While their classmates traveled for the Thanksgiving break, the men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams took their act on the road for a set of early-season dual meets at Boston College on Nov. 22 and split-squad meets at Bowdoin College and the University of Maine on Nov. 25.
“The main point of these meets is just to get the guys used to racing,” men’s captain Greg Palumbo ’03 said. “These meets are good tune-ups for the rest of the season, where we will be racing one to two times per week.”
For the Yale men (3-0), Boston College represented the year’s first competition, and the team looked anything but inexperienced while completely outclassing the Eagles 200.5-74.5. The Bulldogs asserted their superiority from the outset with a sweep of the top three places in the 200-meter medley relay, eventually winning 15 of 16 events.
Palumbo was one of four Elis to win multiple individual events, capturing both the 500 and 1,000 freestyles, with times of 4:47.61 and 9:48.52, respectively. Other double winners included Jack Cooney ’04 in the 50 and 100 freestyle, Cameron Hendrick ’06 in the 100 and 200 breaststroke and Jimmy Veazey ’04 in the 100 and 200 butterfly.
The Yale women (3-1) won a closer meet, 158-142, but effectively bounced back from their earlier loss to Columbia in their winter opener.
“We have used that loss to motivate us in practice and increase our competitive spirit for the rest of the season. We knew that Boston College was a strong team and that everyone was going to have to excel and touch people out in order to win,” said Daphna Shafir ’04, who placed second in the 200 butterfly and fifth in the 100 butterfly.
Sprinter Paige Harazin ’04 followed her success against Columbia by winning the 100 and 200 freestyles, posting times of 53.66 and 1:55.19. Susan Cooke ’03 won both the 100 and 200 breaststroke events, and distance ace Heidi Kraus ’03 took top honors in the 500 and 1,000 freestyles.
“The pool area at [Boston College] is hot and humid, and with 86-degree water it is a tough place to swim, but it was good to be able to race people head-to-head,” said Frank Keefe, head coach of both teams.
Three days later, there was no letting-up for the Bulldogs, who won split-squad meets at Bowdoin and Maine. The Yale women defeated Maine 160-132; the men won 155-124. The Bowdoin results were even more decisive: the Yale women won 124-73, and the men followed suit, winning 125-59.
“Coming away with wins at both meets shows our strength in depth of our team this year. Some of us swam events that we don’t usually compete in to test different races and add variety to our season,” said Kraus, who swam the 200 freestyle at Bowdoin — a shorter race than her distance specialty — winning in 1:56.24.
Harazin, in addition to winning her sprint specialty, the 100 freestyle, won the 200 individual medley in 2:10.72, while Rachel Rowe ’06 posted the fastest times in both the 50 freestyle, 25.17, and the 200 breaststroke, 2:30.84.
At Maine, Danielle Page ’04 demonstrated her versatility by winning the 100 breaststroke in 1:11.07, placing second in the 500 freestyle, and swimming the top time in the 400 individual medley relay. Greta Matzner-Gore won the 200 butterfly in 2:08.21 and placed third in the 500 freestyle. Yale’s strength in diving was also evident, as Kathleen McKeon ’04 and Emily Cardy ’04 placed first and second, respectively, in both the 1- and 3-meter diving competitions.
For the men, Cooney, a double freestyle winner at Boston College, won both the 200 individual medley relay and the 200 butterfly, in times of 1:56.51 and 1:55.04, respectively. Veazey, on the heels of his two victories at Boston College, won both the 100 and 200 freestyles and Tim Carey ’03 was fastest in the 500 and 1,000 freestyles.
At Maine, the freshmen shined. Tom Hardy ’06 picked up wins in the 50 freestyle and 200 breaststroke, while Hiro Ellis ’06 swam the day’s fastest times in the 100 freestyle and 100 butterfly.
“We swam really well for the intense training we have been going through,” Veazey said. “All of us were really tired for this particular stretch of meets, and along with the pre-Thanksgiving school crunch it was a tough time to remain focused.”
The Bulldogs return to the pool this weekend for the Nutmeg Invitational.