Christensen's Record Day Sends Men's Swim/Dive Team To Big Lead At Ivies
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An Ivy League record by senior Jon Christensen and a championship meet record by sophomore Paul Nolle were among the highlights in a brilliant second day for the Princeton men's swimming and diving team. Four victories and a plethora of championship finalists helped the Tigers take control during the second day of the 2012 Ivy League Men's Swimming & Diving Championships.
Through four sessions of the six-session meet, the three-time defending Ivy League champion Tigers lead the field with 1049.5 points. Harvard holds second with 944 points, while Columbia is third with 715.5 points.
Christensen did more than just break an Ivy League record in the 100 breast. He also assured that his collegiate swim career would not end this weekend. His Ivy League record time of 52.86 also surpassed the NCAA 'A' cut time, which guarantees the Tiger senior a berth in the NCAA Championships.
Princeton maintained its mastery of the relays Friday by sweeping the 200 medley and 800 free. The championship finals opened with the 200 medley, and the Tiger quartet of junior Kaspar Raigla, Christensen, and freshmen Michael Strand and Harrison Wagner earned the win in a Denunzio record time of 1:25.89. That time was more than two seconds faster than any team in the field.
That margin would seem razor thin in the next final, as Nolle dominated the 1000 to win in a championship meet record time of 8:54.86. Nobody was within nine seconds of Nolle, who has now won two Ivy League titles this weekend (he won the 500 Thursday). Freshman David Paulk also earned a Top-10 finish by placing ninth in 9:15.18.
Dartmouth sophomore Nejc Zupan was the class of the field in the 400 IM, winning in a time of 3:49.73. Regardless, it was a big event for the Tigers, which took up half of the championship field and moved past Harvard in the standings. Sophomore Daniel Hasler took third in 3:51.43, while freshman Caleb Tuten took fourth in 3:53.29. Freshman Oliver Bennett finished sixth in 3:54.70, while sophomore Eric Materniak rounded out the field by taking eighth in 4:03.11.
Brown went 1-2 in the 100 fly, as sophomore Tommy Glenn picked up a win in 46.73. Princeton freshman Michael Strand placed third in 47.87, while Raigla took fifth in 48.09. Senior Michael Monovoukas added an eighth-place finish in 48.75.
Harvard sophomore Chris Satterthwaite continued his strong weekend by holding off two Princeton swimmers in the 200 free. Satterthwaite won in 1:35.05, while junior Will Lawley finished second in 1:36.18 and senior Colin Cordes added a third-place finish in 1:36.34. Freshman Michael Hauss gave Princeton three in the top five with a time of 1:37.22, while freshman David Paulk won the 'B' final in 1:38.19.
Christensen electrified the pool in the 100 breast by matching his Ivy record preliminary swim of 52.86 with a victory in the 'A' final in the exact same time. It was Christensen's seventh career Ivy League individual title, as well as his second of the meet, and it was one that will send him to the 2012 NCAA Championships, held March 22-24 in Seattle.
Columbia freshman Omar Arafa held off another Princeton duo to win the 100 back in 47.35. Once again, though, it was a point-building performance for the Tigers, who picked up second- and third-place finishes. Strand finished second in 47.49, while Raigla took third in 48.41.
The night ended in style for the Tigers, who won the 800 free relay in the tightest margin of the evening. The quartet of Christensen, Lawley, Hauss and Cordes won the event in 6:26.86, just .04 of a second faster than Harvard.
The Princeton Class of 2012 is now one strong day away from being the first group since the Class of 1992 to win four straight Ivy League titles. Saturday preliminaries will begin at 11, while the finals will begin at 6. One year after a dramatic Saturday left Princeton with an Ivy League championship win by only 5.5 points, the Tigers would love nothing more than the same celebration with far less drama.