole meet, we did a great job staying focused from the first half and got the job done.”
Sophomore Koya Osada set a pool record in the 200 backstroke with a time of 1:45.77, and two of his teammates rounded out the top three in the same event as well. Senior Christian Yeager and junior Jack Manchester finished second and third, respectively. Osada’s time was the eighteenth fastest in the NCAA and the fastest in the Ivy League this year.
“[Osada] swam really, really fast and broke the pool record that was set by another member of our team at this meet our freshman year, Jack Manchester,” O’Hara said. “[The national standing] was really impressive, and we’re all super excited about that.”
The Crimson 200 free relay team also broke a pool record on Friday. The A relay, made up of O’Hara, Tan, junior Max Yakubovich, and freshman Sebastian Lutz, took first place with a time of 1:20.74.
Osada and sophomores Shane McNamara and Steven Tan and O’Hara helped guide Harvard’s A team to a first-place finish in the 200 medley relay with a time of 1:30.22, but were just over a second shy of the pool record of 1:29.16.
“For the medley relay, we ended up not getting the record, but everyone split really fast and the team looks really good going into the rest of the season,” O’Hara said.
While Harvard swimmers did not set pool records in every event, there were still a handful of individual performances that put the meet out of reach for Columbia. The Crimson showed its depth against the Lions, as Harvard swimmers swept the top spots in multiple events.
In the 1000 free, freshmen Logan Houck and Brennan Novak and sophomore Kent Haeffner finished first, second, and third, respectively. Houck touched first with a time of 9:14.13.
Along with winning the distance freestyle events, Harvard won both the 50 and 100 free events, and the Crimson had four swimmers atop the leaderboard in the 50 free. Tan was able to clinch first place in both swims.
The 200 butterfly saw a trio of Harvard swimmers beat out all four of Columbia’s swimmers. Lim led the contingent, closely followed by freshman Justin Wu and senior Jacob Luna.
With two straight dominant wins over Ivy League foes, the Crimson looks to continue to build momentum for the rest of its Ancient Eight matchups.
“Seeing these two wins and really good performances gives us a pretty big confidence boost, and we’ll be ready for whatever Princeton can throw at us,” O’Hara said.
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