Peter Jasinski’s ’12 quest to see all of Yale’s 33 varsity sports teams compete began even before he stepped on Old Campus as a freshman.
The summer before his arrival at Yale, Jasinski received copies of the annual freshman issues that the News and the Herald had mailed out to all incoming members of the class of 2012.
One of the two publications — probably the Herald, Jasinski said — featured a bucket list of things for freshmen to do before their graduation. One of the items on that list caught Jasinski’s eye: see all of Yale’s 33 varsity sports teams compete.
And the idea stuck to Jasinski, an avid sports fan who has served as head intramural secretary in his time at Yale.
“I thought it would be something really fun to try over my four years,” he said. “I love watching sports, and I love supporting Yale, so it kind of aligned with my other interests.”
This past Sunday, Jasinski drove out to Branford to watch the coed sailing team race in the second Dave Perry Trophy. Though he has attended many sporting events during his time at Yale, this competition represented more than just another opportunity to support his fellow Bulldogs. Coed sailing was the last team on his list, and with this event, Jasinski completed the goal that he had set for himself four summers ago.
From the moment he set foot on campus, Jasinski wasted no time in his quest to see all the varsity teams in action. The first team that he crossed off his list was the football team after he watched the Bulldogs defeat Georgetown in their home opener. Little by little, he continued to knock other teams off his list.
Along the way, Jasinski has witnessed a number of exciting sporting competitions. He watched the men’s squash team’s faceoff against national powerhouse Trinity two years ago, was present last fall when women’s golf’s Seo Hee Moon ’14 broke the record for the lowest round of women’s golf ever played at the Yale Golf Course, and was in Bridgeport in March when Chad Ziegler ’12 scored an overtime goal to propel the men’s hockey team to a 2-1 victory over Air Force in the NCAA East Regional.
Alejandro Torres ’12, who often attends sporting events with Jasinski, said the goal has also encouraged him to attend a larger variety of sports events.
“The goal was a little surprising only because athletics unfortunately don’t play a very big part in student life on campus,” Torres said. “But I kind of knew that he would end up doing it. He actually inspired me to try to go out to the less-attended sports because it is a really cool way to support Yale.”
For the most part, Jasinski said the task was not too difficult because most teams compete in on-campus venues and have multiple home games during the year.
“Since I’ve been doing it since freshman year, it hasn’t been too hard for me,” he said. “It was really no hurdle to overcome.”
But teams that generally compete off campus presented a challenge to his ambitions.
Prior to entering his senior year, Jasinski consulted his list and realized that only four teams remained: coed and women’s sailing and the men and women’s cross country teams. Planning to go watch both sailing teams compete at their home venue was easy. But the cross country teams did not have a home meet scheduled this year. Still, Jasinski remained undeterred and decided to make the three-hour drive down to Princeton, N.J. to watch the Elis run in the Princeton Invitational on Oct. 15.
As a freshman counselor in Davenport, the opportunity to cheer on a few of his freshmen was another incentive to travel to New Jersey. Hannah Alpert ’15, a member of the cross country team and one of Jasinski’s freshman advisees, said he was probably the only Yale student who drove out to watch the team run.
“It was really cool,” Alpert said. “We don’t normally have a lot of student fans at the cross country meets because they’re really far away. It shows a lot of devotion. I was definitely excited to see him there.”
Along with exposure to new sports, Jasinski cited the opportunity to cheer on his friends — especially those on teams that generally do not traditionally field wide support — as one of the most rewarding parts of his goal.
“I’ve been at games when I’m the sole student cheering,” he said. “I’ll have friends on the team be like ‘Oh, we noticed you out there. Thanks for coming.’ It feels good to go out and support your friends who are on these teams and work really hard in practice all the time. They get to have someone out there as well.”