The Bulldogs made its way to Cambridge on Friday for the Harvard-Yale-Princeton matchup — the most anticipated meet of the swimming and diving season — but fell short in both the men’s and women’s competitions.
Still, many of the Elis set personal records in the pool, giving the teams bright outlooks for the Ivy League Championships in four weeks.
The women began their competition on Friday and ended on Saturday, falling to Harvard 184–116 and to Princeton 169.5–130.5. The Crimson and the Tigers finished in a draw at 150 points each.
The meet started with the 200–yard medley relay, which was won by Harvard, with Yale’s A team of Heidi VanderWel ’18, Elizabeth Larsen ’15, Maddy Zimmerman ’18 and Amy Zhao ’18 taking fourth place, only one one–hundredth of a second behind third place, Harvard. The 1,000–yard freestyle followed, and Cailley Silbert ’18 sped to a close second place finish, coming behind the first–place Princeton swimmer by only 0.3 seconds. In the 200–yard freestyle, meanwhile, Kina Zhou ’17 took second, while teammates Cheryl Xiang ’18 and Olivia Jameson ’17 took eighth and ninth.
The freshmen women continued their impressive campaign, with VanderWel taking third in the 100–yard backstroke and Paulina Kaminski ’18 placing second in the 100–yard breaststroke. The Bulldogs’s lone win of the day came in the form of Sydney Hirschi ’17 in the 200-yard butterfly. In the three–meter dive, Lilybet MacRae ’17 placed fifth with a total of 273.80 points.
On day two, Zhou set the pace for Yale, pulling out a third place finish in the 100–yard freestyle, while Kaminski took second in the 200–yard breaststroke, bringing in valuable points for the Elis. Kate Rogers ’18 took fourth in the 200–yard backstroke, setting a personal best at 2:00.68. Zimmerman won the only victory for the Bulldogs of theday, placing first in the 100–yard butterfly, while teammate Kasey Mann ’16 took fifth and set a personal record at 56.16.
MacRae improved vastly on the second day of competition, takwing second in the one–meter dive with 296.30 points, less than two points behind Caitlin Chambers of Princeton. The women finished the meet with a third place finish in the 400–yard freestyle relay.
Members of the men’s team — which also came up short — said mental focus and correct mindset were equally as important as physical preparation.
“A big focus for a meet like H-Y-P is trusting all the work you have done in the water and making sure you are mentally prepared for what you are heading into,” said Kevin Stang ’16.
The men began swimming on Saturday night, starting with the 200–yard freestyle relay. The Bulldogs’ A team swam into third place, behind Princeton and Harvard. In the 100–yard breaststroke, Ronald Tsui ’15 pulled ahead of Jack Pohlmann of Princeton to take fifth place. Alwin Firmansyah ’15 did the same in the 200–yard butterfly, barely out–touching a Princeton swimmer to take sixth place. And in the 1650–yard freestyle, Kei Hyogo ’18 and Brian Hogan ’16 combined to make a 2–3 finish, respectively. Both swimmers finished over 12 seconds faster than the remaining competition.
On the diving platform, James McNelis ’16 finished in the top spot for the Elis, taking sixth overall in the three–meter dive.
Day two saw Hyogo placing third in the 400–yard IM with a time of 3:53.03. Hogan set the H-Y-P record for the event last year at 3:48.81. Firmansyah continued his solid performance at the meet with a fourth place finish in the 100–yard butterfly. Hyogo continued his streak of placement as well, tying for second in the 500–yard freestyle with a Princeton swimmer. McNelis placed sixth again, this time in the one–meter dive with a total of 257.15 points. The Bulldogs finished their day with a fourth place finish in the 400–yard freestyle relay. The A team of Victor Zhang ’16, Aaron Greenberg ’17, Firmansyah and Rob Harder ’15 finished less than a half-second behind third place Harvard.
Though the teams both suffered losses and settled into third place in the conference standings, the close finishes and new personal records are giving them positive outlooks for their final meet against Brown, as well as the Ivy League Championships.
Both teams have the opportunity to compete at home for their last regular season meet, when the women will be celebrating 40 years of Yale Women’s Swimming and Diving.
“A home meet helps in so many ways. We practice in the exhibition pool every single day, so having a meet there gives us an advantage. It feels normal, and nothing is new or unexpected,” said Zhou.
VanderWel said that a home meet gives the team a sense of familiarity and a connection with teams who have swam there previously.
The women take on the Bears at home on Feb. 7 at 1 p.m., while the men begin at 4 p.m. on the same day.