Swimming: Crimson edges out Tigers at HYP, Bulldogs finish a distant third
The annual HYP meet is always one of the biggest meets of the year for the men’s swimming and diving teams. This year’s showdown was no exception — in fact, the stakes were even higher. Harvard, Yale and Princeton each came into the weekend undefeated. The Tigers, the four-time reigning Ivy League champions, looked to improve on their 5-0 record, while Harvard and Yale came in with six and seven unanswered wins respectively.
But it was Harvard that held onto its narrow Day 1 lead to finish first, ahead of both Princeton and Yale, handing both teams their first losses of the season. The Tigers took second, and the Bulldogs placed third.
Saturday’s session saw a series of narrow finishes between Harvard and Princeton, as the Crimson ended the day with a tight 106-80 lead over the Tigers. Yale fell behind early, trailing Princeton 149-37 at the end of Day 1.
Freshman Brooks Powell joined sophomores Connor Maher, Michael Strand and Harrison Wagner to begin the competition by placing second in the 200 free relays. Princeton proved dominant in the individual 200 free as well — three of the four top times belonged to Tigers, including a thrilling first place win for freshman Sandy Bole over Harvard’s Chris Sattherthwaite by .02 seconds.
Princeton went on to take 1-2-3 in the 100 back, led by Strand in 48.57 seconds, one hundredth of a second faster than rookie En-Wei Hu-Van Wright. In the 100 breast, freshmen Byron Sanborn and Jack Pohlmann and junior Daniel Hasler finished second, third and fourth respectively.
The freshmen had a strong showing in the 200 IM: Bole also finished second in 1:48.17, and Sanborn took third (1:48.33). Another rookie Tiger, Zach Ridout, took second in the mile in 15:26.73, and a Princeton team composed of Strand, Sanborn, Powell and freshman Jeremy Wong finished second in the 400 medley relay in 3:14.37. Harvard held a narrow 106-80 lead, but Princeton sat in a solid second with 149 points to Yale’s 37.
The divers also saw tight competition with the Crimson. Harvard won the three-meter diving matchup, but Princeton divers rounded out three of the top four spots.
Day 2 started with another second-place finish in a relay for Princeton. Strand, freshman D’Alessandro, Powell and Wagner finished in 1:27.62, just behind Harvard. Sophomore Caleb Tuten added a second-place finish in the 400 IM.
The Tigers’ first win of the second session came in the 200 back. Maher placed first in 1:44.68, and Hu-Van Wright followed in second in 1:45.37. Princeton swam even better in the 100 fly, taking four of the top five spots, with Powell, senior Kaspar Raigla and junior Ian Rea going 1-2-3 all within half a second of each other. Princeton ended HYP with another second-place finish in the 400 free relay.
Day 2 was also Princeton’s Senior Day, where the team took a moment to recognize the swimmers and divers competing in their last meet at DeNunzio Pool as Tigers.
The divers fared better against Harvard in the one-meter competition. Senior Stevie Vines won first with 332.75 points.
“We’re really close to the seniors, so it was great to see them go out on a high note,” sophomore Andrew Klutey said. “At the same time, it was bittersweet; they’re all huge leaders on the team, and it’ll be sad to see them go.”
Despite the second-place finish, Princeton swimmers posted some impressive times and come-from-behind finishes.
“I think our team swam really well this weekend,” Tuten said. “We had some great swims and impressive performances across all four classes.”
Though HYP was particularly high stakes this time, it sets the stage for a much larger competition. The Ivy League Championships in March, hosted by Brown, will feature a Princeton team fending off a formidable Harvard team from snapping its four-year winning streak.
“At Ivies, I think we just need to race better,” Tuten said. “We posted some really good times here at HYP, but at Ivies, we need to do a better job of competing and getting our hands on the wall first.”
Princeton’s last meet of the regular season before Ivies is next Friday against Columbia in New York City.
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