SWIMMING | Elis down SCSU, look ahead to Lions

After successful tri-meet scrimmages against Lehigh and Colgate two weeks ago, the Yale men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams put forth dominant efforts in a scrimmage against Division II Southern Connecticut State University last Friday at SCSU in New Haven.

The men’s team won its meet 235–59 and the women’s team prevailed 222–77. Both teams placed a swimmer in the top two in each event, and Yale took multiple spots in most events.

While the weekend’s results are encouraging, the meet was little more than a stepping stone in the Elis’ seasons. The Bulldogs were hardly underdogs going into this scrimmage against the second-tier Owls — and the score reflected the disparities between the teams.

The Elis approached the meet hoping to make progress on their individual races and ready themselves for the start of the season.

“The team raced harder and smarter, and we showed progress,” Courtney Randolph ’14 said. “At this early stage of the season, improvement from week to week is indicative of our training.”

The women’s team finished third at the Ivy League Championships last year. Randolph said that the Bulldogs are going to have to see improvements from more than just their top swimmers to repeat that performance.

“We will need girls scoring in the second through fifth positions,” Randolph added.

The men’s team also had a strong season last year, finishing fourth at the Ivies behind perennial powerhouses Harvard and Princeton. The team hopes to finish even stronger this year and potentially challenge one of the top two teams.

“Our ultimate goal is to get third or above at the Ivy League Championship,” Mike Lazris ’15 said.

The Elis will begin this season’s journey with their first meet this Saturday against Columbia. The Lions finished just ahead of the men’s team at third at the Ivies last year and just behind the women’s team in fourth, separated by only 18.5 points.

Lazris said a tense rivalry has developed between the two schools over the past five years.

“Our meet against them is usually the most important of the year,” Lazris said. “This weekend will set a tone for the rest of the season.”

Randolph said she expects the race to be close as the two teams are “pretty evenly matched.”

Both the men’s and women’s teams bring impressive freshman groups into this season. The 2016 men’s recruiting class was ranked No. 25 in the country, and three of the freshmen on the women’s team competed in last year’s U.S. Olympic Team Trials.

The Yale women will face off against Columbia at home on Friday at 4 p.m., and the men will take to the pool the following day at 2 p.m.

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