SWIMMING AND DIVING: Yale edges Columbia for fourth

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Photo by Jennifer Cheung .

In its final team meet of the year, the men’s swimming and diving team took fourth at the Ivy League Championships in Cambridge, Mass. At the end of the weekend, Yale had 987 points, finishing behind first-place Harvard, second-place Princeton and third-place Penn. Columbia took fifth, a sweet victory for the Bulldogs as Columbia bested them in last year’s championship.

Yale has several young swimmers who contributed at the meet, the first Ivy League Championship of their careers for some.

“This was a great start, but now we know where we are and have to focus on getting better,” freshman Oscar Miao ’17 said.

Day one started off with a seventh-place finish in the 200-yard freestyle relay, but sophomore Brian Hogan ’16 quickly turned things around with a second-place finish in the 500-yard freestyle finals, pushing the team from seventh place to third with 28 points. Hogan’s race was the only top-three finish of the day for the Elis.

On the diving side, senior Tyler Pramer ’14 took fifth in the one-meter dive, earning 25 points for Yale. At the end of the day, Yale stood in fourth, only twelve points ahead of Dartmouth.

The Bulldogs began Friday with a fifth-place finish in the 200-yard medley relay, with the junior-heavy team of Mike Lazris ’15, Alwin Firmansyah ’15, Andrew Heymann ’15 and Aaron Greenberg ’17. Hogan brought in the points again with a win in the 1000-yard freestyle, Yale’s first victory. Freshman Ben Lerude ’17 took fourth in the race, bringing in points as well. In the following race, the 400-yard IM, Kevin Stang ’16 took home third place, just over a second behind the second-place Columbia swimmer.

Lazris and Firmansyah contributed again in the 100-yard butterfly, taking fourth and sixth, while junior Rob Harder ’15 took fourth in the 200-yard freestyle. Yale was shut out of the top three spots in the next two races.

The day ended with a third-place finish for the 800-yard freestyle relay team comprised of team Victor Zhang ’16, Hogan, Lerude and Harder. The standings at the end of Day Two showed Yale still in fifth, with fourth-place Columbia in position to edge the Bulldogs out for the second year in a row.

Hogan started off Day Three with a second-place finish in the 1650-yard freestyle, an event in which he held the fourth-fastest NCAA time earlier this year. That would be the final event in which a Bulldog placed in the top three. A few fifth and sixth place finishes followed, but the Elis were mostly shut out of the rest of the events.

Pramer took seventh in the three-meter diving final with a score of 304.70, earning Yale 23 points. For the final event of the meet, the 400-freestyle relay, Yale’s team of Hogan, Firmansyah, Zhang and Harder took sixth place. Although the team did not take home many top spots, their overall consistent performances allowed the Bulldogs to rack up enough points to beat out Columbia for fourth place.

Emotions ran high at the end of the meet as the seniors swam their final events. A major highlight of the night was the award given to Pramer, who earned the Ron Keenhold Award for the career high-point diver at the meet.

“Winning the career high-point award was an honor and something I never imagined winning when I came to Yale. I didn’t dive my best in my final event of the meet, but winning the award forced me to look at the success of my career as a whole instead of my performance that day,” Pramer said.

Next week, Pramer will head to Virginia Tech for the NCAA Zone A meet to compete for a bid to the NCAA Championships. The full NCAA Championship will be held in Austin, Texas during the last weekend of March.

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