NAPOLI, Italy – Harvard men's swimming and diving rising senior Dean Farris helped the United States win a gold medal in the 4x100 freestyle relay on Thursday at the 2019 World University Games in Napoli, Italy.
The two-time 2019 NCAA champion posted a time of 47.08 on the second leg to help the Americans finish in first in the preliminary round with a time of 3:12.55, which was less than two seconds shy of the meet record held by Russia in 2013 (3:10.88).
Later with medals on the line, Farris (47.48) and teammates Zach Apple, Robert Howard and Tate Jackson secured the gold with an effort of 3:11.03. The quartet's time was more than four seconds better than silver-medalist Brazil, which turned in a time of 3:15.27.
Looking back at Farris' sub-48 performances, specifically his prelim time, Farris topped Michael Phelps' effort in each of the last three Summer Olympic Games. Phelps, who owns 23 Olympic gold medals, turned in 4x100 relay splits of 47.51 (2008 Beijing), 47.15 (2012 London) and 47.12 (2016 Rio de Janeiro).
Farris is coming off one of the finest seasons in Harvard history after the Atlanta, Georgia native won NCAA individual titles in the 100 back and 100 free to become the first Crimson swimmer to win at least two events at nationals since 1954. Farris also set the NCAA and American record in the 200 free when he opened the 800 free relay with a time of 1:29.15. He finished with five All-America honors and two of the honorable mention variety as Harvard finished the NCAA Championships in eighth place, its best effort since 1960-61, and the Ivy League's top performance in 50 years.