The undefeated record of the men’s swimming and diving team (5-0,4-0 Ivy) will be on the line this weekend when it takes on Harvard and Princeton in Cambridge, Mass.
The men’s teams at Harvard (4-1,4-0 Ivy) and Princeton (5-0,4-0 Ivy) are also undefeated in the Ivy League, and consistently beat Yale last season.
Yale’s women’s team (3-1,3-1 Ivy) brings only one loss to the tri-meet, while both Harvard (5-2,5-0 Ivy) and Princeton (4-0,4-0 Ivy) remain unbeaten in the conference competiton. The winners of both meets are expected to be in-season champions of the Ivy League.
“Anyone who said it’s just another dual meet has never been [To H-Y-P] before,” Christopher Luu ’12, the men’s team captain said, “The atmosphere is pure electric.”
It is this atmosphere that has both teams excited for the big meet.
“Morale is great,” said Luu. “People are getting fired up for this weekend,”
Swimmer Joan Weaver ’13 said the women’s team is similarly excited. She called this the “most energetic” dual meet of the year because it has more tradition and more pressure than any other dual meet.
Although anticipation for this meet is mounting, the team’s training has not changed. Both teams have their “eyes on Ivies” Weaver said. They are striving to race their fastest at Ivy League Championships in late February, which means neither the men’s nor women’s teams will be fully rested or tapered for this meet. Since this is primarily an opportunity for the Bulldogs to get in racing form for Ivies, the teams are unconcerned about their rankings in the meet, Weaver added.
This is not the case for Harvard or Princeton. Swimmer Molly Albrecht ’13 said the winner of this meet determines the in-season champions, a title both Harvard and Princeton are pursuing. Harvard and Princeton have enough swimmers to rest more of their teams for the meet, said Luu, and with the in-season championship on the line they “have a lot more to prove.” He added that he believes Harvard especially, has more pressure since it is hosting the meet.
The Yale-Harvard-Princeton rivalry is not all that lends intensity to the meet. At most dual meets teams must designate three swimmers in each event who can score for the team. If an undesignated swimmer posts a time fast enough to score points, they are not eligible to contribute to the team’s points. At the Yale-Harvard-Princeton tri-meet, all swimmers in the pool have the opportunity to contribute to the team score. Weaver said this means swimmers are “racing to their max.”
Success at this meet would be a good sign for the rest of the season. Albrecht said most of the top swimmers in the league will be at this meet, so it is a chance for the Bulldogs to show their strength in the league. The women’s team is especially interested in proving itself after its fifth place finish last year at Ivy League Championships, Weaver said.
The men’s team also hopes this meet will propel it into the final part of its season.
“It would be a huge stepping stone and a huge confidence booster heading into the meet against Brown and going into the conference meet,” Luu said. The adrenaline created by the Harvard, Princeton rivalry may help swimmers post faster times, Luu added.
The Harvard, Yale, Princeton tri-meet will take place today through Sunday at Harvard.