For the Harvard men’s swimming and diving team (3-0, 3-0 Ivy League), an early season tune-up offered much promise for the potential that this 2017-2018 team could reach. Several Harvard swimmers attended the Texas Invitational in Austin, Texas, while some divers attended the Georgia Invitational in Athens, Ga.
The Texas Invitational was a prime opportunity for the Crimson to swim against ranked programs, three of which rank within the top 10.
“Racing in Texas was a great way for us to get out of the Ivy League bubble,” sophomore swimmer Raphael Marcoux said. “To be able to attend a meet with that caliber of competition really sets us up well for the end of the season.”
Sophomore Dean Farris led the Crimson in Austin, recording a second-place finish in the finals of the men’s 200 freestyle, second to only Texas junior Townley Haas.
Haas, an Olympic gold medalist for the United States, edged out Farris by just under a second. Farris’ time of 1:33.27 was enough to narrowly beat out Arizona State’s Cameron Craig by two milliseconds for second-place.
“For Dean to be right behind Townley was amazing,” junior Logan Houck said. “With that time, Dean will be going to the NCAA Championships for sure….His training’s been great, his racing’s been great, and he had a really exceptional performance.”
Farris also competed in the finals of the men’s 100-yard backstroke, logging a fifth-place finish in the event, with a time of 46.32 seconds.
Houck and fellow junior Brennan Novak also had strong finishes for the Crimson, competing in the B Final of the 1,650-yard freestyle. Houck finished sixth in the B Final while Novak completed the race in 17th.
The junior duo also competed in the B Final of the 500-yard freestyle with Novak finishing 10th and Houck right behind him in 12th.
Elsewhere, Harvard swimming rounded out the weekend with an eighth-place finish in the men’s 400-yard freestyle relay. The quartet of Farris, Marcoux, Mahlon Reihman, and Paul O’Hara posted a time of 2:55.95, a full second faster than last year’s finish.
“I really liked how we all came together to compete against some of the best teams in the country,” Marcoux said. “We put together some great performances, I’m thrilled about how we swam.”
The Crimson also had a successful weekend on the diving board, performing impressively at the University of Georgia. The competition, which spanned Friday and Saturday, was a terrific opportunity for Harvard to face competition comprised entirely of ranked teams.
Co-captain Bobby Ross starred for the Crimson, finishing second in the men’s one-meter diving finals. Ross was accompanied in the final by teammates Hal Watts, Alex Decaprio, and David Pfeiffer.
Ross, who finished fourth in the preliminaries, improved his standing in the final and finished with a score of 336.10. Ross was only bested by Auburn’s Pete Turnham, who took first with a score of 335.75.
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