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March 25, 2012

Christensen Stars to lead a Strong Ivy Showing at the 2012 NCAA Men's Swimming Championships

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FEDERAL WAY, Wash. -- The 2012 NCAA Championships were held on on March 22-24 at the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center and 12 Ivy League student-athletes took place in the championships, led by Princeton senior Jonathan Christensen and Penn senior Brendan McHugh, who earned individual All-American honors inclduing a first team honor for Chirstensen.

McHugh opened his 2012 NCAA Championships on Thursday with a 39th place showing in the 200 IM, an improvement of over half a second from the time that qualified him to compete in the event. Seeded 59th entering the 200 IM with a time of 1:48.11 from earlier this season, McHugh finished in 1:47.63.

Also on Thursday, Harvard’s 200-free relay team of Griffin Schumacher, Oliver Lee, Zach Walters and Chris Satterthwaite placed 20th in prelims with a time of 1:20.27. Lee, Satterthwaite and Schumacher also competed in the 50-free on Thursday, with Lee placing 50th with a time of 20.16. Satterthwaite placed 55th in 20.20, while Schumacher finished 68th in 20.50. Freshman Chuck Katis was the final member of Harvard's team to compete on day one, but he was disqualified for a false start in the 200 IM.

Princeton’s Paul Nolle, Jon Christensen and Harrison Wagner also swam on Thursday. Nolle, a sophomore, turned in a 41st-place showing in the 500-free with a time of 4:26.77. Senior Christensen then placed 41st in the 200 IM in 1:47.66 and Wagner then finished the 50-free in 20.05 to place 44th. The Tigers also took part in two relays on Thursday and edged closer to the top-16. The 200-free relay team of Kaspar Raigla, Wagner, Michael Strand and Christensen placed 22nd in a time of 1:20.85. Then in the 400 medley relay, the Tigers’ team of Strand, Christensen, Raigla and Wagner placed 17th in 3:13.64 to narrowly miss All-America honors.

On Friday morning in the 100-breast prelims, McHugh shaved .01 off his school record with a time of 53.03, placing him 10th in a field of 33 swimmers and earning him a spot in the consolation final. In the same event, Christensen also earned a spot in the consolation final as both he and McHugh finished less than a tenth of a second from qualifying for the championship final. Katis narrowly missed the cut for the consolation finals as his time of 53.62 also placed him 20th. In the consolation final, Christensen won the consolation final in a time of 52.95 and McHugh touched the wall with a time of 53.50 to finish 14th nationally. With finishes between ninth and 16th, the rivals earned Honorable Mention All-America status.

Also on Friday, the Princeton 200 medley relay team of Raigla, Christensen, Strand and Wagner posted a time of 1:26.80 in the consolation finals to place 11th and earn honorable mention status. Also earning Honorable mention All-American Accolades was Harvard’s 800-free relay team of Satterthwaite, Katis, Walters and Schumacher, who placed 13th with a time of 6:27.94.

Satterthwaite was also in action in the 200-free prelims and just missed qualifying for the finals by placing 20th in 1:35.81.

Brown's Tommy Glenn also swam on Friday and the sophomore finished 26th in the the 100-fly with a time of 47.32.

Saturday was highlighted by Christensen finishing seventh in the 200-breast after he touched the wall in 1:55.20 in the championship final. Earlier in the day, he set a Princeton and Ivy League record with a prelim time of 1:54.80. With the top-eight showing, he earned first-team All-American honors.

Another high point for the Ivy League on Saturday night was Harvard's top-16 showing in the 400-free. Schumacher, Katis, Lee and Satterthwaite placed 16th to earn honorable mention All-American honors, finishing the consolation final in 2:55.18.

Glenn then capped off an impressive sophomore year with a 13th-place finish in the 200-fly, good for honorable mention All-America honors. He touched in at 1:44.60. Not to be outdone, McHugh also earned an honorable mention accolade on Saturday night when he placed 14th in the 200-breast with a time of 1:55.82.

Three other Tigers also had individual swims on Saturday, including Noelle, who finished 25th in the mile with a time of 15:13.96. Raigla placed 32nd in the 200-back in 1:46.99, and Strand finished 29th in the 100-back with a time of 48.18. Strand, Christensen, Raigla and Wagner also combined to place 23rd in the 400-free relay with a time of 3:00.75.