AUSTIN, Texas – Harvard's Dean Farris set the NCAA and American record in the 200-yard freestyle with his effort on the opening leg of the 800 free relay Wednesday night at the NCAA Men's Swimming and Diving Championships in Austin, Texas.
The junior from Atlanta, Georgia, opened with a time of 1:29.15 to help Harvard jump out to the early lead in Heat 2. The performance erased the old NCAA and American record of 1:29.50, set by Townley Haas of Texas at the 2018 NCAA Championships in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
After Farris set the record, Brennan Novak, Mahlon Reihman and Corban Rawls took over and ultimately finished the race in 6:11.73, which was good for second place in Heat 2. The quartet's time as a whole ranks first in school history and was seventh overall at the national meet, helping them earn All-America honors.
The Crimson's seventh-place effort marked the first time in 21 years that a Harvard relay team finished among the top eight at the NCAA Championships. Texas won the 800 free relay with a time of 6:05.08.
- Farris picked up his fourth All-America accolade after earning honors in the 200 free twice (2017, 2018) and the 200 back last season. He has also collected Honorable Mention All-America recognition in the 800 free relay (twice), 200 free relay, 200 medley relay, 200 back and 50 free.
- The All-America honors for Novak, Reihman and Rawls mark the first of their careers. Novak and Reihman, however, were Honorable Mention All-Americans in the 800 free relay prior to this season. Novak earned the award in 2017 and 2018, with Reihman taking home recognition last year.
- The relay team erased its old school record of 6:15.38, which was originally established at the Ivy League Championships exactly one month ago. In that meet, Harvard went with Novak, Reihman, Rawls and Farris.
Harvard will return to the University of Texas campus on Thursday morning for preliminary action starting at 11 a.m. ET/10 a.m. CT. The prelims will be streamed at TexasSports.com. Should the Crimson advance to the finals of any event, those will begin at 7 p.m. ET/6 p.m. CT and appear on ESPN3.