PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island, March 9. EAGER to win a fifth consecutive Ivy League men's team title, the Princeton Tigers put in a strong rally on the second day of competition at the swimming and diving conference championships.
Trailing Harvard by 44 points after day one, Princeton now leads the team standings by 23 points over the Crimson, 972-949. The meet is essentially a two-team race, with Columbia University well back in third with 756 points.
Friday's session began with the 200 medley relay, Princeton taking the win in an automatic NCAA qualifying time of 1:26.25. Harvard gave Princeton a run in the breaststroke and butterfly legs, but could only muster a second-place time of 1:27.47. Dartmouth was third with a 1:27.80.
The Ivy League also features a 1000-yard freestyle, giving the swimmers the rare opportunity to race the event in a championship format. (The 1000 free is not swum at the Division I NCAA championships.) Yale's Rob Harder won the event in 9:01.36, following up on his 500 free victory. Penn's Chris Swanson led for 950 yards, but missed out on the conference title by .04 with a 9:01.40. Steven Kekacs of Harvard was third in 9:03.38.
Nejc Zupan made it a sweep of the individual medley events with a 400 IM win in 3:44.39, missing the automatic qualifying standard by five tenths of a second. Zupan does not need to worry about making it into the NCAA meet, as his 1:53.87 in the 200 breast from December gives him an automatic invite. Placing second behind Zupan was Harvard's Christian Carbone with a 3:48.77, and Daniel Hasler of Princeton was third with a 3:49.71.
Brown's Tommy Glenn scored the first individual automatic NCAA qualifying time of the meet with a 100 fly winning time of 45.80. That puts him third in the country, just ahead of Arizona's Giles Smith (45.81) and behind national leader Tom Shields of UC-Berkeley (44.92). Columbia's David Jackl dipped under 47 seconds with a runner-up time of 46.96, and Mike Dominski of Yale was third with a 47.82.
Chris Sattherthwaite got a win for Harvard in the 200 freestyle with a 1:35.00, using a powerful third 50 yards to beat Columbia's Domink Koll's 1:36.12. Koll's teammate John Wright was third in 1:36.56
Chuck Katis of Harvard and Byron Sanborn of Princeton battled in the 100 breast, with Katis getting the conference title in 53.90 ahead of Sanborn's 53.94. Kyle Yu of Penn settled for third with a 54.37.
Princeton's Michael Strand got the victory in the 100 backstroke with a 47.43 to hold off a final 25-yard challenge by Dartmouth's James Verhagen, who placed second with a 47.55. Mike Dominski earned another bronze-medal finish after the 100 fly with a 48.02.
Princeton, Columbia and Harvard battled in the session's final event, the 800 free relay. Princeton held off hard-charging anchor legs by Columbia and Harvard to get the crucial relay win with a 6:26.87 Columbia just out-touched Harvard with a 6:27.82, while Harvard settled for third with a 6:27.51.