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BRIEF: Men's Swimming and Diving Sends Athletes to NCAAs

By Sam O.M. Christenfeld, Crimson Staff Writer

The Harvard men’s swimming and diving team often names securing a place as one of the best programs in the country as its biggest goal. This weekend, the Crimson got a chance to make that dream a reality as it sent a handful of athletes to the NCAA Championships at the McAuley Aquatic Center in Atlanta, Ga. to face the nation’s fastest swimmers.

Sophomore Shane McNamara and the relay team of freshman Sebastian Lutz, sophomore Steven Tan, and juniors Max Yakubovich and Paul O’Hara made the trip south to race for Harvard on the national stage. In addition to swimmers from the country’s top-ranked programs, the Crimson also faced opponents from Ancient Eight rivals Penn, Princeton, Cornell, and Yale.

McNamara competed in the 100 breaststroke, having qualified with a second-place finish at the Ivy League Championships in February. The sophomore’s time of 53.43 in the preliminaries was almost two tenths of a second faster than his qualifying mark, but it was not quick enough to advance him to the finals.

The Crimson also raced in the 200 freestyle relay and the 200 medley relay, entering the national championships as the Ancient Eight titleholders in both events.

After qualifying with an NCAA ‘A cut’ time of 1:17.55 in the 200 free relay at the conference championship meet, Harvard put in a strong performance in Atlanta, ending up in 14th in the prelims to qualify for the B final.

In the consolation round, the Crimson faced the Princeton relay team that it had bested at Ivy Championships, but Harvard was unable to replicate its result from the previous month, touching the wall after the Tigers for eighth place in the final. The finish placed the Crimson in 16th overall and earned the group honorable mention All-America honors.

The team returned to the pool for the 200 medley relay but finished more than a second off of its qualifying time and was unable to advance to the final.

When the meet came to a close, Harvard was in 44th place, tied with Penn State, Arizona State, and Cornell. With all of the Crimson athletes who made the trip to Georgia returning for Harvard next season, the Crimson will get another shot at national championships glory next year.

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Sports BriefsMen's Swimming