The swim programs ended their regular seasons heading in opposite directions Saturday.
The Bulldog women (8-4) fell to Brown 172-122, finishing the season on a 3-meet losing streak; the men’s team (11-2) defeated both Brown and Columbia, 146-93 and 125-112, respectively, closing its season with a 2-meet winning streak.
In the women’s meet, a post H-Y-P letdown and a determined opponent created an imposing combination Yale could not overcome. The Bulldogs posted numerous personal best performances at the H-Y-P meet at Harvard from Jan. 31 to Feb. 2.
“Coming off a shave meet like H-Y-P is always difficult, and I think Brown was especially motivated to beat us after losing to us in dual-meet competition last year,” Daphna Shafir ’04 said.
Swimmers shave off their body hair before a shave meet to improve their times. Yale only designates the H-Y-P and conference championship meets as shave meets.
“To their credit, they swam incredibly fast across the board. We didn’t put up the kind of performances we’re capable of,” women’s captain Catey Bradford ’03 said.
The two bright spots for the women were Melanie Loftus ’05, who claimed victory in the 1-meter springboard diving event, and Susan Cooke ’03, who won both the 200 breaststroke and 200 individual medley. The team also demonstrated its depth by taking four of the top six positions in the 500 freestyle and 200 breaststroke and three of the top five spots in the 1,000 freestyle and 200 butterfly.
Halfway through its meet, the men’s team appeared to be in a post-H-Y-P stupor, as well.
“We started out pretty slow. It was hard for us as a team to stay focused for what seemed like just another dual-meet, especially after something like H-Y-P. Columbia and Brown came out ready to swim, however, and the first half of the meet really reflects that,” Tom Hardy ’06 said.
But lifetime best performances by Steve Edell ’03 in the 200 backstroke, Alberto Fuentes ’04 in the 200 freestyle, Adam Green ’06 in the 50 freestyle and Hardy, who won the 200 breaststroke, provided the necessary spark to foster a stirring comeback.
“It was one of the most memorable wins during my four years on the team,” men’s captain Greg Palumbo ’03 said. “I was so proud of the guys and how we were able to bounce back from a slow start and pull off the win.”
Bulldog swimmers and divers now point their focus toward technique and race strategy; they lower both practice yardage and intensity and begin to rest. Both teams are free from competition until the ECAC and Ivy League championship meets in the last weekend of February.