Since the 2013-2014 swim season began, sophomore Brian Hogan ’16 has taken the NCAA by storm.
In the past few meets, Hogan has broken multiple records, placed in the top five times in the entire NCAA for the 1650-yard freestyle and motivated his team members by continuing to work hard at practices.
Brian was recruited to Yale’s swim team in the spring of 2012, securing the last spot for a swim recruit in the class of 2016. His recruitment was late compared to that of the swimmers who were recruited in the fall of 2011.
“Last year I got really worked up and anxious at meets and didn’t swim that well until the end of the season,” Hogan said.
Hogan performed well during his freshman year, but his accomplishments did not stand out like fellow swimmer Rob Harder’s ’15, who earned all Ivy League Honors and had multiple wins during the 2013 Ivy League Championships.
Between the championships and the start of this school year’s season, Hogan put in remarkable amounts of work, according to a number of his teammates.
“Hogan is an incredible worker. Even at practice he consistently throws down ridiculous times,” teammate Michael Lazris ’15 said.
Experience was key for Hogan as the season began. He noted that he has swum with more composure this season, contributing to his improved performance.
Hogan’s newfound speed broke records across the board during the past few meets. During last weekend’s meet against Harvard and Princeton, Hogan broke records in the 400-yard IM and the 500-yard freestyle. His 400-yard IM time of 3:48.81 was the fastest time ever recorded by a Yale swimmer in the event.
Most significantly, Hogan’s 1650-yard freestyle time was the fourth fastest in the entire NCAA this year, a true accomplishment for a Yale athlete, especially because the Ivy League is not allowed to offer athletic scholarships.
“Not being able to offer scholarships is a hurdle in the recruiting process, but once we’re here the playing field is completely level,” Hogan said. “We train at as high a level as any team in the country.”
Though the team fell in the HYP meet, the broken records from Hogan and others gave the squad a motivational boost.
The overall team performance was one of the best of the season, with a number of swimmers achieving new personal bests.
“While winning was obviously our primary goal, a big part of what we wanted to do was prove ourselves against the two Ivy League powerhouses. When we put up times like those it speaks volumes about the quality of our program,” Hogan said.
Hogan’s athletic ability has blown away some of his teammates and his accomplishments have made him a standout member on the team, but his relationships with his teammates are just as notable. Lazris said that Hogan is a true team player and that he has remained humble despite his newfound success.
Though fellow sophomore Josh Ginsborg ’16 has been injured and unable to practice with the team very much as of late, he still noted Hogan’s extraordinary commitment level.
“I will say Brian is one of the hardest working guys I know. As a teammate, he is trustworthy and is always willing to help others. He will go the extra mile for the team literally and figuratively,” Ginsborg said.
While Hogan has clearly been an asset to the team at such a young age, he says the seniors are responsible for the team’s strength.
Both the men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams will head to Brown this weekend for their final meet before the Ivy League Championships begin. While the teams will be treating the event like a regular meet, they know that Ivies are close behind.
“We always want to focus on the task at hand and give ourselves the best possible chance to win, but this late in the season we will definitely have Ivies on our minds,” Hogan said.