In last weekend’s electric Harvard-Yale-Princeton swim meet hosted in the Kiphuth Exhibition Pool, Andrew Heymann ’15 set a pool record in the 200-yard individual medley and a school record in the 100-yard breaststroke. The News caught up with Heymann to discuss Yale swimming’s most recent performance, his record-setting day and the present and future of Yale swimming.
Q. How do you think the team did in the Harvard-Yale-Princeton meet compared to the past?
A. The team did really well this year. I know the results are a little bit deceiving, but compared to how we usually do at that meet, we did really well this year and made the statement we wanted to. We were able to keep it close and earn a lot of wins against by far the best two teams in the league.
Q. What was your favorite part of the meet?
A. The best part of the meet was Brian Hogan’s ’16 1650-yard [freestyle]. He basically locked up a spot at NCAAs. He’s the first person that’s going to do that since we had an American record holder on the team six or seven years ago. He swam the fourth best time in the country this season.
Q. How did you feel breaking your school record in 100-yard breast?
A. It was better to win the race than to get the record. I know that I can go faster and put in the work but in that moment, winning the race in front of that crowd was way more important than the time was. The time is important at Ivy Championships and events like that but in this setting, winning the race was much more powerful.
Q. How did it feel to break the 200-yard IM pool record?
A. Same thing goes. It meant a lot more to win that race in front of everyone but since we don’t swim a bunch of championship-style meets, I know that one will be in the books for a while and be a record for hopefully some time.
Q. How do you feel about the future of Yale swimming?
A. The future of Yale swimming looks very good. It’s hard to put it in perspective but three years ago when we got here, our record was 2–6 and over the course of three years we’re the opposite — we’re 8–2. Every good meet we have we’re able to recruit faster and faster kids so it’s really important to have big meets like this go our way.
Q. How do you feel about the swimming facilities at Yale?
A. I think a lot of guys on the team share this view. We definitely don’t have the newest pool in the country by any sense but we do have one of the most historic pools in the country. So every time we swim in it you feel like you’re a part of history. Yale has more wins than any other swim program and you feel like you’re a part of that every time you race.
Q. What is your opinion on alumni involvement with the Yale swimming program?
A. The alumni involvement is great. It’s one of the strongest alumni bases of all sports at Yale. They open up a lot of opportunities for us, whether that comes in job form, in gear for the team or raising money for some of our costs, like our training trips.
Q. What could Yale do differently to gain the edge over Harvard and Princeton in the next few years?
A. With swimming, it’s a gradual process and it’s not something that can just happen in a year. We have big meets like this and everyone sees us perform at a level that is almost comparable to Harvard and Princeton and what that does is it lets swimmers see Yale as a competitive option, and you just keep going until you close the gap. You can’t close the gap in one year, but we are moving in the right direction over the next several years.
Q. What are the team’s goals for the rest of the season?
A. The most immediate goal is to get third at conference. We’ve gotten fourth behind obviously Harvard and Princeton and also Columbia the past couple of years. We have the potential to qualify a couple more kids for NCAAs besides Brian Hogan. Getting as many people to NCAA championships as possible is an immediate goal that is definitely achievable right now. We have the potential to put two to three more in that meet.
Q. What are your personal goals for the rest of the season?
A. Personally, I’m kind of in that group and think I have the potential to make NCAAs. Putting up times that allow me to qualify to that meet [is my goal]. In addition, my individual goal is to help the team score as many points as possible at Ivies to help push us up past Columbia to put us right behind Harvard and Princeton.