Interview: Zac Ranta (Harvard diver)
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- After nearly three days of
swimming and diving at the Blodgett Pool, the 2011 Ivy League
Championships came down to the final race – the 400 freestyle
relay. In the end the Princeton Tigers held off a captivating late
charge by the Harvard to claim their third consecutive title,
edging the Crimson by just 5.5 points.
Entering the final night of the 2011 Championship, Princeton held a 33.5 point lead over Harvard and extended its lead to 81.5 points with three events to go. But strong showings by the Crimson in the 200 fly and on the one-meter boards cut the Tiger lead to a mere 7.5 points meaning the championship came down to the 400 free relay, where first place was worth 64 points and second worth 56. Harvard needed to win to return the title to Cambridge, but in the end Columbia played the role of spoiler, winning the relay in wire-to-wire fashion (2:54.83). Coupled with Princeton’s third place finish (2:58.18), Harvard finished the relay (2:57.95) and meet in second.
Led by individual award winners Adam Powell and Hyun Lee, Columbia finished third with 1,078.5 points. Powell won the Harold Ulen Award as the Career High Point Swimmer, while Lee took home the Phil Moriarty Award as the High Point Swimmer of the Meet. Additionally, Princeton’s Stephen Vines was named the Karl B. Michael Award winner as the High Point Diver of the Meet, while Harvard’s Zac Ranta took home the Ron Keenhold Award as the Career High Point Diver.
The evening session kicked off with Powell doing a 50 free time trial and he recorded a 19.62, which could turn out good enough to get him to NCAAs.
Next, Dartmouth freshman Nejc Zupan continued his reign over the distance free events, opening the night with a win in the 1,000 in a time of 9:03.37 en route to becoming this year’s second two-time winner at the championships, having won last night’s 1,650 free. With the win, Zupan also became Dartmoyth’s first 1,000 free champion. He also ended a stretch of six straight years in which a Harvard swimmer took the 1,000 free. Princeton freshman Paul Nolle finished second in 9:06.61, while Harvard’s Wes Stearns finished third in 9:07.91.
In the 200 back, Princeton junior Colin Cordes defended his 2010 Ivy title, winning in 1:44.55 to set a pool record. The Tigers went one-two in the event as sophomore Kaspar Raigla finished second in 1:46.76. Harvard junior Robert Newell placed third in 1:48.70. Cordes became the first Tiger to win two 200 back championship races since Dan Veatch won in 1985 and ’86.
In the 100 free final, Powell entered as the top qualifier and ended up defending his title from last year in a time of 43.26. He joined Zupan and Lee as two-time individual champions at this season’s event with the win. In second was Harvard freshman Chris Satterwaith with a time of 44.76, followed by Princeton’s Mike Monovoukas, who finished third in 44.77.
In the 200 breast Penn junior Brendan McHugh and Princeton junior Jonathan Christensen dueled it out. They were even with 25 yards remaining, but in the end Christensen won in a meet and Ivy record time of 1:56.33. McHugh finished second in a time of 1:56.77, followed by Brown’s Conor Carlucci, who placed third in 1:59.85. Christensen broke his own record, which he previously set at 1:56.42 when he won the championship race in 2009.
Princeton entered the 200 fly leading by 81.5 points on the team scoreboard, but the Crimson had hope as they boasted two finalists in the event to Princeton’s zero. Harvard was able to start making its move as the Harvard duo of Niall Janney (1:48.84) and Nicholas Tan (1:49.73) placed third and fourth, respectively, to give Harvard 53 points from the 200 fly final, helping cut the Tiger lead 34.5. Columbia’s Lee won the 200 fly by building a body length lead at 100 yards and closing out his third win as many nights in 1:46.36. Brown freshman Tommy Glenn turned in a 1:47.88 to finish second.
On the one-meter boards, Harvard’s Michael Stanton took the title with 327.27 points and helped continue Harvard’s late title push. Princeton’s Vines finished second with 320.88 points.
Columbia then captured the 400 free, breaking Princeton’s streak of winning the championships’ first four relays.
Swimmers and Divers who won a championship race will be named to the All-Ivy first team, while those placing second will earn All-Ivy second team honors.
High Point Diver of
the Meet -- Karl B. Michael Award
Stephen Vines, Princeton
High Point Swimmer -- Phil Moriarty Award
Hyun Lee, Columbia
Career High Point Diver -- Ron Keenhold Award
Zac Ranta, Harvard
Career High Point Swimmer -- Harold Ulen Award
Adam Powell, Columbia
1. Princeton -- 1,400
2. Harvard -- 1,394.5
3. Columbia -- 1,078.5
4. Yale -- 878.5
5. Penn -- 840
6. Cornell -- 812.5
7. Dartmouth -- 729
8. Brown -- 723