Men's Swimming and Diving Tops Bryant in Season Opener

The Harvard men’s swimming team won its first meet of the season over Bryant, 165-120, on Friday. The Crimson set the tone with a one-two-three-four finish in the 200-yard medley relay, the first race of the night, and never looked back.

On paper, Friday night in Blodgett Pool meant nothing in terms of record or standing. In many of the races, the entirety of the Harvard (1-0, 0-0 Ivy) contingent touched the wall before the Bryant (4-2) swimmers. But the meet was valuable in that it offered a reality check on the Crimson swimmers’ progress.

“The Bryant meet provided a great opportunity for everyone on the team to see the results of the intense training we’ve been doing over the past few months, as well as getting to race and determine areas where we can improve for our upcoming meets,” junior Eric Ronda said.

In addition, the meet also gave the Crimson swimmers something that practice couldn’t give them—the structure and strategy that comes in a meet.

“The Bryant meet served as an opportunity for us to practice our racing strategy in a different environment,” co-captain Christian Yeager said.


Harvard swimmers finished first 10 times out of the 16 events. In five of the six events that Bryant did win, Crimson swimmers posted times in exhibition swims that would have placed first in the scored competition.

“It was a meet where many guys swam events they aren’t used to swimming and still performed well, which shows the depth of our current team,” Ronda said.

On a young team with 10 freshmen, the Crimson swimmers were put into new situations to prepare them for the pressure of Ivy meets.

“We were able to have guys swim events they wouldn't likely swim at our Ivy dual meets,” Yeager said. “We were also able to have a lot of the guys who usually won't be put in scoring positions have an opportunity to score some points and swim in the middle of the pool.”

As always, there were a few standouts from Friday night’s meet. Sophomore Shane McNamara, best known for his performances in breaststroke, won the 1000 freestyle. Senior Leo Lim won the 200 butterfly.

It took 47.09 seconds for senior Evan Zheng to win the 100 free in which freshman Alan Lam, who usually swims longer distance freestyle, finished second.

Sophomore Ed Kim was perhaps the standout of the night, as he led off the 400 freestyle relay at at 45.27 second clip.

“Even though at this point in the season our cycle of training is meant to break us down as much as possible physically, there were still very solid swims from some members of our team,” Yeager said.

When it came down to it, the Crimson’s opening dual meet was like a quiz before the exam of Ivy play. Harvard passed the test, exhibiting its strength in depth and versatility.

The crux of the Crimson’s schedule is still to come, with Ivy League meets in the coming weeks, but Harvard laid down a marker for progress on Friday night.

“Based on our current training, I would say that our team is in very good position for the upcoming Ivy League meets,” Ronda said. “If we can continue our focus inside and outside the pool, this year should be a very good year for us.”

While there is a great belief in the training, there is a strong sense of togetherness about this team, which will be important in the upcoming weeks.

“The competition gets stronger every year, but I feel that our team chemistry and work ethic is as strong as ever,” Yeager said. “And we'll be ready to compete against teams in the Ivy League and also perform well nationally.”


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