In Showdown Of Reigning Champions, Navy Edges Princeton 157-143
The recent powers in both the Ivy League and Patriot League have put together some memorable, and incredibly close, swimming & diving meets over the last four years. The 2014 debut for both programs was no different, as Navy held off a late Princeton charge for a 157-143 home victory.
Junior Michael Strand was a double winner for the Tigers, while Connor Maher, Teo D'Alessandro and Michael Manhard were also individual winners for Princeton, but a strong charge by Navy midway through the meet would be enough to send the Midshipmen to their fifth win of the season.
Sophomore Zach Ridout was Princeton’s top finisher in the 1000 free (fourth, 9:38.62), but the Tigers got their first win of the day with a 1-2 finish in the 200 free. Sophomore Sandy Bole (1:39.86) edged classmate Teo D’Alessandro (1:39.99) for the victory.
The Tigers followed that with a 1-2-3 finish in the 100 back, with reigning Ivy champion Strand taking the event in 49 seconds flat. Sophomore En-Wei Hu-Van Wright took second in 49.61, while Maher finished third in 49.88.
Junior Oliver Bennett took second in the 200 fly, while Princeton got fourth-place finishes from Byron Sanborn (100 breast, 56.90) and Wong (50 free, 21.08). Mark O’Connell picked up a third-place finish in the 1-meter diving event with 277.58 points. Wong added a second-place finish in the 100 free in 45.80.
Maher, the reigning Ivy League champion in the 200 back, won that event in 1:48.47, while teammate Hu-Van Wright picked up another second-place finish in 1:48.95.
Hasler, a senior captain for the five-time defending Ivy League champions, finished third in the 200 breast in 2:02.77, while freshman Lance Rutkin took fifth in the 500 free in 4:40.62.
Strand completed his double with a 100 fly victory in 49.24, and O’Connell followed with a win in the 3-meter diving competition with 355.65 points. Teammate Michael Manhard added a second-place finish with a score of 348.83.
D’Alessandro, who set the Princeton record in the 200 IM at the Big Al Open, won that event in 1:51.92 and led off a 1-2-3 Tiger finish. Sophomore Marco Bove was second in 1:53.46, while Hasler was third in 1:55.04.
The Tigers completed the day in impressive fashion, as the quartet of Hu-Van Wright, Maher, Wong and Bole won the 400 free relay in 3:00.77.
Princeton will now break for its January finals period, but it will return to the pool in four weeks for its annual H-Y-P showdown. Yale will serve as host for the two-day meet, which begins Friday, Jan. 31, and concludes the following day.