AUSTIN, Texas – Harvard men's swimming and diving junior Dean Farris won the 100-yard backstroke Friday night at the NCAA Championships in Austin, Texas. His performance marked the 11th time the Crimson has taken home an NCAA title in program history.
Hailing from Atlanta, Georgia, Farris registered a winning time of 43.66, to finish ahead of NC State's Coleman Stewart, who completed the race in 43.98. Farris, who earlier in the day set the school record in the prelims with a second-place time of 44.14, erased that mark in the night session to capture Harvard's first NCAA title since 1989, when David Berkoff won the same event in 47.02.
With Farris' 43.66, he became the second men's swimmer in history to break the 44-second barrier. He currently ranks second all-time in the event behind Ryan Murphy's 43.49, accomplished at the 2016 NCAA Championships. Murphy went on to win three gold medals at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Farris, who also became an All-American in the 100 back with his performance, returned to the pool deck nearly 70 minutes later to swim the opening leg of the 200 medley relay. The Harvard quartet of Farris, Daniel Chang, Umitcan Gures and Raphael Marcoux competed in the consolation final and finished in fifth place (13th overall) with a time of 1:24.68 to garner Honorable Mention All-America status.
Through 14 events, Harvard sits in eighth place with 98 points. The Crimson is the highest-ranked non-Power 5 school entering final-day action. Fellow Ivy League member, Penn, is next and is in a 25th-place tie with 18 points, along with Arizona State.
- Farris is the first Harvard swimmer to earn All-America honors in the 100 back since David Cromwell in 2006.
- Michael Zarian competed in the prelims of the 400 individual medley and finished the event in 3:46.15, which was good for 29th place.
- Gures took part in the preliminary heats of the 100 butterfly, finishing in 45.89. His effort ranked 21st among the field of 53.
- The 200 medley relay came in 11th in the prelims with an effort of 1:24.53.
Harvard will return to the University of Texas campus on Saturday 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.