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March 3, 2011

Powell, Lee and Christensen Win Titles to Open the Men's Swimming and Diving Championships

Complete Results // Day One Gallery

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- The 2011 Ivy League Men's Swimming and Diving Championships got off to an exciting start on Thursday from Harvard's Blodgett pool, highlighted by a pair of individual title defenses as Columbia senior Adam Powell defended his 50 free title, while Princeton junior Jonathan Christensen won the 200 IM for the second year in a row.

Columbia senior Hyun Lee was the other individual winner, taking home the 500 free title, while Princeton won both the 200 free and 400 medley relays behind impressive anchor swims from junior Colin Cordes.

Through the first day's swimming events, Princeton leads in the team standings with 364 points, followed closely by Harvard (341). Columbia is in third with 237 points, followed by Cornell (215.5), Penn (209), Yale (192), Brown (189) and Dartmouth (166.5).

In the first event of the night, the 200 free relay, Columbia jumped out to a lead behind the swims of Powell and John Wright. But Princeton's Michael Monovoukas and Cordes, who combined to swim the final 100, were able to catch and pass the Lions to give the Tigers the first win of the 2011 Championships.

In the 500 free, Hyun Lee entered with the best seedtime from the morning preliminaries (4:24.68) and he jumped out to a huge lead, earning the win in a time of 4:20.11. Lee is the first Lion to win the 500 free since 1983, when Ivy legend Tony Corbisiero won the second of his back-to-back 500 free titles. Wes Stearns of Harvard (4:24.98) and Paul Noelle of Princeton (4:25.67) finished second and third, respectively.

In the 200 IM, Christensen successfully defended his title, finishing in a time of 1:45.91 to become the first back-to-back 200 IM champion since Harvard's Geoff Rathgeber won four in a row from 2005-08. Penn's Brendan McHugh (1:47.28) finished second, followed by Princeton's Colin Hanna (1:47.97) in third.

In the crowd favorite 50 free, defending champion Powell took to the pool with the top seedtime from the morning session of 19.84. Powell led at the turn and held off Harvard freshman Oliver Lee to win the race in 19:74, marking his second top-10 meet time in the 50 free. It also gave Columbia two individual champions in the meet's first three races. Oliver Lee placed second with a time of 20:13. Princeton's Geoffrey Faux, who finished second in 2010's 50 free, placed third this year with a 20:19 mark.

In three-meter diving consolation finals, Harvard sophomore Michael Stanton finished with an impressive score of 366.87. Columbia sophomore Jason Collazo finished second in the consolation finals with a 307.11 mark, followed by Penn junior Alex Marple, who scored a 279.33.  

In the 400 Medley Relay, Princeton held off a late charge from Columbia and a Penn team that hung with the Tigers leg-for-leg. The Tigers' winning time was 3:13.61, while Columbia finished second in 3:14.27, with Penn's time of 3:15.23 good for third.

Day two of the 2011 Ivy League men's swimming and diving will begin at 11:00 a.m. with the 400 IM preliminary races. Tomorrow's championship session begins at 6:00 p.m.

Team Standings (through day one's swimming events)
1. Princeton, 364
2. Harvard, 341
3. Columbia, 237
4. Cornell, 215.5
5. Penn, 209
6. Yale, 192
7. Brown, 189
8. Dartmouth 166.5