Men’s Ivy League Swimming and Diving Preview 2013-14

The men’s Ivy League season begins in earnest this weekend with Brown, Cornell, Penn, and Yale all in dual meets. Conference play begins the weekend of November 15-17.

2012-13 Look Back

The men’s 2013 Ivy League Championship was going to be a showdown between Harvard and Princeton; that much was clear. But unlike years past neither would have home-pool advantage: the meet was to take place in the Katherine Moran Coleman Aquatics Center at Brown University. A brand new facility, it would by definition allow for a lot of pool records to be broken over the three-day meet. (As it turned out, the Ivy gentlemen didn’t disappoint: every single swimming and diving pool record was reestablished during the meet, and a couple of Ivy marks went down as well.)

The question on everybody’s mind was whether or not Harvard’s Chuck Katis would be shaved and tapered for Ivies or would wait to peak at NCAAs. Tapered or not it was unlikely that anyone could beat him in the 100 breast, but his swimming through Ivies could cost Harvard points in the 200 breast and 200 IM, as well as in the medley relays. Either way, the team title was most likely going to be a two-horse race – albeit an exciting one.

More excitement was on tap as Yale, Columbia and a vastly improved Dartmouth were expected to battle it out for third. Dartmouth’s Nejc Zupan had had a great season thus far and was expected to win three events at Ivies. Yale had several big names, and Columbia had just upset Princeton in their dual meet at Columbia.

The Ivy League produces its fair share of number-crunchers, and with the quant jocks working it all out on paper, the odds going into the meet favored Harvard. They had just won H-Y-P (the Harvard-Yale-Princeton classic match-up) and seemed to have a lock on the sprint frees and relays. Princeton’s crop of talented freshmen held a lot of promise but it was hard to know how they’d fare at the Big Dance. Everybody agreed it would be a nail-biter.

Harvard took it out first winning the 200 free relay in an NCAA “A” time of 1:18.06 with Griffin Schumacher, Danny Crigler, Oliver Lee and Chris Satterthwaite. Columbia followed with a “B” cut of 1:18.80; Princeton was third.

Yale’s Rob Harder, runner-up in 2012, won the 500 in front of Dominik Koll of Columbia and Chris Swanson of Penn. Yale put three in the A final and consequently jumped into second place, out in front of Columbia and Princeton.

The 200 IM proved to be a monster event for the Tigers, however. Although no one came close to Dartmouth’s Zupan who broke the Ivy record en route to winning in 1:43.94 (splitting 28.99 on the breast), those wild-card Princeton freshmen that people were speculating about took places 2-4-7-9-10 (that’s Teo D’Alessandro, Byron Sanborn, Marco Bove, Sandy Bole, and En-Wei Hu-Van Wright). Harvard (with Katis and Christian Yeager) and Yale (with Andrew Heymann and Alwin Firmansyah) each had 2 in the A final. Every single one of the top 16 from 2013 is back this year and there are a lot of talented IMers in the class of 2017. That said everyone will be gunning for the favorite, Dartmouth senior Nejc Zupan, whose 2IM was only the first of the three Ivy titles that led to his being named High Point Swimmer of the Meet.

Given the outcome of the 200 free relay there was little surprise as Harvard’s and Columbia’s sprinters took nine of the top 16 spots in the 50 free. That Princeton’s Harrison Wagner got his hand to the wall first in 19.61, .06 and .18 ahead of Harvard’s Satterthwaite and Lee, might have been unexpected, but the Crimson increased its lead by 40 points over Princeton and Columbia slipped past Yale into third.

Diving proved to be an interesting tactical play for the Princeton Tigers. They opted to take 5 divers/16 swimmers to Ivies vs the usual 3/17. While all three of Harvard’s entries placed top-8 in the 1-meter, Princeton’s 2/2/1 (A/B/C finals, respectively) gave them a six-point advantage in the event and narrowed Harvard’s lead. Mike Mosca of Harvard, who would later win 3-meter diving and be named High Point Diver of the Meet, took first place. Then-senior Stevie Vines of Princeton finished second to Mosca in both events but took home the Career High Point Diver award. Michael Stanton of Harvard was third.

The final event of the first night was the highly anticipated 400 medley relay. Harvard’s Satterthwaite, Katis, Lee and Schumacher overcame a .80 deficit as they trailed the Dartmouth Big Green (featuring a 52.7 Zupan breast split) going into the final swim. They also successfully held off a charge by Princeton (whose Harrison Wagner split 42.7 on the end) and wound up with the W, in 3:12.18.

The next day Princeton (Kaspar Raigla, Jack Pohlmann, Michael Strand, and Wagner) exacted their revenge by taking the 200 medley relay with an “A” cut of 1:26.25. Note that Wagner split an 18.68 to anchor the relay.

Yale’s Harder again avenged a 2012 second-place finish when he won the 1000. He had been trailing Penn freshman Swanson by nearly a second at just about every wall until the 750, at which time he began to chip away at Swanson’s lead. Harder’s final 50 of 26.1 proved to be just out of reach for Swanson who nonetheless finished with a 26.3 last-50 of his own. In the end it was Harder 9:01.36; Swanson, 9:01.40. Harvard’s three A finalists to Princeton’s one put the Crimson out front by 81 points after the 1000. Yale also picked up enough points with their two top-8 finishes to move in front of Columbia, and Penn closed to within 2 of Dartmouth.

Nejc Zupac of Dartmouth made it two for two and broke the meet record with a 3:44.39 victory in the 400 IM. He finished four seconds ahead of Harvard’s Christian Carbone and five ahead of Princeton’s Daniel Hasler. The 4IM was a strong event for both Yale and Columbia.

The 100 fly, however, belonged to Brown. In a repeat performance from the 2012 Ivy Championship the Bears’ Tommy Glenn earned the title with a full second’s lead over his runner-up. In the 2013 version he won with an “A” cut time of 45.80, ahead of Columbia’s David Jakl and Yale’s Mike Dominski. Dominski would be named Career High Point Swimmer at the conclusion of the meet. The 100 fly marked Brown’s turning point in the championship as the Bears closed in on, and eventually overtook, Cornell.

The 200 free was Harvard’s most successful event to that point in the meet: they scored 104 points with 3A/1B/1C finalists, and most notably Ivy champion Chris Satterthwaite (1:35.00) who won the event for the second year in a row. Columbia rounded off the podium with second- and third-place finishes from Dominik Koll and John Wright. By the end of the free Harvard had extended its lead to 155 points over Princeton and Columbia had taken the third spot back from Yale.

Princeton’s comeback began with the 100 breast where they scored four in the A final, including second-place finisher Sanborn who came within .04 of Harvard’s Chuck Katis’s winning time of 53.90. Penn’s Kyle Yu took third.

Princeton took over the lead after the 100 back and never looked back. For the second event in a row they scored four of the top eight, but this time there were no Harvard entrants in the race. Princeton’s Strand won in 47.43, holding off a very strong back half from James Verhagen of Dartmouth (47.55) and Career High Point Swimmer Dominski of Yale (48.02).

On the strength of their individual 200 free finishers, Harvard was favored to with the 800 free relay but Princeton (6:26.87) and Columbia (6:27.32) finished ahead of the Crimson (6:27.51), notwithstanding Satterthwaite’s 1:34.95 anchor leg.

After scoring a third in the 500 and a second in the 1000, Penn freshman Swanson was ready to claim his own victory in the mile. He swam a patient and steady race, albeit with a 25.6 final 50, and won in 15:02.11. Yale’s Harder was second; Princeton then-freshman Zach Ridout took third with an outstanding second half.

As they did in the 100, Princeton loaded up on the 200 back. Tiger Connor Maher took the title in 1:43.76, ahead of Dartmouth’s Verhagen and Hu-Van Wright of Princeton. Columbia and Yale also had strong showings in this event.

Harvard was back in the chase after a 1-2-3 sweep of the 100 free (Satterthwaite, Lee, and Schumacher, respectively).

In the 200 breast Zupac of Dartmouth crushed the meet record of 1:55.96, set by Princeton’s Jonathan Christensen in 2012, with a winning time of 1:53.95. Sanborn of Princeton was second; Harvard’s Katis was third. All four of Princeton’s entrants made the A final, including D’Alessandro who squeaked in by .01.

Brown’s Glenn won his second event, the 200 fly, with a 1:43.11, just shy of the NCAA “A” cut of 1:42.96. He beat a pair of Columbia Lions, who both finished under the pool record as well. Jakl (1:44.14) who flew off the start and was leading at the 100, ended up second just ahead of his teammate Kevin Quinn.

Mike Mosca (Harvard) and Stevie Vines (Princeton) were again 1-2, this time in 3-meter diving. Cornell’s Phillip Truong finished third.

The highlight of the 400 free relay might well have been Satterthwaite’s 42.99 leadoff split, but although Harvard (Satterthwaite, Schumacher, Zachary Walters, and Lee) won the 400 free relay they had already lost too much ground to win Ivies. Princeton’s second place finish in the relay assured their fifth successive Ivy League Championship.

Princeton (1,514)

Key losses: Kaspar Raigla (67 points at Ivies), Stevie Vines (56), Chris Kelly (15)

Key additions: Anton Lundin (Sweden – BK/FR), Julian Mackrel (NY – SP), Nathan Makarewicz (UT – Dive), Joseph Martinez (TX – DIS), Justin Mehl (SC – FL/FLY/FR), Lance Rutkin (FL – DIS), Sam Smiddy (FL – FL//IM/FR), Brett Usinger (CA – BR/IM), Jeffrey Williamson (NY – FR)

Harvard (1,446)

Key losses: Michael Stanton (53 points at Ivies), Greg Roop (39)

Key additions: Aly Abdel Khalik (Canada – FR), Kenneth Castro-Abrams (CA – BK/IM), Mitchell Foster (MN – SP/BK), Cliff Goertemiller (OH – DIS), Manasseh Oso (AZ – Dive), Jack Manchester (NC – BK/FR), Paul O’Hara (VA – SP), Patrick Pender (Oman – SP), Eric Ronda (CT – BR/IM), Sean Satterthwaite (MN – FR), Sava Turcanu (NC – FR/FL/BK), Maxim Yakubovich (OR – FL)

Columbia junior David Jakl was one of the Ivy swimmers who competed at NCAAs in 2013. (Courtesy: The Ivy League/Ryan Samson)

Columbia junior David Jakl was one of the Ivy swimmers who competed at NCAAs in 2013. (Courtesy: The Ivy League/Ryan Samson)

Columbia (1,135)

Key losses: John Wright (75 points at Ivies), Jason Collazo (35)

Key additions: Nikita Bondarenko (IL – FR/IM), James Delgado (OH – FR/IM/BR), Jack Foster (MD – FR/IM), Terry Li (NJ – FR/FL), Drew May (IL – FL/FR), Thomas Norman (TX – IM), Julian Radice (FL – IM/FR/FL)

Renaissance men: Yale Swimming and Diving Team (courtesy of Yale S&D Alumni/Twitter)

Renaissance men: Yale Swimming and Diving Team (courtesy of Yale S&D Alumni/Twitter)

Yale (1,038.5)

Key losses: Mike Dominski (80 points at Ivies), Paschall Davis (54), Jared Lovett (8), Aaron Seriff-Cullick (5)

Key additions: Alex Goss (TN – BR/IM), Aaron Greenberg (MN – FR/BR/BK), Ben Lerude (NV – FR/FL), Anthony Mercadante (FL – Dive), Oscar Miao (Hong Kong – FR), Alex Schultz (AZ – FL/BK/FR), Nick Sehlinger (KY – BR), Ian Wooley (OH – FL/BK)

Dartmouth 2017's (courtesy of Nicholas Guerriero/Dartmouth Athletics)

Dartmouth 2017’s (courtesy of Nicholas Guerriero/Dartmouth Athletics)

Dartmouth (768)

Key losses: John Wright (75 points at Ivies), Jason Collazo (35)

Key additions: Dorian Allen (NJ – SP FR/FL), Joby Bernstein (NY – FR), Taylor Clough ( MA – Dive), David Harmon (MD – FR/FL), Patrick Kang (CA – BR), Jack Long (NJ – FR), Tate Ramsden (TN – FR), Jorge Siwady (Honduras – FR), James Thompson (CA – FR), Timo Vaimann (Estonia – BR)

Penn (700)

Key losses: None

Key additions: Zach Fisher (OH – FR/FL), Michael Hamann (IL – FL/IM), Philip Hu (VA – FL/BK), Cole Hurwitz (OR – BR), Jordan Hurwitz (OR – BR), Jimmy Jameson (PA – FL/BK), Grant Proctor (NJ – IM/BR), Jack Stein (FL – Dive), Kevin Su (CA – FR), Wes Thomas (TX – FR/BK), Michael Wen (CA – BR/IM)

Brown (589.5)

Key losses: Mike McVicker (38 points at Ivies), Mike Johnson (7)

Key additions: Max Bley-Male (OR – FL/BK/IM), Nicholas Johnston (CA – BK/FR), Daniel Klotz (CT – FR/FL), Will LaCosta (NJ – FR/FL/IM), Connor Lohman (KY – BR/IM), Kevin Mertz (CA – Dist/FL), Jack Nee (OH – FR), Sovijja Pou (OR – FR/FL/IM), Jonathon Schlafer (OH – Dive), Kai Wombacher (NC – Dist)

Cornell Swim & Dive raising money for breast cancer research (courtesy Cornell Athletics, November 2013)

Cornell Swim & Dive raising money for breast cancer research (courtesy Cornell Athletics, November 2013)

Cornell (539)

Key losses: Jon Zollo (30 points at Ivies), Chris Meyers (23.5), James O’Neill (19)

Key additions: Dylan Sali (NJ – BK/IM), Liam Sosinsky (WA – BR), Jordan Berger (CT – BR/IM), Deyon Godbay (NY – Dive), Karol Mlynarski (IL – FR), David Zurmuhl (PA – FR), Eric Kim (NJ – FR/BK), Will Kazokas (FL – FR/FL), Lucas Reisch (NY – FR/FL)



2013-14 Look Forward

The good news is that the Ivy League gets faster and faster every year, making their schools a viable option for the nation’s top recruits. The number of Ivy swimmers and divers punching their tickets to NCAAs has been increasing each year and more of the schools are represented. Indeed, six of the eight Ivies sent individual swim and dive qualifiers, as well as several relays, to Indianapolis in 2013. The other side of that same coin means that attracting fast recruits makes it increasingly difficult for swimmers to make the conference team; sometimes big point-winners from prior years are left off the roster. With few exceptions, underclassmen have made up a large percentage of the podium spots over the last several years.

The Ivy Championships were not a team-scored event until 1962. The Ivies participated in the Eastern Intercollegiate Swimming League (EISL) championships until 2009, when they had their first championship meet with only the eight members of the Ivy League. For most of its history the championship title has gone back and forth between powerhouses Princeton and Harvard. In recent years Columbia and Yale have vied for third but it wasn’t that long ago that 2013 eighth place finisher Cornell was third. Individual event winners came from nearly every school last year and very few of them graduated (e.g., Chuck Katis, Nejc Zupan and Tommy Glenn).

Because of their incredible depth, Harvard and Princeton are likely to stay atop the 2013-14 Ivy season. The nod probably goes to Harvard who had a very strong recruiting year but I wouldn’t write Princeton off just yet; Rob Orr’s men swim with a lot of heart and have pulled off surprises in the past.

Given the stellar freshmen classes Penn and Yale have recruited Columbia may lose its four-year hold on number three. But the Lions seem to attract and develop talent and they squeeze the most possible points out of their swimmers when it counts.

Cornell, too, brought in a handful of impact swimmers; this could be a turnaround year for the Bears’ program. Dartmouth seems to have dipped into the foreign well this year –smart move considering how well Zupan has done for them– making it more difficult to assess their chances. Brown added ten newcomers to its roster and returned several point-scorers including Glenn. Hopefully we’ll see a lot of movement in the rankings this year.

Ivy men’s composite schedule 2013-14

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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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