While many Yalies were enjoying the last days of the break, the men’s and women’s swim teams were already back on campus, hosting a double dual meet against Cornell and Navy.
The women’s team started off the second half of their season with two wins over Cornell, 238-62, and Navy, 163-137, at the two-day home meet last weekend. The men’s team was able to beat Navy (211.5-88.5) but not Cornell (173-127), which took first-place finishes in 11 of the 16 events.
The women’s team’s victory over Navy was especially noteworthy because Navy’s team had been undefeated until this past weekend. Navy’s impressive 11-0 record prior to the weekend was indicative of the high level of competition, team members said.
“It was a really big meet because Navy has a completely new team from last year,” captain Meg Gill ’07 said. “Looking at their results from other meets, we knew Navy’s young team was going to be really good, so we had to swim our best swimmers and races to beat them.”
Although the Bulldogs were behind by 16 points after the first night and still six points behind halfway through the meet, they stepped up during the second half to win, team members said.
Jane Kim ’10 was the standout of the meet, winning all her individual events and swimming in the winning 400 freestyle relay. Kim placed first in the 100, 200 and 500 yard freestyle. Her personal best time (4:57.93) in the 500 free was particularly impressive because the team has not had anyone break the five-minute mark in the past couple years, even at championship meets.
Moira McCloskey ’07 won the 100 and 200 yard backstroke events in addition to swimming the first leg of the 200 medley relay.
“I think if we can keep the momentum going from this weekend and get better, we’ll have a very good chance at performing well at upcoming dual meets and Ivies,” McCloskey said. “This was an uplifting meet because we’re going into Penn with a confidence that will makes us work harder for the win.”
The men’s team faced intense competition from both teams, but captain Geof Zann ’07 said Cornell was particularly challenging, in part because the team had shaved, indicating just how important the Big Red considered the dual meet. The Bulldogs competed after intense training for eight days in Puerto Rico. Cornell’s smart strategic move made it tough for the Elis to race against their better-rested competitors.
“It was a pretty big meet,” captain Geof Zann ’07 said. “Going into it, Cornell and Navy were the teams to beat. We all knew what was at stake, so the meet was more intense and there were a lot of close results.”
Alex Righi ’09 gave an impressive performance by winning all the individual events he was entered in. He placed first in the 100 backstroke, 50 freestyle and 100 freestyle en route to setting a new pool record in the last event with a time of 44:30.
In addition to Righi’s pool record, two others were set by Cornell in the 200 breaststroke and the 200 medley relay. Zann said these multiple record finishes reflect the fast swimming, resulting in the intense competitive atmosphere.
Divers also added to the overall scores with solid performances. Doug Scott ’08 won the 3-meter event and qualified for the NCAA Diving Zones Competition.
This weekend, the Bulldogs will continue Ivy League competition when they travel to Philadelphia for a meet against Penn and Dartmouth. The women’s team is especially looking forward to the rematch, since the Bulldogs lost an extremely close meet to the Quakers last year.
“This is definitely going to be a revenge meet from last year,” Gill said. “I was anchoring the last relay that got out-touched at last year’s meet, so I’m pretty excited for the meet this weekend.”