Two weekends ago, instead of staying in New Haven for The Game like much of the Yale student body, the men’s and women’s swimming teams took the reverse trip, traveling to Boston, Mass., for the Terrier Invitational meet.
Despite neither team claiming victory, the men’s team improved on last year’s performance by one spot, placing fourth out of six, and the women’s team finished second after a dominant final day.
The women’s team capped off a strong performance throughout the weekend, winning four events on Sunday. But despite seven individual event victories and one relay win in total, the Bulldogs were edged out by hosts Boston University by a score of 819.5–779.
Alex Forrester ’13 bested BU’s Emily Munday by .21 seconds to win the 100-yard freestyle, and also took first place in the 100- and 200-yard butterfly. In the 200, the second-place time was almost 4 seconds behindForrester’s.
“Alex is a strong swimmer and is setting a high standard, and other freshman are stepping up to meet it,” Hayes Hyde ’12 said. “Joan Weaver [’13] swam very well in the 1,650-yard freestyle, and Molly Albrecht ’13 won in the 200-yard backstroke.”
Ileana Lucos ’11 and Cynthia Tsay ’13 also helped the Elis in the 100-yard freestyle by placing 10th and12th, respectively. Lucos, Monica Tung ’13 and Hyde took third through fifth spots in the 200–yard butterfly, respectively. Yale also placed first in the 200-yard backstroke with Albrecht’s two–second win over BU’s Katie Radin. The Elis’ final victory came from veteran Susan Kim ’10 in the 200-yard breaststroke.
Overall, it was the depth of the Bulldog squad that prevented the team from leaving Boston victorious — Yale won four events on Sunday compared to BU’s two (1650-yard freestyle and 400-yard freestyle relay). The team’s final standing, however, was Yale’s main priority, Hyde said.
“This was a chance for us to race strong teams from outside our league and focus on improving our individual times,” she said. “Our goal was not necessarily to win the meet but to get prepared for the Ivy Championships, which have the same event order.”
The Terrier Invitational is the only race before the spring Ivy League championships that feature preliminary races and finals, multiple teams and the same races found in the Ivy League championships.
The men’s team ended the three-day meet with 731.5 points — only 10 points behind third place Maine and 20 behind second place Boston College. Considering Yale was missing top swimmers such as Goksu Bicer ’12 and Kyle Veatch ’11 in the butterfly and freestyle events, the Bulldogs raced strong through Sunday. And other swimmers stepped up to fill in the gaps, captain Tom Robinson ’10 said.
“Of course we felt some sort of loss with [Bicer and Veatch] not being there,” he said. “It’s tough for any team when two of your top players are missing, but I wouldn’t say our morale suffered. Everyone performed well and did the best they could to fill in any gaps.”
Bicer, who holds the Turkish national records in the 50- and 100-meter butterfly, was competing in an international meet for his native country, while Veatch is out with a back injury.
In Sunday’s first event, the exhausting 1650-yard freestyle, Matt Lee ’11 placed fourth, giving the Elis 15 points. In the next two races, the 200-yard backstroke and the 100-yard freestyle, Yale was unable to finish higher than seventh place.
Much like in the Columbia dual meet earlier in the season, the Bulldogs made a comeback in the later events. In the 200-yard breaststroke, four of the eight swimmers in Heat A were from Yale. The Elis claimed 57 points in this event alone after Chris Luu ’12 seized fourth, while Dom Kwok ’13, James Remigino ’13 and Craig Steen ’10 took fifth through seventh. Yale followed up with an equally impressive performance in the 200-yard butterfly. Scott Shinton ’12 won the event with a time of 1:52.16 — handing the Elis 20 points — while Lovett and Lugar Choi ’11 placed sixth and eighth, respectively. In the final event of the weekend, the 400-yard freestyle relay, Yale’s A squad placed third and the B squad took seventh, securing Yale’s fourth place overall finish.
“Although we finished fourth, we were the only team at the meet that was not tapered and shaved — this makes a big difference in times,” Choi said. “We didn’t wear [fast] suits in the Columbia meet either. I think coach wanted us to see that we improved not from new suits but from our workouts.”
Hyde said some swimmers will not have a chance to compete in certain events until the Ivy Championships.
“This was a great opportunity, especially for the freshman, to get mentally prepared and figure out what works and doesn’t,” Robinson added.
The following day, the men and women’s swimming and diving teams both came away with victory in a dual meet with Southern Connecticut. The men’s team won 178–120, improving its dual meet record to 1-1. Some new faces, such as Matt Altinok ’13, Sean Haufler ’13 and Aaron Seriff-Kullick ’13, stepped up to lead Yale to victory. The women’s team, despite many swimmers not competing in their normal races, came away winning 190–108.