2015 Ivy League Men’s Championships: Princeton’s Relay Sweep Contributes to 6th Title in 7 Years

2015 Ivy League Men’s Swimming & Diving Championships

The third and final day of the 2015 Ivy League men’s championship was full of surprises, but the one constant we have seen since the beginning of the meet remained: Princeton’s resolve to bring the team trophy back to New Jersey. The Tigers had won five in a row when they headed to Cambridge, Massachusetts for the 2014 Ivy League championships. The Crimson ended Princeton’s streak with strong performances in front of their home crowd. Princeton ‘s goal all season had been to bring the team trophy back to New Jersey, and it showed in all they did throughout the weekend.

1650 Freestyle

There were no surprises in the mile as top-seeded Chris Swanson of Penn won his third 1650 in as many years. The top three finishers all went under the meet record and pool record times. Swanson booked his second NCAA “A” cut of the season, going 14:45.12 for the win. Yale freshman Kei Hyogo came in second in 14:50.88. Hyogo, a native of Singapore, stayed even with two-time champion Swanson throughout most of the race, finishing with a Yale record and the second-fastest time ever swum in the Ivy League. Teammates Brian Hogan and Ben Lerude finished third and fifth, respectively, with times of 14:53.54 and 15:11.57, respectively.

Sam Smiddy of Princeton, runner-up in both the 500 free and 400 IM earlier in the meet, went 15:07.89 for fourth. Penn freshman Taylor Uselis was sixth in 15:14.11, while Nikita Bondarenko of Columbia was seventh with 15:20.45. Zachary Ridout of Princeton and Brandon Sweezer of Cornell shared the eighth-place honors with twin 15:22.73 finishes.

200 Backstroke

Defending champion Jack Manchester of Harvard had put up a record-breaking swim in prelims, erasing the meet, conference, and pool records with 1:41.44. Yale’s Rob Harder didn’t seem to notice, though, as he took the final out hard and stayed in front of Manchester throughout the race. Harder pulled off the upset with a 1:41.69 finish, coming to the wall just off Manchester’s record time from prelims, but with a Yale school mark. Manchester finished second with 1:42.05. Cornell sophomore Dylan Sali placed third in 1:43.40.

Princeton senior Connor Maher (1:43.73) and his freshman teammate, Corey Okubo (1:43.86), came in fourth and fifth. James Verhagen of Dartmouth (1:44.18) took sixth, touching just ahead of Harvard teammates Koya Osada (1:44.58 and Christian Yeager (1:45.05).

100 Freestyle

The next surprise came out of lane 2 in the100 free final. Unfazed by the presence of the League’s fastest sprinters around him and motivated to win his third individual Ivy title of the meet, Columbia senior David Jakl got out to an early lead and then shut down the field over the last 50. He touched in 42.75 for the win, with Penn’s Eric Schultz (43.09) right behind. Seniors Harrison Wagner of Princeton and Griffin Schumacher of Harvard tied for third in 43.56.

Columbia senior Alex Ngan went 43.66 to claim fifth, just 2/100 ahead of Princeton’s Sandy Bole (43.68). Yale’s Aaron Greenberg took seventh with 44.02, and Julian Mackrel of Princeton rounded out the podium with 44.08.

200 Breaststroke

The 200 breast final was the third event in a row to feature a surprise ending. Cornell freshman Alex Evdokimov, fresh off his win in the 100 breast last night, got off to an early start and built up a slight lead on top-seeded Jack Pohlmann of Princeton. The two traded stroke for stroke throughout 175 yards. Over the last 25 yards, Harvard’s Eric Ronda surged forward and the three of them came to the wall together. When the dust settled it was Evdokimov with the win in 1:56.13. Ronda got his hands to the wall just before Pohlmann, out-touching him 1:56.19 to 1:56.21.

Sophomore teammates Wes Thomas and Cole Hurwitz of Penn placed fourth and fifth with 1:56.37 and 1:56.45, respectively. Jonathan Rutter of Yale (1:56.82), Harvard’s Shane McNamara (1:57.09) and Princeton’s Byron Sanborn (1:57.31) rounded out the podium.

200 Butterfly

Kevin Quinn of Columbia ended his senior season with an Ivy title in the 200 fly. Quinn went 1:43.10 to win by nearly a body length. The Princeton trio of Okubo (1:44.52), Zach Buerger (1:44.95), and Marco Bove (1:45.54) were 2-3-4.

Brown freshman Riley Springman led the rest of the field with 1:45.96. The three Crimson in the final placed 6-7-8: Christian Carbone (1:46.35), Max Yakubovich (1:46.51) and Jacob Luna (1:46.74).

3-Meter Diving

Harvard senior Mike Mosca broke his own meet record by nearly 50 points with his winning 457.35 on the 3-meter board. It was the third time he had won this event, and his seventh Ivy title over his four-year career. Columbia freshman Jayden Pantel capped a stellar inaugural season with a 368.55-point finish for second. Princeton senior Michael Manhard placed third with 347.80.

Dartmouth’s Brett Gillis took fourth with 318.10 points. The rest of the podium was comprised of Harvard’s Bobby Ross (315.90), Nathan Makarewicz of Princeton (312.80), David Pfeifer of Harvard (303.25), and Jonathan Schlafer of Brown (252.15).

400 Freestyle Relay

There was no question by now who had won the team title, but Princeton wasn’t about to back off; they wanted to sweep the relays with this last swim. Jakl got Columbia off to an early lead, which classmate Ngan continued, but Princeton’s Mackrel put the Tigers in front on the third leg and it was all Princeton over the last 100. Bole (43.38), Wagner (43.11), Mackrel (43.12), and Maher (43.43) combined for 2:53.04, their third relay of the meet under the NCAA “A” standard.

Columbia (Jakl, Ngan, Terry Li, and Joe Shepley) finished second with 2:53.72. Third place went to Yale (Greenberg, Victor Zhang, Alwin Firmansyah, and Harder) with 2:56.19.

The High Point Swimmer of the Meet was awarded to both Chris Swanson of Penn and David Jakl of Columbia. Mike Mosca of Harvard won both the High Point Diver of the Meet and Career High Point Diver awards. Rob Harder of Yale was named Career High Point Swimmer.

Final Standings

  1. Princeton University 1526
  2. Harvard Men’s Swimming 1285.5
  3. Yale University 1162.5
  4. University of Pennsylvania 1042.5
  5. Columbia University 950.5
  6. Cornell University 692
  7. Brown University 634
  8. Dartmouth College 468

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6 years ago

Congratulations to Princeton on a great season. Thought it was going to be a closer race for second, but the seniors from Yale underperformed after a strong in season performance from the Bulldogs.

Silent but Violent
6 years ago

Let me guess… You were one of those guys who didn’t stay behind to see Harder be crowned a legend.

About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom 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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