The men’s swimming team completed its season with a strong third-place finish at the Eastern Intercollegiate Swimming League Championship at the Nassau County Aquatics Center March 6 to March 8.
For the seventh time in the last eight years, Harvard was champion, followed closely by a very competitive Princeton squad. Though well behind the Tigers, the Bulldogs easily distanced fourth place Columbia.
“As a whole, we performed very well,” John Atkinson ’05 said. “Many of us had lifetime best performances.”
Captain Greg Palumbo ’03 and Alex Nash ’04 were the principle catalysts for Yale, reaching the finals in each of their three events.
Palumbo, in his last collegiate swimming meet, placed sixth in the 500-meter freestyle in 4:25.82, third in the 1,000 freestyle — setting a new school record of 9:08.49 — and second in the 1,650 freestyle in 15:17.54.
Nash placed fifth in the 100-meter butterfly in 48.90, fourth in the 100 backstroke in 49.21, and seventh in the 200 backstroke in 148.14.
Double finalists included Atkinson, who placed seventh in the 500 freestyle in 4:30.16, and eighth in the 1,650 freestyle in 15:40.23, and Jimmy Veazey ’04, who was seventh in the 100 butterfly in 49.29, and nearly equaled his school record in the 200 butterfly, swimming a 1:49.39, good for fifth place.
Jack Cooney ’04, fifth in the 200 freestyle, Matt Aldrich ’04, seventh in the 1,650 freestyle, and Aaron Lange ’03, swimming in his final meet as a Bulldog and placing seventh in the 50 freestyle, rounded out Yale finalists.
In addition to the individual successes, three Bulldog relays placed third. The 400-meter medley relay team of Nash, Tom Hardy ’06, Veazey, and James Cocks ’03 finished in 3:21.50; the 800 freestyle relay team of Cooney, Veazey, Palumbo, and Quinn Fitzgerald ’05 clocked a 6:39.78; and the 400 freestyle relay team of Veazey, Lange, Cooney, and Cocks finished the meet’s final event in 2:59.85.
These strong performances helped the Bulldogs remain competitive, without having a diver in either the 1-meter or 3-meter springboard events.
“We’ve always been at the top of the league, along with Harvard and Princeton, but this meet was a real eye-opener for us,” Atkinson said. “There was a strong showing by the fourth through eighth place teams.”
The final EISL result reflected the Bulldogs’ 11-2 regular season, where Yale lost dual meets to both Harvard and Princeton.
“I don’t think that anyone is completely satisfied. We know that there is something out there for this team to achieve,” Atkinson said. “We’re salivating at the chance to go at it again with these guys.”