The men went out with a bang, and the women suffered a heartbreaking defeat at the swimming and diving regular season finale against Brown Saturday.
The men’s team (6-2,5-2 Ivy) overcame Brown (1-8, 1-6) with a score of 180-120. The women’s team (3-4,3-4) lost to Brown (2-6,1-5) by the smallest possible margin, a nail-biting 151-149. The men’s record is a remarkable improvement from last year’s 2-8 finish, but the women’s record is a step back from last year’s record of 6-4.
“Losing by such a small margin was really tough for the last meet of the season.” said swimmer Molly Albrecht ’13, “In the end it came down to a touch out on the wall.”
The women’s team came tantalizingly close to victory. They lost in several races, such as the 100-yard butterfly, the 100-yard freestyle and the 200-yard individual medley by only tenths of a second. In the last relay, the Bulldogs needed to come in first and third to win the meet, but missed the mark, placing first and fifth.
However, the last relay far from tells the story of the meet as a whole.
“I hate looking at it that way,” said Christina Teuscher, the head coach of the women’s swimming and diving team, “because two points can be found anywhere in the meet.” The first through fifth place swimmers score 9,4,3,2 and 1 points respectively, while first through third place relays are given 11, 4 and 2 points respectively, she added. When the meet is that close, it comes down to who places second, third and fourth, Albrecht said.
The men’s team had a solid meet across the board, continuing to post consistent and season best times. The men set pool records in the 200-yard medley relay and the 200-yard backstroke. Mike Lazris ’15, Ronald Tsui ’15, Paschall Davis ’14 and Pat Killian ’14 swam the record-breaking 200 medley relay in 1:34.90.
Rob Harder ’15 broke the 200-yard backstroke record with a time of 1:49.91, which was only one third of Harder’s impressive meet. He went on to take first in the 1000-yard freestyle (9:36.15) and second in the 200-yard IM (1:54.82). Another standout individual performance was Alexander Benz’s ’12 100-yard breaststroke (58.98). He ended his Yale swimming career with his first ever first-place finish.
At the women’s meet, the divers posted a 1,2,3 sweep in both the one and three-meter diving events. In the one-meter event, Paige Meneses ‘14 (291.51) took first, while Rachel Rosenberg ’12 (276.30) and Lauren Gardainier ‘15 (242.62) took second and third. On the 3-meter event, Rosenberg topped the charts with a 298.05, followed by Meneses (272.92) and Gardanier (272.32). Abigail Nunn ’12 and Allison West ’14 swam the 200-fly, in place of the injured Hayes Hyde ’12 and Alexander Forrester ’13. Both Teuscher and Albrecht impressed with their times of 2:09.38 and 2:09.73, respectively.
Both teams are preparing to rest and taper for Ivy League Championships. While men’s head coach Tim Wise said the team’s goal of finishing in the top three at Ivy League Championships will be difficult, he is happy with the progress the team has made. Teuscher said she hopes this loss was a learning experience for her team, and that it will motivate the team to perform better at Ivy League Championships. Teuscher said she believes her team will be ready for championships.
“I have confidence that the girls will have their heads in the right place,” she said.
The Ivy League Championships will take place Feb. 23-25 at Harvard for the women’s team, and March 1-3 at Princeton for the men’s team.