The Yale men’s swimming and diving team came out as the top dog against the University of Connecticut Huskies and the Boston University Terriers.
The Bulldogs dominated the tri-meet on Saturday, defeating the Terriers 246–107 and the Huskies 257–96.
“I think the team gave an excellent performance yesterday considering how tired and sore we were from training,” swimmer Derek Kao ’18 said. “Our attitude was in the right place and we were able to swim well to a sure victory.”
The Elis opened on the diving boards with the 1-meter event. UConn took the event but Yale was able to score with second- and fourth-place finishes from James McNelis ’16 and Wayne Zhang ’18.
The Bulldogs replicated their performance in the 3-meter diving with another set of second- and fourth- place finishes, but McNelis and Zhang swapped places.
“Coming out of the long meet at UNC, we learned about how to stay mentally focused,” Zhang, a staff reporter for the News, said. “The meet was an all-day affair, much like Ivies will be, so it was good practice.”
Captain Brian Hogan ’16 began a noteworthy day with the 200-yard freestyle, securing victory for the Bulldogs. He followed it up with a commanding win in the 1000-yard freestyle, finishing 11 seconds faster than the second-place swimmer. He rounded off his wins in a tight race in the 200-yard backstroke, an event he normally does not compete in, where he bested teammate Kevin Stang ’16 by 0.14 seconds.
“We were ahead and had the flexibility to swim some races we sometimes can’t, which is how I got the opportunity to swim the [200-yard] backstroke,” Hogan said.
Yale swimmers kept the momentum going in some of the 100-yard events. Kao took the breaststroke and Shawn Nee ’18 found victory in a very close backstroke event in which just 0.89 seconds separated Nee and the fourth-place finisher.
Yale finished first in a number of tight races in the Rutgers-hosted meet, which Hogan said demonstrates the team’s growth this season.
“The Nike Cup was a great opportunity to race some really fast people, and those experiences show up in close races,” Hogan said. “We had a lot of guys win races that came down to the wire, and that’s something you can only learn to do in meets.”
The Terriers snapped a streak of four consecutive Yale wins. Though BU took home first place in the 200-yard butterfly, the Bulldogs’ second-, third-, fourth- and fifth-place swims netted a significant sum of consolation points. On a day in which UConn only emerged victorious in the 1-meter and 3-meter dives, BU claimed additional victories in the 200- and 400-yard individual medley events, the 500-yard freestyle and the 200-yard breaststroke.
When the sprinting events commenced, the Elis again found victory, winning the 50-yard freestyle with Oscar Miao ’17 and Victor Zhang ’16 earning first and third, respectively. Zhang later claimed the 100-yard freestyle with Miao coming right behind in second.
In the 200-yard freestyle relay, the Elis’ A squad out-touched UConn by a third of a second, with Boston’s B team coming in third. Scott Bole ’19, who was a member of the winning relay team, also took home a first-place result in the 100-yard butterfly on his way to four victories on the day. The freshman was a part of two other winning relay squads.
Bole, Miao, Adrian Lin ’19 and Jonathan Rutter ’18 ended the meet on a high note alongside the B squad of Hogan, Victor Zhang, Brian Clark ’16 and Josh Ginsborg ’16, when the Bulldogs swept the top two spots in the 400-yard freestyle relay.
“We had a fun time with the relays,” Kao said. “The coaches tried out some new lineups to see how they worked out. It was exciting to end the meet with the [400-yard] free relay with a senior relay facing off with an underclassmen relay, with the underclassmen winning.”
The Elis will return to action Friday in a home meet against Southern Connecticut State University.