The Yale men’s swimming and diving team will head to Cambridge this weekend for the Ivy League Championships, the last meet of the school year.
This will be the last time the senior Bulldogs will don their Yale team gear. Last weekend, the women’s team placed in third at their Ivies, upsetting formerly undefeated Columbia, which took fourth place. The men hope to finish in similar fashion, relying on their successes from the second half of the season.
Since December 7, the men have won seven of their eight meets, only falling in the combined meet against Harvard and Princeton. This success led to the Bulldogs finishing tied with Columbia and Penn in the Ivy League standings at 4-3, with undefeated Harvard in first and Princeton at 6-1 in second. The Yale men fell in their first conference meet of the season against Columbia by only six points, but they have continuously improved and look strong going into the championships.
“We are starting to get more race specific in our preparation,” Brian Hogan ’16 said.
The team has been focusing on resting in order to be at top performance level at the meet. In recent meets, the team has performed well as whole, breaking multiple personal records. Most notably, Hogan broke two Kiphuth Pool records and recorded a time that places in the top five men in the entire NCAA for the 1650-yard freestyle.
Like the women, the men’s team has depth in its younger classes. These new swimmers will be experiencing their first Ivy League Championship. Nerves will be a factor for all team members, and Hogan says he will try hard to keep his nerves under control.
On the other end of the spectrum, the more experienced senior swimmers will be taking on their last meet as Bulldogs. Hogan and Josh Ginsborg ’16 said that the whole team is emotional as it anticipates the last chance to swim together as a squad.
“It’s [the seniors’] last meet and it’s the first class of the Wise era to graduate,” Ginsborg said.
Tim Wise, the head coach of the men’s team, has been a major part in Yale successes for multiple seasons. He served as an assistant coach for over ten seasons before being promoted to the head coaching position in 2010. In the past four years under Wise’s leadership, the team has broken multiple records and sent swimmers to the United States Olympic Trials. Along with assistant coach Kevin Norman and diving coach Chris Bergère, Wise has propelled the Yale swimming and diving program to new standards.
After a long and successful season, the Bulldogs will finish out the year this weekend in Cambridge. The first events begin on Thursday, February 27.