Men’s 200 Backstroke Prelims
This day couldn’t have started any better for Princeton. Freshman En-Wei Hu-Van Wright swam a 1:43.55 for the top seed in this 200 back, which is a full two seconds better than he’s been this season and is approaching the Meet Record held by David Cromwell.
Even after him, though, the Tigers continued to roll. Connor Maher took 2nd in 1:44.43, and Kaspar Raigla dropped more than five seconds to go a 1:46.61 and final 7th. Michael Strand, after a huge Friday that included a B-Final victory and an A-Final victory, knocked ten seconds off of his season best to sneak into the final in 8th.
Harvard, meanwhile, got only one into the top 8, which is Christian Yeager in 5th.
Other contenders for podium finishes include Dartmouth’s James Verhagen (1:44.98) and Yale freshman Kevin Stang (1:45.12).
Men’s 100 Free Prelims
This was a pivotal race for Harvard, as they are so strong in the sprints. They managed to take three of the top four seeds, led by Oliver Lee in 43.21. They will really need to shut out Harrison Wagner (2nd seed – 43.66) in tonight’s final if they have a chance at the meet title.
Meanwhile, Princeton did about as well as they could have to match Harvard’s three finalists, though they won’t likely be as high-placing as Harvard in finals. The third of those was freshman Sandy Bole, who was in a three-way tie for 8th in the prelim. There, he beat Harvard’s Danny Crigler and Columbia’s Omar Arafa to return for the A-final, which loomed ever more significant as this session wore on.
Men’s 200 Breast Prelims
Another race, and another monstrous performance from a Princeton freshman. Byron Sanborn took the top seed in prelims of the 200 breast with a 1:56.98. We can say with some certainty that he’s not going to win this race (Dartmouth’s Nejc Zupan has already broken two Ivy League Records in this meet, and this is probably his best race), but the momentum from that swim can’t be undervalued.
Zupan took the second seed in 1:57.64, and Princeton’s Daniel Hasler was 3rd in 1:58.27. Princeton once again had four A-Finalists in this race; Harvard had only one: Chuck Katis, who was 4th in 1:59.02. He was the 100 breaststroke champion and also has a chance to move up in finals, but he’s just going to be outnumbered.
Men’s 200 Fly Prelims
Tommy Glenn, already with a 100 fly title under his belt, will now go as well for a defense of his 200 fly title as well. Things are looking good so far, with him posting a 1:44.99 in prelims of this race, ahead of a 1:45.82 from Harvard’s Jacob Luna for the top seed.
Two more A-finalists for Princeton, matching the pair from Harvard, and the Tigers are in the drivers’ seat for tonight’s finals.
Up/Mids/Downs & Prospective
The Up (1st-8th)/Mids (9th-16th)/Downs (17th-24th) tell the story going into finals. Princeton, with a 23-point lead headed into the final, is almost a lock (barring DQ’s). The only things that could upset that would be really big performances from the Harvard milers and divers, and the opposite for Princeton’s in the same – two events not accounted for in these tables. Diving shows three Princeton Tigers, in the A-Final to just two from Harvard, so the story won’t get any better there.
Columbia has a comfortable edge over Yale for 3rd-place in scoring. Despite a good Yale diving performance in prelims, Columbia should have enough to hold on for that position, though that battle is far-from over.