MEN’S SWIMMING | Bulldogs dominate tri-meet

Rob Harder ’15 won both the 100-yard (51.11) and 200-yard (1:49.73) backstroke events on Saturday.
Rob Harder ’15 won both the 100-yard (51.11) and 200-yard (1:49.73) backstroke events on Saturday. Photo by Brianne Bowen.

After a weekend to refocus, the Yale men’s swimming team (7–0, 4–0 Ivy) headed to Piscataway, N.J., on Saturday for a tri-meet against Fordham and Rider. Coming off their closest win of the season against Dartmouth (154.5–145.5), the Elis came out on top against both schools, beating Fordham 201–97 and Rider 203–93.

The margins of victory against Fordham and Rider were the largest since the 213–87 victory against UMass Amherst on Dec. 1.

Head coach Tim Wise made the decision to change the lineup so that some of the Bulldogs competed in different events than they normally do. Undeterred, the team produced top-three finishes in every event, including 10 first-place finishes and sweeps of the top three spots in the 200-yard butterfly and 100-yard freestyle events.

Mike Lazris ’15, who normally swims backstroke and butterfly, came in second in the 100-yard freestyle, in between freestyle specialists Andrew Heymann ’15 and Victor Zhang ’16.

Alwin Firmansyah ’15 followed suit and finished first in the 100-yard freestyle, an event he swam for the first time on Saturday.

“Coach played around with the lineup,” Firmansyah said. “It was a lot of fun.”

Captain Jared Lovett ’13 said that although most incoming athletes are accustomed to swimming multiple events in high school, the rules allow competitors to swim only three individual events.

“Swimming is monotonous,” Lovett said. “This breaks up the monotony.”

The team produced an all-around effort, with contributions from Kevin Stang ’16 and Danny McDermott ’14, who finished first and second in the 400-yard IM, respectively. Rob Harder ’15 won both the 100-yard (51.11) and 200-yard (1:49.73) backstroke events.

In addition to dominating the swimming events, the Bulldogs had strong performances in the two diving events. Tyler Pramer ’14 finished first in the 3-meter diving event and second in the 1-meter event.

The strong performance was in no small part due to the team’s coaching. Lovett noted that having faith in the coaching staff is of the utmost importance at this point in the season.

“Tim is doing great with the team,” he said. “He’s really stepped up his game as a coach. He’s learned a lot from us as we have from him.”

The team will now look forward to the annual Princeton (5–0, 4–0 Ivy) and Harvard (6–0, 4–0 Ivy) meet coming up this weekend. The Bulldogs were undefeated last year (5–0) before dropping a meet to each of the two deep Ivy teams. The team finds itself in a similar position this year: undefeated, staring down two powerhouses. The difference this season lies in the new makeup of the team.

“We’re still trying to win, but the team dynamics are much different,” Lovett said. “It’s the name of the game in college. You lose seniors and get freshmen. But our focus stays the same.”

In exchange for losing several veteran swimmers, the Bulldogs have gained depth and youth in the nine freshmen that have made the team their home this season.

The Bulldogs will head to Princeton, N.J., to face Princeton and Harvard this Saturday.

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