A 1-2-3 finish in the 100 back and several strong swims were weekend highlights for the Princeton men’s swimming and diving team, which split its annual H-Y-P weekend in New Haven, Conn. The five-time reigning Ivy League champion defeated the host Bulldogs, but it fell to Harvard.
Losing a regular season dual meet to the Crimson shouldn’t faze the Tigers, though. Last year, Harvard defeated Princeton 200-153 during the regular season, but the Tigers walked away from the Ivy League Championships with a 68-point victory over the Crimson.
Harvard scored a 213-140 win over Princeton, while the Tigers earned a 194-159 win over Yale.
While conference meets require ultimate depth, a strength of this complete Princeton squad, dual meets can often be determined by individual wins. The Tigers had only one outright victory in the two-day, 19-event meet, and that came from sophomore En-Wei Hu-Van Wright, who won the 100 back with a B-cut time of 48.21. Junior Michael Strand, the reigning Ivy League champion in the event, placed second in 48.51, while junior Connor Maher, the reigning Ivy champ in the 200, finished third in 48.53.
Maher helped kick off the meet by leading off the second-place 200 free relay team. He joined junior Harrison Wagner, freshman Julian Mackrel and sophomore Jeremy Wong to finish in 1.19.86, less than a second off the winning time from Harvard.
Freshman Nathan Makarewicz was Princeton’s top finisher in both diving events. On Friday, he finished third in the 3-meter event with 320.00 points; the next day, he took fourth in the 1-meter event with 283.55 points.
Senior Mark O’Connell was just behind Makarewicz in both events. He took fourth in the 3-meter event with 313.05 points, and he took fifth in the 1-meter event with 268.20 points.
Junior Connor Jager had a terrific swim in the 200 free, finishing third overall with a B-cut time of 1:37.48. Sophomore Byron Sanborn, an NCAA qualifier in the breast events last year, also posted a B-cut while finishing second in the 100 (54.99).
"I was thrilled with my swims," said Jager, who had multiple B-cuts over the weekend. "Going into the meet, I really didn't know what to expect, but I fed off the energy of my teammates and alumni, and I was really happy with the result. I was shocked by my time in the 200 back - the intense and competitive atmosphere of HYP always seems to produce close races and fast times, and I am excited that I was able to contribute to the team."
Junior Oliver Bennett also had a second-place B-cut performance, as he finished the 200 fly in 1:47.16.
Wagner (20.27) and Wong (20.47) went 3-4 in the 50 free, and sophomore Teo D’Alessandro ignited a 2-3-4 finish in the 200 IM. The Princeton record-holder in both IM events, D’Alessandro placed second in the 200 in 1:48.16. Hu-Van Wright (1:48.61) and Sanborn (1:48.73) followed closely, and all three ended with B-cut times.
Princeton sophomore Zach Ridout finished the mile in 15:19.81, a B-cut time that was fourth-best overall, and the quartet of Hu-Van Wright, Sanborn, Strand and Wong ended Friday with a second-place finish in the 400 medley relay (3:14.22).
Strand, sophomore Marco Bove, Maher and Wagner opened Saturday with a second-place finish in the 200 medley relay (1:28.65), while D’Alessandro followed with a second-place finish in the 400 IM (3:54.91).
Wong took third in the 100 free (44.62), while Maher (1:44.10), Hu-Van Wright (1:44.86) and Jager (1:45.13) went 3-4-5 in the 200 back.
Sophomore Brooks Powell took third in 100 fly in 49.13, while junior David Paulk was ninth in the 500 (4:29.59). Sanborn ended the individual swim events with a second-place finish in the 200 breast (1:57.97), while the quartet of Hu-Van Wright, Maher, D’Alessandro and Wong finished second in the 400 free relay in 2:57.13.
"As a team, the goal coming into the meet was to win against both Harvard and Yale," Jager said. "Although we couldn't come away with a win against Harvard, there were a lot of bright spots throughout the weekend that bode well for the rest of the championship season. We will certainly take what we can from our loss, and our win over a very impressive performance by Yale, to heighten our focus for our upcoming meets.
"Under the guidance and experience of Rob and Mitch, we will spend the next few weeks working to put ourselves into a position to compete for the Ivy championship," he added.
Princeton is now 5-2 overall, 5-1 in the Ivy League, and will return to DeNunzio Pool for a final time this season when it hosts Columbia Friday night at 6 pm. That meet will serve as Senior Day for the Class of 2014, which will try to go out as the third-straight class to win Ivy League championships in each of its four years.