Men's Swimming and Diving Claims Ivy League Championship with Record Performances
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Harvard ended Princeton's reign as five-time Ivy League Champions on Saturday as the Crimson laid claim to the 2014 Men's Ivy League Swimming and Diving Championships in Blodgett Pool. Harvard, which also won the dual season Ivy League title, clinched its 23rd Ancient Eight crown, first since 2008, with a superb team performance in the pool.
Over the three-day meet, Harvard smashed seven pool records and a pair of Ivy League meet records in the dominating showing.
The Crimson took home the title, combining for 1495 points on the weekend, outlasting defending champs Princeton (1413) along with Penn (1050), Yale (987), Columbia (955), Dartmouth (718), Brown (679.5) and Cornell (561.5) across the board.
After holding an 84-point lead heading into Day 3 of the Championships, the Crimson won titles in four of the final seven events of the weekend to reign supreme. Along the way, Harvard broke four pool records and a meet record on the third day to stake its claim as the best program in the Ivy League.
Freshman Jack Manchester proved his mettle, playing a part in two of those pool records, including a Blodgett and an eight-year-old meet-record performance in the 200 backstroke. He and Griffin Schumacher, Oliver Lee and Chris Satterthwaite overturned an incredible 34-year-old pool record in the meet-ending 400 freestyle relay event.
Diver Mike Mosca nearly upended his own Ivy League record while setting a new Blodgett record of his own on the 3-meter dive for the Crimson. The junior, who was named the Karl B. Michael High Point Diver of the Meet Award with 64 points in the meet, made his mark as the League's best diver on both the 1- and 3-meter boards for the second year in a row with his weekend performance.
Already a champion in the 200 free, the 200 and 800 free relays and the 400 medley relay, Satterthwaite added two more titles to his belt on the final day. The senior co-captain claimed victories in both the 100 free and the record-breaking 400 free relay.
The evening started off with the longest race, the 1650 free. Penn's Chris Swanson broke a 33-year-old pool record in the surprisingly quick race, while the top-10 swimmers earned NCAA 'B' cut times, including Harvard's Mike Gaudiani. Gaudiani lopped more than 16 seconds off his seed time to claim fourth place for the Crimson, clocking in at 15:15.09. Freshman Cliff Goertemiller finished not long behind, taking seventh in 15:21.59.
Along with Manchester's meet record in the 200 back, as the freshman touched the wall in a blazing, but slower than his prelims, 1:42.62, sophomore Christian Yeager took eighth in the finals in 1:46.64. Classmate Tyler Rocca took fifth in the consolations, touching the wall in 1:48.09.
After proving its dominance in the freestyle events all weekend long, the Crimson, led by Satterthwaite, took ahold of the 100 free, claiming first, third and fourth. Satterthwaite touched the wall first, clocking in at 43.11, while Schumacher (43.56) and Lee (44.05) were close on his heels. In total, the 100 free earned Harvard 127 points towards its cause, when taking into consideration Aly Abdel Khalik, Spenser Goodman and Zach Walter's consolation heats.
Already with a second-place finish in the 100 breaststroke the night before, Eric Ronda tacked on another second-place finish in the 200 breast on Saturday. The freshman broke the pool record by nearly two seconds, but was a half-second off of claiming the title, falling just shy of Dartmouth's Nejc Zupan. Ronda took off almost two seconds from his prelims time to finish in 1:54.60 in the event. Matthew Karle took second in the consolations, touching the wall in 2:00.74 for Harvard.
Sophomore Jacob Luna fare well in the 200 butterfly, taking home fourth place with his NCAA 'B' cut time of 1:44.90, earning the Crimson 26 points in the process.
On the boards, Mosca impressed everyone on the 3-meter dive, nearly toppling his own Ivy record. The junior from Tenefly, N.J., combined for an incredible 409.50 to stage a new Blodgett record to become just the seventh diver in Ivy history to have multiple sweeps in a career. Senior Joe Zarrella closed out his Crimson career with a solid third place finish on the boards, scoring 327.30 points in total. With Mosca and Zarrella's 1-3 finish, the two guaranteed Harvard an Ivy League title, even with one event remaining.
In a fitting end to the Championships, the quartet of Schumacher, Lee, Manchester and Satterthwaite captured yet another first-place finish and yet another pool record. The four Crimson swimmers, washed away the field by more than a second to claim first in 2:53.64 to cap off an incredible run for Harvard, the 2014 Ivy League Champions.