The men’s swimming and diving team notched the Bucknell Invitational title last weekend and took down Ivy rival Columbia on Nov. 10. With a strong early start, the Bulldogs are very optimistic about this season. Team captain Jared Lovett ’13 from Abingdon, Va. sat down with the News to discuss the team’s prospects for the future and his captaincy.
Q: How is the season going so far? How was the Bucknell Invitational last weekend?
A: It was good. The season is good. We beat Columbia. And the Bucknell Invitational was a new experience as we raced with a new group of people.
Q: What is your position exactly? Freestyle, individual medley, backstroke, butterfly?
A: I cover all four, but I’d say butterfly and IM.
Q: How would you describe your leadership style? Do things feel different as a senior captain?
A: I have a bigger role in the team. I have more responsibility and have to show the young guys how to do it, but I haven’t changed much. I am more vocal than in the past.
Q: What is a typical swimming practice like? What are some of the focuses in practice?
A: We have eight practices a week. Two to three lifts. Daily practice is two hours long. We do warm up, pre-set, main set and cool down.
Q: Is there anything special that the head coach emphasizes? Any specific strategies that he uses during practice?
A: He came in at a weird situation two years ago. He had to change the mentality of the team and make the players actually come to practice. He shifted the focus to team instead of individual, whereas we had a lot of people in the old mindset.
Q: What have been the team’s strengths?
A: Stroke-wise we are really strong. IM breaststrokes. We’ve filled the holes in the past years. Maybe we need more depths, but we are solid. Freestyle swimmers are also really strong. We are strong, and depth is the focus.
Q: When did you start swimming?
A: I did summer league when I was four. My babysitter wanted to send the kids somewhere, so that’s how I began. Then I started doing it seriously since 11 in a year-round swim program. I have also played basketball and soccer before.
Q: Tell me about your high school swimming days. Did it help in any way in preparing you to become a better swimmer at Yale?
A: Definitely yes. My club team coach influenced me a lot in my life. He prepared to me swim at a higher level. I’m not a naturally gifted person, but the hard work that my coach emphasized made me a better swimmer.
Q: Tell me about your most memorable match or moment.
A: Personally, my freshman year getting into the final heat of the Ivy conference. In terms of team, beating Columbia last year. We hadn’t beat them since I was here, and last year [we] beat them.
Q: Who was the toughest to play against? Which team do you consider as the Bulldogs’ biggest rival?
A: Columbia is our biggest rival, and Harvard and Princeton are the toughest. They are a lot deeper than us — 12 people recruited whereas Yale only has eight recruits. But I think we are good.
Q: How would you describe the team dynamic between the swimmers and divers? Can you tell me more about how diving score works?
A: Swimming and diving are separate. Two teams have separate points, and we later combine them. We practice from 4 and the diving team practices before us. We are really close to them and feel grateful. We also make an effort to hang out together often.
Q: What are some of the team’s big goals for the season? What is your personal goal?
A: Teamwise, we want to finish top three in Ivies. We’d like to improve our dual record and keep moving in the top. I want to finish the year at the top eight Ivies and finish swimming at a high note.
Q: Who do you look up to — a possible role model?
A: Club coach back home, Bob O’Donnell. He was a really good swimmer back in high school and college, and was also a great athlete. I looked up to him so much and he just taught me so much.
Q: What else do you do on campus besides swimming?
A: I work at the Rudd Center — I work on food policy and do research there. I was the club swimming coach last year.
Q: Most of the matches are away. Will this affect the team at all?
A: For HYP tri-meet and Penn and Dartmouth, we switch back and forth, but there should be no influence.