For the longest time, it just seemed like a record that wasn’t ever going to fall. In 1991, American’s Sergio Lopez (yes, American was a part of the EISL all those years ago) ripped through the waters and unloaded a 1:57.93. It was a time that seemingly stood the test of time. Even as technology improved and athletes got bigger and stronger, nobody was even sniffing the record, let alone challenging it.
And it wasn’t even the all-time best time in the event for an Ivy/EISL meet — that one is even older (John VanSant’s 1:57.65 in 1987).
So when the 200y Breaststroke arrived on the slate, nobody really thought that this year would be any different. Records were breaking left and right, but this was that untouchable mark. Everyone knew that it was a futile chase.
Someone should have alerted the freshmen.
With a seemingly blatant disregard for history and everything that is associated with it, not one but two freshman went under the existing meet and League records: newly minted 100y Breaststroke champ Brendan McHugh (Penn) and Princeton’s Jonathan Christensen.
In that previous write-up of the 100y race, I noted that this discipline would be fun to watch for the next three years…
Well forget about the future, this party is well on its way. Christensen exacted a bit of revenge against his Quaker counterpart after qualifying a mere .03 behind in the preliminary.
Christensen’s exploits — to the tune of 1:56.42 — were a thing of beauty. After falling behind early in the race to McHugh, Jonathan took to reeling the speedster in. And thanks to a 30.04 third leg (to McHugh’s 30.51) and a 30.30 final leg (to McHugh’s 31.09), the Princeton Tiger did just that.
McHugh finished in 1:56.98.
Quite a race from both competitors. And suddenly this battle of freshman became a full on 15-round prize fight. But don’t sleep on the third freshman in the Breaststroke equation, Michael Cai. The Big Red youngster took third with a 1:58.95.
To view the race in its entirety, head to FloSwimming.com.