Both the men’s and women’s swim teams entered the season with quite a splash this weekend, crushing Fairfield and Southern Connecticut.
Half of each team traveled to SCSU while the other half competed at Fairfield. Despite being separated by a couple dozen miles, the Bulldogs swept both schools without much challenge. The men’s team beat Fairfield by an impressive 151-37, and the women’s team dominated the Stags with an overall score of 137-47. Back in New Haven, the men’s and women’s teams also defeated Southern Connecticut with scores of 189-101 and 191-103, respectively.
The Bulldogs said they were happy to compete well in preparation for even stronger competition in the weeks to come. Although the closure of the Payne Whitney practice pool due to unsafe conditions two weeks ago disturbed the team’s practice schedule, the swimmers said they will be able to get the preparation they need to stary Ivy play
“As a team we stepped up and swam fast even though we had a really hard week of work,” captain Meg Gill ’07 said. “We swam faster than we had in our squad meet two weeks ago, which is really good because it shows progress and our ability to race well tired. We are ready for our meet next week against Columbia even with our broken pool situation.”
Gill won all four of the events in which she swam against SCSU, including her three individual events and the 100-yard medley relay. Other big contributors for the Elis at the Hutchinson Natatorium included long-distance swimmer Laura Strittmatter ’09, who won the 500-yard and 1000-yard freestyle events, and Brenna Davis ’09, who placed first in the 100- and 200-yard backstroke.
The men’s squad spread its success throughout the entire lineup, as eight swimmers won individual events against Southern Connecticut. Connor Murphy ’08 finished first in the 100- and 200-yard butterfly, while newcomer Craig Steen ’10 won the 200-yard breaststroke and contributed to the victorious effort in the 200-yard medley relay. Matt Sweitzer ’09, Tyler Schied ’09, Ilya Byzov ’09, Chris Dufek ’07, Dan Li ’09 and Andrew Foss ’07 rounded out the abundance of first-place winners.
“We swam pretty well and went into the meet really focused,” Schied said. “We did the best we could with the lack of competition. Everyone swam well for really not being focused on this meet as much as the upcoming meets.”
Not too far away, the other half of the men’s and women’s teams had even greater success against Fairfield. The female swimmers won every race except one. Individual victories were distributed among the classes, ranging from veterans Moira McCloskey ’07, Liz Berger ’07 and Tory Nelson ’07 to underclassmen Jane Kim ’10 and Sara Fracapane ’09.
“Though we were separated, we were united under one ideal to win our races and swim fast in a tired, hard-working atmosphere,” Gill said.
The men’s swimmers representing the Elis at Fairfield also displayed their team depth with events won by many different swimmers. Alex Righi ’09, Chris Pool ’09 and Dennen McCloskey ’09 all placed first in two individual events. Also taking first place in races against the Stags were Kyle McElroy ’09, Jack Hutchinson ’07 and Colin Stalnecker ’08.
“We all swam fast despite training through the meet,” Byzov said. “We are much more motivated this year as a team to focus a little more on dual meets and to be united behind our captain.”
All of the strenuous practices, plus the two local victories, have prepared the Bulldogs for their first Ivy League matchup of the season, a battle against the Columbia Lions this Friday at Kiphuth Pool.