Last weekend’s cruising victory over Lehigh was the last home meet for Yale men’s swimming. But the season is by no means over, not before the Bulldogs face some tough challenges from their Ivy League rivals.
The Elis will be on the road against six schools in the conference over the next three weeks. Yale will first travel to Philadelphia this weekend to face off against the University of Pennsylvania and Dartmouth, before taking on Ivy League swimming powerhouses Harvard and Princeton on Jan. 30. The following weekend, the Elis will be in New York City, taking on Columbia and Brown.
Despite the heavy schedule, captain Alex Nash ’04 is optimistic about competing while being on the road.
“We have some big meets coming up.” Nash said. “But the team has swum really well so far this year and I think we are going to do well.”
On Jan. 10, the Bulldogs first experienced a league victory against Cornell. Yale won handily 136.5 to 104.5. This success was largely due to the intensity of the Bulldogs’ Puerto Rico training camp, which was held over winter break. Over the 10-day training session, all swimmers had twice-a-day practices for two hours at a time in a 50-meter pool. As a result, the Bulldogs have increased fitness and speed and have recorded faster times when they competed back in the shorter 25-yard courses used in NCAA competition.
Although the Bulldogs are in good shape, Dartmouth and Penn are still going to be tough to beat this weekend. Despite falling to Columbia 166-126 on Jan. 17, Dartmouth had previously recorded four wins in a session, the best result since 1991. Big Green senior Thomas Sanford recorded three wins over the Lions, topping the 100- and 200-yard breaststrokes and the 100-yard individual medley.
Meanwhile, Penn also fell narrowly in its first conference meet to Brown 123-115 this past Saturday. Quaker senior Andrew Trout finished first in the 50-yard freestyle and second in the 100-yard freestyle, posting times of 21.42 and 48.27, respectively. The Quakers, led by Pat Maloney, also dominated the 200-yard butterfly event, sweeping the top four finishes.
But the Bulldogs have their own weapons too. Nash will be looking to continue his dominance in the backstroke and the butterfly, while also leading the medley relay team off the blocks. Jack Cooney ’04 will also square off against Dartmouth’s Sanford in the individual medley as well as Penn’s Maloney in the butterfly.
“Penn and Dartmouth have some really good swimmers.” Cooney said. “This week is going to be some hard competitions and they are all 50-50 races.”
Therefore, this weekend’s three-way meet should be an exciting contest for the Elis and will also be an ideal preparation leading up to the following weekend’s HYP competition and the Eastern Intercollegiate Swimming League Championship on Mar. 4. Last year, the Elis finished third behind Harvard and Princeton at the HYP meet.
Penn will host the three-way meet this weekend at the Sheerr Pool. The Bulldogs will then travel to Princeton on Jan. 30 for the HYP weekend.