All of the hard work and dedication that the swimming and diving teams have put in this season comes down to these next two weekends.
The women’s Ivy League Championships will be held this weekend at Brown University, while the men start off their championships on Feb. 27 in Cambridge, Mass. Both teams have had at least a week of rest before the Ivies begin, and they are fully focused on what lies ahead.
On the women’s side, the team has been modifying the intensity of its practices to prepare for the championships.
“We’ve been swimming less yardage than usual, so we are fully rested and ready to go,” Olivia Jameson ’17 said.
The team is focusing on getting plenty of rest so it will be fully energized when the Ivies begin, according to Courtney Randolph ’14.
The men, who compete a week after the women, have been changing up their practices as well. Brian Hogan ’16 said the Elis are focusing more on their specific races to truly prepare them for what they have to do at the championships.
The Bulldogs will have tough competition in the championships, though both the men’s and women’s teams are in good standing in the Ivy League. The women are tied for third with Cornell and Princeton, all with 4-3 records. Columbia is undefeated in first place, and Harvard stands in second with a 6-1 record. The Eli women won against Cornell but lost to Princeton in the regular season.
The men are in similar standing, tied for third with Penn. Harvard is undefeated in first, and Princeton is at 6-1 in second. The Bulldogs pulled out a close victory against Penn earlier in the season, winning 155-145.
As the Ivies draw closer, the nerves are starting to kick in for some of the swimmers, but others are using the emotions to stay energetic.
“We use the energy to get fired up for our races and to motivate each other. We are confident in our training, and this meet is what we’ve been working for all season,” Randolph said.
The freshmen on both teams will be competing in their first Ivy League Championship. After a fantastic season for the youngest Elis, all eyes will be on them, just as they have been since the freshmen’s breakout meet.
Another Bulldog who stands to attract attention will be Hogan, who has made a name for himself in big ways this season. From breaking Kiphuth Pool records to swimming the fourth fastest 1650-yard freestyle time in the entire NCAA two and a half weeks ago, Hogan has showed his strength in these past few meets and looks to contribute greatly to the men’s team at the Ivies.
Apart from nerves, emotions will be running high, as Ivies will be the last career meet for the senior swimmers and divers. According to Jameson and Hogan, the younger Bulldogs have seen how the seniors have contributed all year and while they are sad to see them finish their time at Yale, the younger swimmers are excited to watch the seniors finish strong.
“The energy and emotion comes from the team coming together to achieve the goals we set at the beginning of the season,” Randolph said. “It’s a culmination of the year’s journey, and we’re looking forward to some amazing races.”
Competition will begin on Thursday, with the women traveling to Providence, R.I., and competing through Sunday, Feb. 22.