On paper, this weekend’s swim contest against Harvard and Princeton is just another double dual meet.
But after solid victories in their first Ivy League dual meet last weekend, the men’s (9-0) and women’s (8-1) swimming and diving teams feel otherwise.
“H-Y-P is definitely the most important non-championship meet of the season because it serves as a tune-up for Ivies and, of course, we are competing against two of our traditional rivals,” butterfly specialist Daphna Shafir ’04 said.
In addition to the meet’s traditional rivalry, this grudge match also will feature the best swimming and diving in the Ivy League.
“Of the top eight at H-Y-P, five will likely be in the finals at the conference meet,” coach Frank Keefe said. “It’s going to be real competitive — a bloodbath.”
In last year’s H-Y-P meet, at the Kiputh Memorial Exhibition Pool, Yale swimmers surprised their competitors. Though falling to a powerful Princeton squad, the Bulldog women surprised Harvard and finished second. The men’s team lost to Harvard, but it captured the program’s 1,000th victory with a dramatic come-from-behind upset of Princeton. Both losses were the only blemishes on Yale’s records last winter.
“With all of the new blood on the team, I think that we stand a good chance of surprising them with what we have,” freestyler Tim Carey ’03 said.
The two-day meet includes all the same events of the upcoming conference championship and allows every swimmer and diver to compete.
“Our selections for the conference meets will come off performances at H-Y-P,” Keefe said. “My philosophy is to go fast, but it’s not about winning.”
His swimmers and divers, many resting and shaving this week, see it slightly differently.
“All three of our teams seem to match up pretty evenly, but we’ll see who steps up and performs the best with the most heart,” sprinter Nicoletta Ruhl ’06 said. “It’s hard to contain the anticipation one feels for it. The rivalries run deep. Our personal, our team, and our school pride is at stake.”