Elis fall to Ivy foes before conference championships

The Robert J.H. Kiphuth Exhibition Pool was just not big enough for the three of them.

The Bulldogs hosted both Harvard and Princeton this weekend, only to be defeated by both in their home pool. The men’s team fell to Harvard, 125.5-227.5, and to Princeton, 140-213. The dual meet brought the Elis their first two conference losses of the season. The women’s team did not fair much better, also losing to both the Tigers and the Crimson.

“We had some good swims and some great efforts,” Susan Kim ’10 said. “As we expected, Princeton really took over the show with their talent and depth. But we swam incredibly well against Harvard. We were very satisfied with the results of our Harvard-Yale meet.”

With the conference championships still four weeks away, the team has been maintaining its intense training schedule in order to be prepared to face the league’s top competitors.

“Our focus is really on the championship meets,” Kim said. “Our training has been tremendously rigorous, and we still have a lot of hard training left to do.”

The usual suspects were responsible for many of the Bulldogs’ points once again in this meet. Alex Righi ’09 beat out the competition in the 100-yard freestyle with a pool record time of 44.16. He also placed first in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 49.23 and the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 19.79. Thomas Robinson ’10 nabbed first in the 200-yard backstroke, beating the next swimmer by over two seconds.

On the diving boards, Jeffrey Lichtenstein ’08 dominated Crimson and Tiger opponents alike in the one- and three-meter dives. In both events, Lichtenstein beat the next-highest-scoring diver by over 58 points, earning 388.60 in the one-meter dive and 358.50 in the three-meter dive.

In the women’s competition, the Bulldogs were shut down by Princeton, who placed first in 14 of the 15 swimming events.

“On the women’s side, Princeton is always strong,” Kim said. “They will be Ivy League champion, no doubt. They not only have their superstars, but they’ve got the depth to back it up.”

Though unable to place first in a single event, several Elis still finished in top-three positions. In the 100-yard breaststroke event, captain Caroline Dowd ’08 and Kim came in second and third, with times of 1:.05.40 and 1:05.67, respectively. Kim also placed third in the 200-yard breaststroke and seventh in the 200-yard IM.

Alexis Mann ’09 swam a 24.22 in the 50-yard freestyle to come in second, and Brittany Iacouzze ’11 took second place in the distance 500-yard freestyle with a 4:54.58.

Although the Robert J.H. Kiphuth Exhibition Pool brings the advantage of familiarity to Yale’s teams, the pool has not undergone the renovations and technological improvements of the Princeton and Harvard facilities.

“Unfortunately, the pool setup we have at Yale is really outdated,” Matt Lee ’11 said. “To warm up for our races, we have to go from the basement to the third floor. It’s a huge pain.”

The losses of the weekend should serve as a good indication for both men’s and women’s swimmers of what the competition should be like in the conference championship at the end of February. Before then, the Bulldogs will face off against Connecticut this weekend and Brown the following weekend in Providence, R.I.

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