Men's Swimming & Diving Opens 2011-12 Season at Home vs. Texas A&M, Cornell and Dartmouth

The Crimson welcome Texas A&M, Cornell and Dartmouth to Blodgett Pool this weekend to kickoff the 2011-12 season (Gil Talbot).

Season Preview with Head Coach Tim Murphy

The Storyline
The Harvard men's swimming and diving team will open its 2011-12 schedule at home this weekend with a pair of meets at Blodgett Pool. The Crimson will first scrimmage Texas A&M on Friday, Nov. 11 at 6 p.m. before welcoming Cornell and Dartmouth to Cambridge on Saturday, Nov. 12 at 11:00 a.m. for the team's first official competition.

What's at Stake
Harvard opens the season having won 10 straight dual meets dating back to the 2009-10 season. The Crimson were a perfect 9-0 in dual competition last year, including an unblemished 7-0 mark against Ivy League opponents.

Harvard is 48-2 all-time against Cornell and has won each of the last four meetings between the teams. Harvard's series with Dartmouth has seen similar results, with the Crimson owning a 68-11 mark, including a string of 39 consecutive victories dating back to Jan. 6, 1973.

Welcome Back
The Crimson returns seven All-Ivy League performers from a year ago. Michael Stanton has captured three Ivy diving titles, winning the one-meter in 2011 and both the one and three-meter in 2010, and was named to the 2011 Academic All-Ivy team. Other returning all-league performers include Danny Crigler (Free/IM), Spenser Goodman (Free/IM), Oliver Lee (Sprint Freestyle), Greg Roop (Fly/Freestyle), Chris Satterthwaite (Free) and Wes Stearns (Distance Free).

Starting Fresh
Joining Harvard's squad this season are 14 freshmen who will look to make an immediate impact, including Zach Walters who has been named to the USA Swimming National Junior team. Walters earned a spot on the team by qualifying for the 200 free finals at the 2011 Junior World Championships in Lima, Peru. "This year's incoming class will be a dynamic addition of student-athletes to our program," Head Coach Tim Murphy commented.

Head of the Class
Senior co-captain Robert Newell has been chosen as a finalist for a 2012 Rhodes Scholarship. Newell, who has maintained a 3.99 GPA as a human evolutionary biology concentrator with an earth and planetary sciences secondary field, will conduct his final interview for the scholarship Nov. 19 in Colorado Springs, Colo. Harvard student-athletes have been awarded 52 Rhodes Scholarships since 1920, and in 1970 Eric Hanson '70 because the first and only member of the men's swimming and diving team to earn the scholarship.

London Calling
Head Coach Tim Murphy will represent the U.S. at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, England as the head coach of the men's open water squad. He will be joined by 2010 Harvard graduate Alex Meyer who qualified for the team after placing fourth at the 2011 FINA World Championships. Murphy is no stranger to international competition, having also served as the head coach for the FINA World Championships, World University Games and the FINA Short Course World Championships.

Murphy recently sat with to preview the upcoming season. Click here to watch the video now.

The Road Ahead
The Crimson will host six opponents in head-to-head competition at Blodgett Pool this season beginning with this weekend's action. Harvard will also welcome Brown to Cambridge on Jan. 19 and will host the HYP meet Feb. 3-4. Harvard's road schedule features several tough tests, including appearances at the UNC Invitational (Nov. 17-19), USA Swimming National Championships (Dec. 1-4), and a trip to Ohio State (Jan. 21).