Wearily heading into their dual meet with Boston College Friday night, the men’s and women’s swimming teams were uncertain of how they would perform. But after swamping BC in both competitions, the Bulldogs emerged with refreshed confidence.
“It was one of those meets where there were lots of things working against us,” women’s captain Emily Fain ’02 said. “We were really exhausted going into BC.”
The Bulldogs controlled the meet at the Robert Kiphuth Memorial Exhibition Pool throughout, with the women’s team arriving at a 158-120 win and the men’s team securing a 153-122 victory.
At the outset it was not clear how successful the Elis would be. Both Fain and head coach Frank Keefe said many swimmers felt fatigued not only from the pressure of finals but also from a three-day meet in Virginia the week before.
“There was lots of stress,” he said. “The focus wasn’t totally on what they had to do. They should be getting six to eight hours of sleep a night, and that was what some got all week.”
But from the opening 1-meter diving event on, the Yale teams overpowered the Eagles. The Elis took the top four places in the women’s division and the top three in the men’s. Bates Gregory ’03 led the Bulldog women with a 277.42 first place finish while Josh Gallant ’04 was the overall victor in the men’s category with a score of 303.67.
Gregory and Gallant earned the top places in the later 3-meter dive as well.
Though the Bulldog divers beat the Eagles resoundingly, Gallant was not pleased overall, pointing out that the BC divers are not comparable to Ivy League divers.
“The 1-meter event was better than expected,” he said. “But not the 3-meter. I guess it just wasn’t our day.”
Yale hit rough water in the first swimming event, with BC winning the opening women’s 200-yard medley relay. The Bulldogs swiftly recovered, however, taking first place honors in the next three events.
After the 3-meter diving, it was a tug-of-war between the teams, with Alberto Fuentes ’04 taking second place in the men’s 100-yard freestyle while Paige Harazin ’04 triumphed on the women’s side.
Harazin’s performance was just one example of Yale’s surprising short-distance swimming.
“We weren’t expecting to do as well in the sprint events as we did,” Fain said, adding that Harazin swam faster against BC than in the previous Virginia meet.
Another impressive effort was Catey Bradford’s ’03 victory in the women’s 500-yard freestyle.
“[Bradford] wasn’t originally supposed to swim it,” Keefe said. “But we put her in at the last minute, and she swam well.”
The closest event of the night was the women’s 200-yard backstroke. After a neck-and-neck race, Kim Richardson ’03 tied BC’s Kathleen McCann for first place with a time of 2:08.06.
After this tie, the Bulldogs came out with a new burst of energy, taking the top three places in the men’s 200-yard backstroke and the top two in the women’s 200-yard breaststroke.
Yale finished off the night’s marathon authoritatively. In the 800-yard freestyle relay, the women’s team captured first while the men claimed the top two spots.
Keefe said he was pleased with the teams’ overall performances.
“They really rose to the occasion and did great,” he said.
Neither the men’s nor women’s team has another meet until January, but they feel that the victory over the Eagles served as a benchmark.
“[The meet] was a good measurement of how we’re going to do,” Fain said. “BC is right up there with some of the Ivy League schools.”