2015 Ivy League Men’s Swimming & Diving Championships
- Dates: Thursday, February 26 – Saturday, February 28, 2015; prelims 11am, finals 6pm
- Location: DeNunzio Pool, Princeton, NJ (Eastern Time Zone)
- Defending Champions: Harvard (results)
- Live Results: Available
- Live Video: Available
- Championship Central
The Men’s Ivy League championship meet has been dominated by Princeton and Harvard for most of its existence, and it doesn’t look like 2015 will be the year that changes. You have to go back to 1972 to find a winner in anything but an Orange & Black or Crimson uniform at the top of the standings, and that includes all those years that Penn State, Pitt, Syracuse, Army, Navy and others were in the championship meet. Since 1973, Princeton has won 20 of the titles, and Harvard, 21.
Although both Penn and Yale have been beefing up their rosters in recent years, they still don’t have the depth to compete with the two leaders. At least not this year. Moreover, Penn has no divers listed on the psych sheet; as good as their swimmers have been this year (they have already broken school records in the 200 free, 1650 free, 200 back, 400 IM, and 800 free relay), you don’t win a conference championship on swimming alone. Yale, meanwhile, has developed an excellent distance program but lacks depth at the shorter end of the spectrum. The Bulldogs should challenge the Quakers for third; Yale should pick up points in back and fly, whereas Penn should outscore Yale in breast and the sprint frees.
Of the 2014 event winners, only Tommy Glenn (Brown-100 fly, 200 fly), Chris Satterthwaite (Harvard-100 free, 200 free), and Nejc Zupan (Dartmouth-100 breast, 200 breast) graduated. Returning and ready to defend their titles will be Mike Mosca (Harvard-1-meter diving, 3-meter diving), Chris Swanson (Penn-500 free, 1650 free), Teo D’Alessandro (Princeton-200 IM), Eric Schultz (Penn-50 free), Brian Hogan (Yale-1000 free), Sam Smiddy (Princeton-400 IM), Michael Strand (Princeton-100 back), and Jack Manchester (Harvard-200 back).
200 Freestyle Relay
200 Individual Medley
400 Medley Relay
200 Medley Relay
400 Individual Medley
800 Freestyle Relay
400 Freestyle Relay
Brown – Cory Mayfield (junior, distance), Jeffrey Strausser (senior, free/fly), Riley Springman (freshman, fly/IM), Jonathan Schlafer (sophomore, diving), Willy Lee (freshman, back), Connor Lohmann (sophomore, breast), Grant Casey (freshman, distance). The Bears have invested in the program over the last several years; they have the newest, fastest pool in the League, and now have a new coaching staff led by head coach, Chris Ip. Although they’ve lost Tommy Glenn, Brown has a lot of young talent hoping to move them up from last year’s seventh-place finish.
Columbia – David Jakl (junior, fly/back/free), Kevin Quinn (senior, fly/IM), Jack Foster (sophomore, IM/free), Terry Li (sophomore, free/fly), Jayden Pantel (freshman, diving), Micah Rembrandt (senior, diving), Alex Ngan (senior, sprint). Columbia has an incredible senior class; Jakl owns three team and four pool records, while Quinn has one of each. In addition, Ngan, and classmate Stanley Wong show up in the record books on numerous Columbia relays. Coach Jim Bolster’s Lions had a very strong end to their dual meet season, including a narrow win over visiting Princeton.
Cornell – Dylan Sali (sophomore, back/IM), Victor Luo (junior, breast), Tim Satterthwaite (senior, sprint free), Eric May (senior, breast), Ryan Sharkey (freshman, distance), Brandon Sweezer (freshman, distance). The Big Red, under head coach Joe Lucia, has made great strides over the last couple of seasons. The freshman class, in particular, has added excellent depth to the lineup and could be instrumental in keeping Brown and Dartmouth at bay. Cornell may be one or two superstars short of challenging Columbia this year, but the Lions will graduate a great deal of its points this year so 2016 Ivies could be a whole different story for Cornell.
Dartmouth – James Verhagen (junior, back/fly), Aaron Athanas (junior, back/IM), Brett Gillis (junior, diving), David Harmon (sophomore, fly) Tony Shen (freshman, free/back), Henry Senkfor (freshman, IM/back). The Big Green lost one of the most talented swimmers in the Ivy League, Nejc Zupan, to graduation last year. Although the new freshman class has some nice depth, there isn’t really anyone to add spikey performances to the steady and reliable point-winners from the class of 2016, Verhagen, Athanas, and Gillis.
Harvard – Mike Mosca (senior, diving), Griffin Schumacher (senior, free), Spenser Goodman (senior, free), Aly Khalik Abdel (sophomore, distance), Eric Ronda (sophomore, breast), Jacob Luna (junior, fly/IM), Jack Manchester (sophomore, back/IM). The Crimson have a ton of depth. Last year Harvard had five “A” finalists in the 200 free, four each in the 50 free and 100 free, and three in the 500 free. They also dominate diving and won 4 of the 5 relays. If the other seven can keep Harvard from loading up like that again, it will be an exciting meet. If not, Harvard will be a tough squad to beat this year.
Penn – Chris Swanson (junior, distance), Eric Schultz (junior, sprint), Kyle Yu (junior, breast), Bobby Francis (junior, breast/IM), Grant Proctor (sophomore, IM/back), Taylor Uselis (freshman, distance). Penn has become the go-to place for distance freestylers in recent years, but they also have strong sprinters and get good points in medley relays, as well. Swanson, who finished 9th in the 1650 at NCAAs last year, could win all three distance events. The question is whether or not he will be swimming through this meet, given that he already has his “A” cut. On the other hand, Penn entered no divers into the meet; it seems unlikely that head coach Mike Schnur’s 18 swimmers have the depth to compete with Princeton and Harvard, so the best they can hope for is third.
Princeton – Corey Okubo (freshman, IM/back/fly), Teo D’Alessandro (junior, IM/free), Sam Smiddy (sophomore, IM/free), Michael Manhard (senior, diving), Connor Maher (senior, back/free), Sandy Bole (junior, free), Byron Sanborn (junior, breast/IM), Andrew Helber (junior, back). The only team with the depth it takes to challenge Harvard is Princeton. The Tigers have traditionally loaded up the IM finals and tend to do quite well in back and fly, but in the past they have lost ground in distance free. Head coach Rob Orr, who notched his 300th win this season, has a knack for getting the most out of his swimmers and divers. Unlike many of the other teams at Ivies, Princeton did not have a mid-season “fast” meet, plus the Tigers are playing in front of their home crowd, so we could see some impressive drops. They will have to execute flawlessly to defeat a slightly-stronger Crimson squad, but the women’s team just showed it could be done, so the gauntlet has been thrown down to the men.
Yale – Brian Hogan (junior, distance), Kei Hyogo (freshman, free/IM), Rob Harder (senior, free/back), Alwin Firmansyah (senior, fly), Andrew Heymann (senior, breast), James McNelis (junior, diving), Ben Lerude (sophomore, distance). Head coach Tim Wise has amassed a great deal of talent, and are especially performant in distance freestyle. They have had just a little less depth on the bench than Penn, and that could be the case again this year. Columbia usually does a good job of outperforming their psych sheet seedings, but we think Yale still has enough depth to hold onto fourth, and with some really stellar performances, could even challenge Penn for third.
200 IM – Five of the top eight from last year are back again, and will be challenged by both the new freshmen, eager to win on Day One; and more seasoned veterans. The returning 2014 “A” finalists include 1-2-3 finishers from Princeton, Teo D’Alessandro, Marco Bove, and Byron Sanborn, as well as Harvard’s Jack Manchester and Yale’s Alwin Firmansyah. We expect to see them challenged by Corey Okubo and Liam Karas of Princeton, Yale’s Kei Hyogo, Dylan Sali of Cornell, Christian Yeager of Harvard, Grant Proctor of Penn, and Dartmouth’s Aaron Athanas, all of whom have similar seed times.
100 fly – With Brown’s Glenn gone, the field is wide open. Columbia’s David Jakl has been inching his way closer to the top every year, and as the top senior in the group he will likely want it the most. Harvard’s Steven Tan, Max Yakubovich and Jacob Luna won’t make it easy for him, nor will Jeffrey Strausser of Brown, Yale’s Alwin Firmansyah, and Princeton’s Ben Schafer and Michael Strand.
100 breast – Another event that has opened up thanks to the graduation of its dominant point-winner (Nejc Zupan of Dartmouth) is the breast. A whole slew of contenders come in with similar seed times, so the jockeying for position, especially in prelims, will be fierce. Any of these could come out on top this year: Eric Ronda or Shane McNamara of Harvard; Princeton’s Jack Pohlmann, Byron Sanborn or Brett Usinger; Penn’s Cole Hurwitz, Kyle Yu, or Bobby Francis; or Andrew Heymann of Yale.