Max Yakubovich and the Crimson chase the 24th title in program history this weekend (Ray Yeager).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Harvard men's swimming and diving team will seek the 24th conference championship in program history this weekend, traveling to Providence, Rhode Island to compete in the 2016 Ivy League Men's Swimming and Diving Championship Meet. Brown's Katherine Moran Coleman Aquatics Center will serve as the host venue Thursday, Feb. 25 – Saturday, Feb. 27, with prelims beginning at 11 a.m. and finals at 6 p.m. each day. Fans can watch all the action live on the Ivy League Digital Network.
It was a wildly successful dual season for the Crimson, going 9-1 overall and 6-1 in the Ivy League. In out-of-conference action, the Crimson topped Bryant, UNLV and handed Air Force its only loss of the year. Against the Ancient Eight, Harvard entered the final weekend of the season 5-0, but split the annual H-Y-P Meet, topping Yale, but falling to Princeton. The Crimson also had individual success at a trio of national invitationals at Texas, Georgia and at the Hawai'i Diving meet.
Look Back at the 2015 Championship Meet
Led by Mike Mosca '15 sweeping the one- and three-meter diving events, the Crimson placed second with 1285.5 points. Princeton captured its 30th Ivy League title with 1519 points.
Ivy Title History
Harvard finished as the runner-up at last season's Ivy League Championship Meet, trailing Princeton after the final event. The Crimson and Tigers have been familiar names atop the year-end Ivy League standings. Since 1994, no other school besides Harvard and Princeton has won the Ivy League title with Harvard's most recent triumph coming in 2014. Historically, the Tigers have 30 titles with Harvard in chase with 23.
Harvard Event Preview
Harvard's distance freestyle should be near the lead of the pack, headlined by freshman Logan Houck. Houck, a Team USA representative in the fall at the FINA World Cup, has the second-fastest time in the 1,000 free this year and is just .28 off the top mark at 9:10.38. Houck also has the seventh-best time in the 1,650. Fellow rookie Brennan Novak enters the weekend with the sixth-ranked mark in the 1,000 at 9:16.96, while Kent Haeffner boasts the eighth-fastest in the 1,650 at 15:26.04. All times are NCAA 'B' cut marks.
Junior Jack Manchester will be among the favorites in the backstroke events. Manchester set the Ivy League record in the 200 back (1:41.44) in last year's prelims before ultimately taking second in the finals. He has the fourth-fastest time in the 200 and fifth-quickest in the 100 swam by an Ivy League student-athlete this season.
Junior Max Yakubovich is primed for a top finish in the 100 butterfly after finishing as the runner-up in the event as a freshman. This season, Yakubovich's time of 47.50 at the Texas Invitational is the fastest mark in the Ancient Eight. Steven Tan will also challenge for the top spot in the event, entering with the third-fastest time of the season.
Senior co-captain Christian Yeager and freshman Daniel Tran lead the Crimson contingent in the IM this season. Yeager's time of 1:48.02 at the Texas Invite is the fourth-best in the Ivy League, while Tran's 1:14.14 is good for fifth. Sophomore Koya Osada is right there as well with a 1:48.32 time. At the 400 distance, Yeager's 3:52.71 is the eighth-fastest in the conference.
The Crimson's success last season was highlighted by the domination on the one- and three-meter diving boards by Mike Mosca '15. Mosca's control of the boards was a lengthy one, as he is the only Ivy Leaguer to win the one-meter four consecutive years, while also taking the three-meter three-straight seasons. With his departure due to graduation, Harvard's crop of young, outstanding divers will look to step in and continue Harvard's success in the event. Sophomores David Pfeifer and Bobby Ross have had success throughout the season, while freshman Luke Martinez has been among the leaders during Ivy dual meets this season.