The men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams started off the new year with dual meets at Cornell on Saturday, and saw opposite results. The men’s team fell to the Big Red 134–166 while the women won a decisive victory, winning all but four events to finish with a final score of 187–113.
The men came out to a hot start with four successive victories. Eric Olson ’11 won the 1-mtr diving event while Tyler Pramer ’14 won the 3-mtr diving event with scores of 289.13 and 333.90 respectively.
“Cornell has pretty good divers but our divers were great,” captain Kyle Veatch ’11 said. “We were ahead before the [swim] meet even started.”
The relay team of Jason Choi ’11, Chris Luu ’12, Veatch and Pat Killian ’14 began the swimming events with an exciting finish in the 200-yd medley relay. They clinched first in 1:34.03, only tenths of a second ahead of Cornell.
The meet continued to look good for the Yale men as Matt Lee ’11 and Mikey Bogese ’14 finished first and third respectively in the 1000-yd freestyle.
Despite strong performances by Killian, West Cuthbert ’14 and Ed Becker ’14 in the next event, the 200-yd freestyle, the Big Red disrupted the Bulldogs’ momentum and grabbed the victory in the event. Killian finished second in 1:43.42, Cuhtbert finished third in 1:44.50, and Becker finished fifth in 1:44.96.
The event was the turning point in the meet as Cornell went on to win the next three races.
Luu lead the charge for the Bulldogs in the breaststroke events but could not keep up with the final surges of Julian Chan of Cornell. Luu finished second in both the 100-yd and 200-yd breaststroke with times of 58.91 and 2:08.52 respectively.
Veatch continued his successful season in the sprint events, winning both the 50-yd freestyle and 100-yd butterfly with times of 21.30 and 50.11 respectively.
“I felt best in my 100 fly,” Veatch said. “I thought I swam well considering the ten days of hard swimming before hand. I should have won the 100 free though.”
Dean Holcomb of Cornell came from behind to win the 100-yd freestyle in 46.85, less than three-tenths of a second ahead of Veatch.
The Bulldogs needed strong swims from the distance trio, Lee, West Cuthbert ’14 and Bogese, in the 500-yd freestyle to keep within striking distance of the Big Red. Cornell, however, had two touches go in their favor, leaving the Bulldogs with a 2-4-5 finish. Lee touched in 4:39.18, four tenths behind first place. Cuthbert finished in 4:44.62, less than three tenths behind third place, and Bogese finished in 4:45.37.
“That was the nail in the coffin,” explained Veatch. “We put up a strong fight but just couldn’t do it.”
The women had a different fate.
They were propelled to a 187-113 victory by Molly Albrecht ’13, Hayes Hyde ’12, Athena Liao ’12, and Rachel Rosenberg ’12, who won two individual events each.
“It’s been since the beginning of December since they’ve swum a meet,” head coach Cristina Teuscher said. “They stepped up and did really well. I’m really excited and proud of them.”
Despite the meet’s conclusive final score, the Bulldogs were challenged in the beginning. The relay team of Cynthia Tsay ’13, Liao, Hyde, and Joan Weaver ’13 were touched-out in the 200-yd medley relay. They finished second in 1:46.38, less than three tenths off of first place.
That initial loss was quickly remedied in the 1000-yd freestyle. Abby Nunn ’12, Angela Lee ’14 and Maggie Brown ’13 placed first, third, and fourth respectively. And the Bulldogs never looked back from there.
They went 1-2-3 in the 200-yd freestyle. Albrecht won the event in 1:52.24 as teammates Ileana Lucos ’11 and Annie Killian ’11 finished second and third respectively.
Tsay continued the Bulldogs’ winning streak, placing first in the 100-yd backstroke in 58.25.
The most outstanding performances of the day belonged to Liao, who not only won two events but also broke two pool records. In the 100-yd breaststroke, Cornell sophomore Jessie Holley matched Liao stroke-for-stroke through the first two laps but could not hold on as Liao pulled ahead in the final two laps to win with a pool-record time of 1:03.94.
No competitor came close to Liao in the 200-yd breaststroke. She took the lead from the start and won by over eight seconds with a time of 2:16.47, an NCAA B cut and pool record. The previous record was held by standout Yale swimmer Susan Kim ’10.
“I was really excited because when I touched the wall after both my races, I didn’t expect to see those times up there [on the scoreboard],” Liao remarked elatedly. “Hopefully it’s a good sign for the rest of the season.”
The Bulldogs had two more 1-2-3 finishes. In the 100-yd freestyle, Weaver, Erica Kao ’12 and Michelle Huang ’14 finished in 53.66, 54.14, and 54.21 respectively. And in the 500-yd freestyle, Killian, Weaver and Courtney Randolph ’14 touched in 5:09.28, 5:09.38, and 5:10.94 respectively.
Hyde touched first in both the 200-yd butterfly and 200-yd individual medley.
“I’m pleased,” Hyde said. “This meet was about getting into the habit of racing. Doing everything right, tactically and mentally. Everyone did really well.”
Rosenberg also was a double winner. She won both the 1-mtr and 3-mtr diving events with scores of 275.93 and 299.03 respectively.
The women hope to continue their winning streak next Saturday when both the men’s and women’s teams have home meets against University of Pennsylvania and Dartmouth.
“There’s a great team atmosphere,” Teuscher said. “We need to keep the pace going and keep everyone healthy. We’ll take one meet at a time.”