Eli swimmers blow Lehigh out of the water

In its last meet before a string of tough league contests, the Yale women’s swim team dominated Lehigh 205-93 Saturday at the Kiphuth Exhibition Pool.

From the very outset, the Bulldogs (4-3) ran away with the meet. In winning all but one of the 14 events swum, the Elis took the top two spots in seven races and swept two more. Leading the Bulldogs were two double-winners — Paige Harazin ’04 won the 200- and 100-yard freestyles with times of 1:55.58 and 54.78, and teammate Cristina Hession ’07 won the 1000- and 500-yard freestyles with times of 10:12.94 and 5:02.98. The meet was Harazin’s third straight two-win performance.

“I see myself as someone who should be winning, setting the tone for meets,” Harazin said. “If I’m not winning, something’s wrong, and I should be trying to go faster.”

The Bulldog divers also put on a dominating performance. Melanie Loftus ’05, Kathleen McKeon ’04 and Liz Foglesong ’07 took the top three spots in the 1-meter competition, while Loftus and McKeon swapped the top two places with Foglesong again taking third in the 3-meter competition.

“We’ve typically done pretty well against Lehigh,” McKeon said. “I don’t know if we expected to go one, two, three on both boards, but we expected to do well.”

But despite the Bulldogs’ overwhelming victory this Saturday, Yale head coach Frank Keefe was not pleased with the way his team swam. When asked if he was happy with his team’s performance, Keefe’s response was unambiguous.

“No — they didn’t swim up to par,” Keefe said. “They do this next week and we’ll lose to Penn and possibly Dartmouth.”

Keefe went on to explain that he believes the team suffered from a lack of focus.

“They’ve got to focus about when to swim fast,” he said. “They can’t be selective. We have kids who made championships last year who may not even make the travel team this year.”

While Keefe may have been disappointed with how his team performed, his feelings were not shared by all.

“I don’t think the meet was a disappointment,” captain Amy Hancock ’04 said. “Every time you race, you can learn something. Most people came away with something they can work on this week in order to improve at Penn.”

While this weekend’s meet may or may not have been all that the Elis had hoped for, it is a given that the team must step it up in light of the extremely difficult schedule it faces over the next month. Next weekend, the Bulldogs travel to Philadelphia for a double-dual meet against Dartmouth and Penn. While the Bulldogs are ahead of both teams on paper — Penn is 3-4 and Dartmouth is 2-3 — both teams beat Cornell by a greater margin than the Elis did, and Penn defeated Columbia, one of the teams the Bulldogs have fallen to this season.

This weekend’s meet could quite conceivably be the toughest contest that the Elis have faced yet this season. Yet in their characteristically confident style, the Bulldogs seem more riled up than intimidated.

“The team is very excited about the meet this weekend,” Hancock said. “Penn is always tough, but if we pull together, we can definitely take them.”

A Yale swimmer prepares to compete in a backstroke event at a Saturday home meet against Lehigh, where the Elis dominated, winning 205-93.
Laura Warren
A Yale swimmer prepares to compete in a backstroke event at a Saturday home meet against Lehigh, where the Elis dominated, winning 205-93.

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