For the Yale men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams, the annual Harvard–Yale–Princeton meet is the most intense regular season contest of the year. The 2015 iteration — this year hosted at Harvard — will be no different, especially since every team competing is currently undefeated in conference play.
Both of Yale’s teams are currently undefeated and off to their best starts in over seven years.
“HYP is one of the best meets of the year,” Kevin Stang ’16 said. “The energy in the pool is always crazy.”
The Yale and Princeton women have 4–0 Ivy League records, while the Harvard women are currently at 5–0 in the conference. But only Yale has an undefeated overall record, as the Crimson fell to Duke and the Tigers were defeated by Ohio State.
But the men’s teams competing this weekend are also off to prolific starts. Yale’s men’s squad also has won its first four Ivy meets, and though the men of Yale and Harvard are both undefeated in their overall records, Princeton’s men’s team has fallen twice, to Ohio State and North Carolina State.
Last year, the men’s team was 3–1 in the Ivy League heading into the meet, with its only loss coming from Columbia in the second meet of the season. In that meet, Yale lost 153–147 after losing the 400-yard freestyle relay by 0.22 seconds.
While the Bulldogs fell to the Crimson and the Tigers, Brian Hogan ’16 was in the spotlight for the entire meet, breaking meet and pool records in the 400-yard IM and the 500-yard freestyle. Hogan has been having a standout year in the pool again and has brought in valuable points for the Elis in every meet.
The women had an identical record heading into HYP last year, and their only loss came from Columbia as well. Lilybet MacRae ’17 shone in the diving competitions, taking first place by over 30 points. Her skills have continued into this year, racking up multiple wins for the Bulldogs in the one–meter and three–meter dives.
While eyes will be on the memorable swimmers and divers from last year, new faces have been turning heads and will surely do so at HYP. Kei Hyogo ’18 has been pulling in victories all year, and has been doing so with incredible times. He is currently undefeated in the 1,000–yard freestyle and holds the Rutgers pool record in the event.
As the meet will break the first-place tie among the three competing schools, Yale team members say that they are focused on continuing to do what they have been doing, only at the higher intensity called for by the HYP meet.
“Heading into HYP, I think our priority will be to get out mindset in the right place,” Derek Kao ’18 said. “We will get to HYP and be ready to tackle any challenges we may face.”
Hogan added that the team is working to perform at an even higher level than they already are.
According to players, having strong teammates helps create that higher level of performance.
“Our team dynamic is great this year — we all get along really well and we all are striving towards the same team goal,” Kina Zhou ’17 said.
With only one regular season meet against Brown after the HYP meet, the Elis have a bright outlook for the Ivy League Championships in February.
The women will head to Harvard to begin competition at 6 p.m. tonight, while the men’s team will start competition at Harvard on Saturday at 6 p.m.