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Men...s Water Polo Team Aims to Beat Harvard Again

By Travis Johnson

MIT and Harvard are academic rivals, competing in the Putnam math competition and for magazine rankings, but are not traditionally athletic rivals. Too few Engineer teams can compete with their Division I Crimson counterparts.

One team that can and does compete is Men’s Water Polo, and over the past few years the teams have built an athletic intra-Cambridge rivalry.

Like Michigan measuring a season by the Ohio State games, Water Polo Coach Felix Mercado says, “our seasons are always measured by our head-to-head match-ups versus Brown and Harvard. Last year we swept Harvard and they are looking for some payback.”

Beating Harvard will be a challenge this year; the Engineers lost their top two scorers from last season, John H. Rogers ’06 and Grady A. Snyder ’06, to graduation.

Mercado hopes that last year’s third leading scorer Mike S. Bronstein ’09 and a promising class of 12 incoming freshmen can pick up the slack this year.

With so much new blood, it will be something of a rebuilding year for the Engineers. Mercado says, “my goal for the season is to not only rebuild our program but set the foundation for a future powerhouse.”

Don’t worry, team members are still gunning for Harvard, who they will play at home Oct. 5. A week later MIT hosts Brown, its other big rival. The Engineers open the season with a big test at the Navy Invitational, where they will compete against three of the top-20 ranked Division I teams, including number two, University of California-Berkeley.