The last time the No. 21 Harvard men’s swimming and diving team faced Princeton and Yale, the Crimson fell to the Tigers by nearly 100 points, snapping Harvard’s 21-meet undefeated streak. The results couldn’t have been more different this time around.
The Crimson entered Saturday’s HYP meet with a similar run of victories, boasting 17 consecutive wins in dual competition. The stakes were the same: beat Princeton and walk away with the Ivy League dual championship, lose to the Tigers or the Bulldogs and give up an undefeated season.
In the end, though, Harvard (9-0, 6-0 Ivy) beat both Ancient Eight rivals with ease, eclipsing Yale (7-2, 5-2) and Princeton (7-4, 5-2), 242-111 and 250-103, respectively at Blodgett Pool. With the win, the Crimson closes out a second undefeated regular season in as many years and repeats as Ivy League Dual Meet champions.
“Although we don't stress too much about our dual meet record, it was pretty exhilarating to win the meet by such a huge margin,” sophomore Raphael Marcoux said.
Harvard took top honors in 14 of 19 events en route to the victory, sweeping the first three spots in four events, and placing at least one athlete on the podium in every contest.
Although the win came from a team-wide effort, the Crimson was led by a handful of standout performances.
Senior Koya Osada delivered one such performance, finishing on the podium in every race he contested and collecting a pair of first-place results. The Chapel Hill, N.C. native won the 200-yard backstroke, leading a pack of Harvard swimmers to the wall. Junior Daniel Tran took second place in the event, with the first-year duo of Eric Whisenant and Miles McAllister in third and fourth, respectively.
Osada also contributed to the Crimson’s winning effort in the 200-yard medley relay. The senior was joined by junior Sebastian Lutz and fellow seniors Steven Tan and Paul O’Hara. Lutz and Osada would team up again in the 400-yard medley relay, taking third place along with senior Ed Kim and freshman Mahlon Reihman. The race was won by the Harvard A lineup of Tan, Marcoux, and sophomores Dean Farris and Daniel Chang.
To add to an already impressive collection of results, Osada also finished third in the 200-yard IM and second in the 100 backstroke, seven-tenths of a second ahead of Tran and nearly a full second behind Farris.
Farris’ victory in the 100 back was just one in a string of commanding performances throughout the meet. The standout sophomore won every event he competed in, racking up three solo wins and a pair of relay victories. Farris’ first gold-medal finish came in the 200-yard freestyle, with junior Brennan Novak taking second and freshman Corban Rawls close behind in third. Immediately after winning the 200 free, Farris returned to the pool to take top marks in the 100 back.
The Atlanta, Ga., native would also touch the wall first in the 100-yard freestyle, obliterating his previous-best time in the event this season by nearly a second and finishing with the second-fastest mark in program history, second only to his own record in the event. Farris’ final win came in the last event of the weekend, as he joined up with Marcoux, Reihman, and Kim to capture first place in the 400-yard freestyle relay.
The Crimson’s dominant relay squad also opened the meet with a win, as Marcoux, Kim, O’Hara, and Tan beat Princeton’s second-place lineup to the wall by more than a second in the 200 freestyle relay.
“It was cool to see the win in the very first relay and to start off so strong,” co-captain Luke Morgan-Scott said. “Steven Tan’s performance in the 200 free relay was an incredible way to start off the meet. It was awesome to watch.”
Tan’s contribution to the 200 free relay was merely the first in a series of impressive swims by the senior. In an effort to rival Farris’, Tan won every event that he contested. The Aurora, Ill., native followed up the opening relay win by touching the wall first in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 19.85. Kim collected a third-place result in the event with a mark of 20.01.
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