Snow fails to freeze Bulldogs

Though last Friday’s blizzard halted SAT testing in the area from Hall High School in West Hartford to Hopkins School in New Haven, the whiteout conditions tested but did not break the Yale men’s swimming team’s resolve at the Nutmeg Invitational this weekend.

Over the three-day invitational held at the Kiphuth Exhibition Pool, the Bulldogs won four individual events and topped the 400-yard freestyle relay.

Captain Alex Nash ’04 took two individual wins, while Matt Bowman ’04 and Kent Garber ’07 won the 200-yard and 1650-yard freestyle races, respectively.

Nash finished first in both the 100-yard and 200-yard backstroke, with times of 51.28 and 1:51.79, respectively. He also showed his all-around talent in other strokes, finishing third in both the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 51.95 and the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 4:38.88. In addition, he aided the 200-yard medley relay team — together with Bowman, Tom Hardy ’06 and Matthew Thunell ’07 — which finished second with a time of 1:37.05.

When asked about his impressive individual performances, the captain humbly admitted that while it felt good to win, he would like to see the team train harder and swim faster over and after winter break.

“[The Nutmeg Invitational] marked the halfway mark of the season,” Nash said. “But we still need to work very hard if we are going to do well against Ivy League schools next semester. I think we have shown that we can swim fast, and it is up to us [now] to beat teams which we couldn’t beat before.”

In other races, Bowman won the 200-yard freestyle for the Bulldogs, posting a time of 1:56.24. Rookie Andrew Foss ’07 came in third in the same race, only .07 of a second behind Bowman’s winning time. Bowman also came in second in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 48.26. In addition, he led the victorious 400-yard freestyle relay team that consisted of Foss, Kieran Locke ’06 and Tom Hardy ’06. The relay team posted a winning time of 3:11.25.

Meanwhile, in other races, Cameron Hendrick ’06 came in third in the 200-yard breaststroke in 2:14.37, while Tom Lopez ’05 finished third in the 200-yard fly with a time of 1:59.92.

After some impressive swims at the Maine meet less than two weeks ago, Yale’s rookies are still showing promise. Kent Garber ’07 and Mark Fisher ’07 finished first and second in the 1650-yard freestyle with times of 16:07.85 and 16:31.21, respectively.

Geof Zann ’07, who came first in the 200-yard freestyle against Maine, switched strokes but still swam well to earn a third place finish in the 200-yard backstroke behind Nash, with a time of 1:56.24. Like all the other rookies on the team, Zann is keen on spending the first New Year holiday with the squad during their annual training trip to be held in Puerto Rico this year.

The Bulldogs will commence their training camp on Dec. 29 and will swim against Army on Jan. 3.

“I am so excited about [the Puerto Rico trip],” Zann said, “I am looking forward to having a good time there, but we also need to work very hard.”

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