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Harvard defeats men's swimming for third straight year at Easterns

Harvard turned the tables. Again.

For the second time in as many years, the Crimson captured the Eastern Intercollegiate Swimming League Championships after being upset in the Harvard-Yale-Princeton Invitational. This season marks the third straight EISL championship for Harvard, who outdistanced second-place Princeton, 810.5-687.5.

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"If we go in there and do the best we can and still don't win," senior captain Jason Eaddy said before this weekend's meet in West Point, N.Y., "then we'll have nothing to feel bad about."

Now the Tigers (9-0 overall, 9-0 EISL) are forced to face this probability as stark reality, as the season is over for the majority of the team.

"Individually, we may feel disappointed with some individual swims," senior captain Davin Quinn said. "But as a team, we have nothing to hang our heads about."

Shutout

Most of those subpar swims were registered on the first day of competition, when Princeton failed to win an event. This lackluster performance allowed Harvard to jump out to a quick lead, one which it would not surrender for the remainder of the meet.

Freshman Matt Harrigan's second-place finish in the 500-yard freestyle (four minutes, 26.07 seconds) was the Tigers' only top-three individual performance of the day, while junior sprinter Matt Vogt finished tied for fourth in the 50 free with a time of 20.72.

One of the bigger disappointments of the day occurred in the diving well, where sophomore divers Andy Shyong and Terry Meck finished fourth (442.30 points) and sixth (426.05) in the one-meter event, respectively; Meck finished fourth in the three-meter later in the meet.

Exploitation

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After providing a significant number of points for the team at H-Y-Ps, the divers could have exploited Harvard's lack of divers and greatly advanced Princeton's standings, but this was not their weekend.

"We didn't really have that great of a meet," Shyong said. "(Diving) is one of those sports that can vary a lot from meet to meet."

For the next two days, the Tigers were like salmon racing up a waterfall: they had to gain ground on an already strong Harvard team. This game of catchup proved to be too much against a deep team that not only won events, but also densely populated the other scoring positions. Princeton was forced into a subsidiary role where, though it was still in second, it longed to be first.

Superstar

"We had high expectations going in of repeating what we did at H-Y-Ps," said Quinn, who earned the Harold Ulan Award as the swimmer with the most career EISL championship points. "But by the third day, we weren't really aiming for the win. We started really pulling for each other and going for good individual swims."

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This different attitude translated into improved swims for the Tigers, who finished the meet with a strong third day.

Youth led the charge for Princeton, as Harrigan and fellow freshmen Lance Needham, Clayton Jones and Andrew Chadeayne each placed in the top four in their events. Harrigan set a pool record in the 400 individual medley, winning in 3:52.94. Needham placed third in the same event (3:55.90), while Jones continued swimming well in the 200 free, placing second in 1:38.30; Chadeayne was fourth in the 100 backstroke.

The veterans also claimed their share of points, with junior J.P. Norvell leading the way. He joined Harrigan as the only event-winners for Princeton Saturday, winning the 200 butterfly in 1:48.03. Vogt's time of 49.33 in the 100 fly was good enough to earn him third, and Eaddy was also third in the 1000 free (9:22.47).

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