The Yale swim teams did not have to worry about adding holiday pounds this winter break as they spent a week and a half enduring two-a-day practices in Puerto Rico.
The hard work paid off for both the men’s and the women’s teams. The Eli men (5-0, 1-0 Ivy) competed Saturday at Navy’s Lejeune Hall, beating both the U.S. Naval Academy, 143-100, and Ivy rival Cornell, 137-106. The women (3-0, 1-0 Ivy) took on the Big Red at home Sunday with similar results, dominating 179-114.
The Bulldogs took first place in 12 of 16 events, including all five freestyle individual events and both events in the fly and diving. Paige Harazin ’04 was a key figure in the sprints, taking the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 24.97 seconds and the 100-yard free with a time of 54.25 seconds. Captain Emily Fain ’02 contributed to the freestyle victories, winning the 200 with a time of 1:55.65.
Despite praise for the solid performances in almost every category, Fain felt this win was not the peak of the team’s potential. She pointed out that the Bulldogs were tired and worn down after the Puerto Rico experience.
“We swam fast enough considering that we just came back from a training trip,” Fain said.
Allison Rogers ’05, the champion in the 1,000-yard freestyle, agreed.
“In Puerto Rico we were able to train uninterrupted because we didn’t have school hanging over our heads,” Rogers said. “But the results were hard to tell [because] our bodies were really torn up.”
Rogers added that the trip provided excellent motivation for the team, boosting morale with outdoor practices in the warm climate. Her own times against Cornell — 10:29.85 in the 1,000 and a third-place 5:14.50 in the 500-yard freestyle — were not faster than those of December, but she felt more satisfied mentally.
“I was not thrilled about my time, but I liked the way I felt,” Rogers said.
The men’s performances in their dual meet against the Naval Academy and Cornell were equally successful.
The Bulldogs placed first in eight of 11 events. Several Elis dominated their categories. Josh Gallant ’04 won the 1-meter dive by over 20 points and the 3-meter by almost eight. The frontrunner in the freestyle was Michael Schulte ’02, who won the 200-, 400- and 800-meter freestyles.
Jack Cooney ’04, the victor in the 200-meter individual medley, felt the match was more difficult than previously anticipated.
“[We were] all pretty beaten down,” Cooney said. “It was closer than expected.”
Head coach Frank Keefe was pleased by the overall performance under the circumstances.
“The kids handled things very well,” Keefe said. “Those two teams were very good.”
Yet Keefe expects both the men and the women to improve as the last three weeks of the season continue.
“[Puerto Rico] didn’t help those meets at all. They were pretty tired and pretty sore,” Keefe said. “We swam slower than we did at the beginning of December. We’ll get better as the week goes on.”
The Bulldogs have a chance to test their mettle this week with meets against Army, Fordham, Fairfield and Lehigh.
This hectic schedule does not daunt the Elis.
“I think we’ll do really well in all of our meets,” Fain said.