2015 Ivy League Men’s Championships Day 1 Finals: Record-Breaking Performances Help Princeton Establish Early Lead

2015 Ivy League Men’s Swimming & Diving Championships

  • Dates: Thursday, February 26 – Saturday, February 28, 2015; prelims 11am, finals 6pm
  • Location: DeNunzio Pool, Princeton, New Jersey (Eastern Time Zone)
  • Defending Champions: Harvard (results)
  • Live Results: Available
  • Live Video: Available
  • Championship Central

Princeton lit up the pool on the first day of competition at the 2015 Ivy League Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships, setting meet, conference, and pool records in both relays and winning two of four individual events. There have been solid swims across the board from each of the Ancient Eight, and overall, the level of swimming and diving is up a notch from last year.

200 Freestyle Relay

Harvard had won this event the last two years in a row and came into the meet with the fastest seed time. Princeton, though, had placed three in the championship final of the 50 free during the morning session. Penn, who was runner-up to Harvard last year, and a much-improved Yale relay were also contenders.

Princeton never gave any of them the chance. Senior Harrison Wagner shot off the block and split a 19.42 leadoff leg, the exact time he had gone in prelims of the 50 free. Classmate Connor Maher went 19.27, sophomore Julian Mackrel was 19.64, and junior Sandy Bole brought them home in 19.02 for a combined 1:17.35. Not only did the Tigers set a new meet record, conference record, and pool record, but they also picked up an NCAA “A” cut on the first event of the meet.

Harvard finished 1.4 seconds back with 1:18.76 from Paul O’Hara, Steven Tan, Max Yakubovich, and Griffin Schumacher. Columbia (David Jakl, Alex Ngan, Stanley Wong, and Joe Shepley) clocked a 1:18.88 for third.

500 Freestyle

Penn junior Chris Swanson, who won the 500 last year, gave a repeat performance, winning in a lifetime best time of 4:17.53. Swanson set the meet and pool records with his swim. Princeton’s Sam Smiddy went nearly 7 seconds faster than his previous best and finished second with 4:18.21. Yale swept third through fifth behind Brian Hogan (4:19.78), Kei Hyogo (4:19.84), and Rob Harder (4:21.53).

Whereas the 500 was one of Harvard’s strongest events in 2014, with three swimmers in the championship final, this year told a different story. The Crimson picked up sixth and eighth from Aly Abdel Khalik (4:21.53) and Spenser Goodman (4:29.57). As it turns out, their top swim came from freshman Jack Boyd who won the consolation final with a lifetime best by nearly two seconds: 4:20.83.

Zachary Ridout placed seventh for Princeton, going 4:23.72.

200 Individual Medley

Princeton had posted the top four qualifying times out of prelims and thus occupied the center lanes in finals. Junior Teo D’Alessandro and senior Connor Maher were out first in the fly, with Michael Wen of Penn right behind them. Maher pulled ahead after the backstroke, before D’Alessandro took over the lead with breaststroke. D’Alessandro brought it home and claimed his second 200 IM title in as many years. This time the winning time was 1:44.94, about 6/10 faster than a year ago. Harvard’s Christian Yeager finished second with 1:45.61. Marco Bove took third in 1:45.76, just ahead of teammate Maher’s 1:45.98. Byron Sanborn, also of Princeton, was fifth in 1:46.11. Grant Proctor from Penn placed sixth in a lifetime-best by 2 seconds: 1:46.46. Yale’s Andrew Heyman (1:47.43) and Penn’s Michael Wen (1:47.62) rounded out the final.

50 Freestyle

Top qualifier Harrison Wagner of Princeton reclaimed the Ivy title in the 50 free. He had won the event in 2013 but finished second to Penn’s Eric Schultz in 2014. After twin 19.42s (first, in his prelims swim this morning, then leading off Princeton’s 200 free relay in finals), Wagner dropped .03 to win with 19.39. Schultz took second in 19.54. Aaron Greenberg of Yale beat Princeton’s Sandy Bole by 1/100 for third, 19.84 to 19.85. Victor Zhang of Yale (19.89) was next, followed by Columbia’s Alex Ngan (19.99), Princeton’s Ben Schafer (20.17), and Zach Fisher of Penn (20.28).

1-Meter Diving

Harvard made up some ground on the host team, who was leading by 82 points after the 50 free, in diving. Two-time Diver of the Meet Mike Mosca won with 355.70 points. Princeton’s Nathan Makarewicz finished in second place with 342.65 points. Columbia freshman Jayden Pantel took third with 328.80. Harvard’s David Pfeifer placed fourth (315.14). Micah Rembrandt (293.80) of Columbia, Liam Fitzgerald (288.90) and Michael Manhard (266.05) of Princeton, and Brown’s Jonathan Schlafer (220.40) also scored in the A final.

400 Medley Relay

Princeton ended the evening the same way they had begun: winning a relay in record-breaking fashion. Michael Strand (46.70), Jack Pohlmann (52.63), Corey Okubo (47.61), and Harrision Wagner (42.62), took a chunk out of the meet, conference and pool records with their 3:09.56. Penn, who had battled Columbia for second throughout the race, earned the second spot on the podium in 3:11.82, a new school record by 1.3 seconds. Dillon McHugh, Kyle Yu, Wen, and Schultz contributed to Penn’s effort. Harvard (Jack Manchester, Eric Ronda, Jacob Luna, and Griffin Schumacher) took third with 3:12.44.

Standings After Day One

  1. Princeton University 488
  2. Harvard Men’s Swimming 385
  3. Yale University 326
  4. University of Pennsylvania 286
  5. Cornell University 202
  6. Columbia University 199
  7. Brown University 196
  8. Dartmouth College 140

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About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swim/swam in college. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD, she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently …

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