The Harvard men’s swimming and diving team’s meet against Yale was supposed to be a competitive affair—a matchup between the two remaining undefeated programs in the Ivy League, featuring some of the conference’s top swimmers. In the end, though, the contest looked more like just another practice for the Crimson.
No. 23 Harvard (10-0, 6-0 Ivy League) lost just six of 19 events, four of them to Bulldogs junior Kei Hyogo, as it swept Yale (9-2, 5-1 Ivy) aside, 225-128, to secure an undefeated season and the Ivy League Dual Championship. This weekend’s victory at the Kiphuth Exhibition Pool in New Haven is the Crimson’s 25th in a row over the Bulldogs, and marks the third time in four years that Harvard has finished the regular season without a loss.
“I think we performed very well this weekend,” freshman Dean Farris said. “We wanted to end the dual meet season on a high note for the seniors, and we were very happy with our results. The guys that were tapered for the meet swam with a lot of passion, and it was great to see some of them get best times.”
Hyogo did prove to be a challenge for the Crimson, taking top marks in the 1650 freestyle, 200 IM, 400 IM, and 500 freestyle. In the 1650 free, the Yale junior touched the wall less than half a second ahead Logan Houck, who finished sixth in the event at Olympic Trials this summer.
However, Hyogo’s efforts would not be nearly enough, as Harvard cruised to the win behind an impressively deep performance. Nine Crimson swimmers picked up victories, compared to just three for Yale, while nine more Harvard athletes collected podium finishes.
The team-wide success that helped guide the team to its 10th win of the season has become standard for the Crimson. Indeed, Harvard’s performance this weekend followed a number of familiar patterns.
The Crimson came out firing, just as it has all year, winning the first five events.
Harvard kicked off the meet with a victory in the 200 freestyle relay, with Farris, sophomore Sebastian Lutz, and juniors Ed Kim and Steven Tan beating out Yale’s ‘A’ lineup for first place.
The next four events were all the Crimson’s. Farris took top marks in the 200 freestyle with a team-record time 1:34.01 of before junior Koya Osada captured first place in the 100 backstroke. Junior Shane McNamara and freshman Daniel Chang would take the top two spots in the 100-meter breaststroke.
Finally, Harvard finished the run with a podium sweep in the 200 butterfly. A quartet of seniors monopolized the top four spots in the final regular meet of their Crimson careers, with Sava Turcanu touching the wall first in pool-record time, followed by Max Yakubovich, Kenneth Castro-Abrams, and Christian Carbone in second, third and fourth, respectively.
“The meet was really fun,” Turcanu said. “We had multiple best times and lots of wins.”
Yale won three events in a row to snap Harvard’s successful run, but the Crimson rebounded by capitalizing in two areas that it has dominated this season: relays and diving.
Junior divers Bobby Ross and David Pfeifer have put in strong performances on the boards all year, and this weekend was no different. Ross took first place in the three-meter event with 337.35 points, and Pfeifer was close behind in second with a score of 328.42.
They repeated the order later in the meet in the one-meter dive, with Ross once more finishing first and Pfeifer one spot back.
Harvard also looked to the team events as it sought to bounce back from the string of Yale wins, and the relay lineups did not disappoint, winning every one of their races to close out a dual season in which the Crimson did not lose a single relay event.
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