While most of Yale’s population traveled to Cambridge the weekend before Thanksgiving for The Game, the Yale men’s swimming and diving teams headed to Lewisburg, Pennsylvania.
After the multi-day contest, Yale took home first place in the annual Bucknell Invitational for the third-straight year.
“The Bucknell Invite is a great opportunity to gauge our mid-season progress,” swimmer Brian Clark ’16 said. “This year we won by the biggest margin yet, which showcased the team’s increase in roster depth over the past three years. It felt good to know we could soundly beat all those shaved and tapered teams in the middle of our season.”
The three-day competition began on Friday, Nov. 21, with the 200-yard freestyle relay. Yale’s “A” team of Victor Zhang ’16, Aaron Greenberg ’17, Mike Lazris ’15 and Oscar Miao ’17 took first place over Bucknell, the host team. Kei Hyogo ’18 kept his winning streak alive by taking home first place in the 500-yard freestyle the same day. He was followed closely by Brian Hogan ’16 in second place.
The Bulldogs continued to take home wins with Alwin Frimansyah ’15 winning the 200-yard IM and James McNelis ’16 taking home the three-meter dive with 317.55 points. The only event that Yale did not win on the first day was the 400-yard medley relay, falling to La Salle University by 0.40 seconds. At the end of the day, the Elis were in first with 517 points.
On day two of the competition, the Elis struggled to get their footing. All three of the 200-yard medley relay teams were disqualified for early take-offs. Hyogo turned the tide back into their favor with a win in the 400-yard IM, and Firmansyah followed with a second-place finish in the 100-yard butterfly.
“We were all pretty exhausted at that point, as some of us had rough doubles the night before,” Zhang said. “It was fine, though, and we could definitely handle it.”
Hyogo and Rob Harder ’15 finished first and second in the 200-yard freestyle, giving Hyogo the highest amount of individual points of any swimmer on the day. In the one-meter dive, McNelis took home third place after scoring the highest amount of points in the preliminaries. The final event of the day, the 800-yard freestyle, was a sound victory for the Bulldogs as Jonathan Rutter ’18, Hogan, Hyogo and Harder took first by five seconds. At the end of the day, Yale was in first place by over 300 points. For a typical meet, first place in an individual event earns a team nine points while a win for a relay gains 11 points.
Day three began with Hyogo winning yet again, this time in the 1650-yard freestyle, with teammates Hogan and Ben Lerude ’17 taking fifth and sixth. The Elis took third in the next event through Harder in the 200-yard backstroke. Victories in the 100-yard freestyle and 400-yard freestyle relay were the last wins of the day for the Elis, rounding out the competition with 1,762 points, over 600 points higher than second-place Bucknell.
Over the winter break, the Bulldogs plan to ramp up their training for second-semester competition.
“We don’t have any specific workouts to do over winter break, but I know that we will be training fairly hard,” Rutter said. “If we don’t, the January training trip will be even more painful than it’s already going to be.”
The Elis will compete at home for the last meet of 2014, facing Boston University and Rutgers on Dec. 6.