Riding the momentum of three-meet win streaks, the men’s (3-0) and women’s (3-1) swimming and diving teams return to action this weekend in their final competition of the semester: the Nutmeg Invitational.
The meet is one of only three remaining competitions at Yale’s Kiphuth Exhibition Pool this season.
“We’re looking forward to the Nutmeg Invite at home this year, whereas in previous years we had an extra travel weekend which was difficult during the last week of classes and right before finals,” distance swimmer Heidi Kraus ’03 said.
A year ago, Bulldog swimmers traveled to Charlottesville, Va., at the beginning of December for the University of Virginia Invitational. The men’s team finished fifth; the women’s team placed sixth.
Head coach Frank Keefe is pleased by this year’s variation in scheduling and hopes to see the Nutmeg Invitational become a mainstay on his teams’ schedules.
“This is the first time the meet fits our academic schedule. The objective of this meet is to take advantage of good competition that is in and around the state,” Keefe said. “Southern Connecticut and Central Connecticut will bring NCAA qualifiers, and I expect to see good stuff from UConn and UMass.”
Swimmers and divers from Fairfield University and Sacred Heart University will round out the seven team field.
Because the Bulldogs, to date, have competed only in dual meets that cram all events into one session, the Nutmeg Invitational will provide a welcomed change of pace.
“The Nutmeg Invitational will prepare us for preliminary-final type competition. Most of our dual meets only last a single evening, but this meet will span three days so it will be similar to the format of our championship meets: the Ivy League Championships and the ECACs,” butterfly specialist Daphna Shafir ’04 said.
Keeping up the necessary intensity to perform well twice a day for three days will test the Bulldogs’ focus and stamina.
“By Sunday, we’ll have a pretty good idea of who is doing what and where,” Keefe said.
The seniors look forward to this weekend, following their teams’ early-season successes.
“This meet is the focus of the first half of our season, so we are all looking forward to swimming well,” men’s captain Greg Palumbo ’03 said. “Hopefully, we will have a majority of season bests.”