This weekend, the Yale men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams will make the trek to New Jersey to seek glory in the storied Harvard-Yale-Princeton meet.
The meet will feature some of the best competitors in the conference, as the three schools comprise the top three in both the men’s and women’s Ivy League standings. These teams have historically featured prominently in the Ancient Eight, with the Crimson, Bulldogs and Tigers taking all three podium spots in four of the last seven seasons for the women, and three of the last five seasons for the men.
“We have been training really hard all season, so it’s exciting to get to race two of our fiercest opponents right before the Ivy League Championships,” swimmer Paulina Kaminski ’18 said.
According to CollegeSwimming.com, Harvard’s men’s team is the top of the three, followed by Princeton and Yale. On the women’s side, Yale leads Harvard and Princeton.
According to USA Swimming’s Ivy League records, Yale women’s competitors Bella Hindley ’19 and Kina Zhou ’17 claim two of the top five spots in the conference in the 50-meter freestyle, and Princeton has one swimmer ranked fourth. The same duo of Yale swimmers holds the first- and third-best times in the 100-meter freestyle event, while the Crimson and Tigers have no top-five times on their rosters. Hindley and Zhou also claim those same first- and third-place spots in the 200-meter freestyle, with Harvard and Princeton swimmers making up the fourth- to sixth-best times. On top of those freestyle events, Hindley has also completed the second-fastest time in the league in the 100-meter backstroke.
“This is [Hindley’s] first season racing in the U.S. and she’s adjusted really well,” Kaminski said. “We are so lucky to have [in Hindley] one of the fastest and most accomplished junior swimmers from the U.K. on the team … It’s going to be a privilege to watch all her hard work pay off as we head into the championship portion of the season, as she’s projected to finish in the top three or five [across the Ivy League] in her strong events.”
Kaminski clocked the fastest time in the Ivy League in the 100-meter breaststroke, as well as the second-best time in the 200-meter breaststroke, at the Nike Cup in November. In addition to Hindley, Zhou and Kaminski, Maddy Zimmerman ’18 owns the best time in the Ivy League this season in the 100-meter butterfly, also earned at the Nike Cup.
The women will also rely on two of their most consistent swimmers, Cailley Silbert ’18 and Eva Fabian ’16, in the distance events. The pair boasts the top two times in the 500-, 1,000- and 1,650-meter freestyle events.
As for the men’s individual events, Yale will look to Scott Bole ’19 in the 200-meter freestyle, as he has the second-best swim in the conference, with the next HYP competitor, a Princeton swimmer, coming in at sixth. In the 500-meter swim, Kei Hyogo ’18 and captain Brian Hogan ’16 sit at fourth and fifth, just ahead of two Princeton and Harvard swimmers. Hyogo also clocked the third-fastest time in the 1,000-meter freestyle, just three seconds off of a second-place Princeton swimmer.
Yale’s relay teams also appear competitive heading into the weekend. The women’s A-teams in the 200-, 400-, and 800-meter freestyle events, in addition to the 200- and 400-meter medley teams, are all the fastest in the conference. The men rank third in both the 400- and 800-meter freestyle relays, though the Tigers have the second-fastest team in each event.
“HYP is always a tough meet for us since we’re facing the two fastest teams in the Ivy League,” swimmer Derek Kao ’18 said. “However, I think it’s great to race them as our last meet before Ivies because it is a wake-up call and gives us the motivation to push through the last stretch of the season.”
In diving events, the women in particular will look to receive a boost from their talented cast of competitors. Lilybet MacRae ’17 was named to the All-Ivy Second Team in both 1-meter and 3-meter dives last season. However, the First Team honoree was a Princeton diver who edged MacRae by less than two points in the 1-meter dive, 298.00 to 296.30.
In addition, two Yale freshmen, Hannah Walsh ’19 and Talbott Paulsen ’19, have provided the Elis with depth in the diving events leading up to the critical weekend.
“It will also be interesting because Ivies are coming up in a few weeks and Harvard and Princeton will be our biggest competition for Ivy champion, so during HYP we’ll get a sense of where we stand against them,” Paulsen said.
The men’s diving events will feature James McNelis ’16 in his final HYP meet, as well as Wayne Zhang ’18, a staff reporter for the News, and Anthony Mercadante ’17. McNelis finished fourth in both the 1- and 3-meter dives at last year’s HYP.
The meet will take place at Princeton on Friday and Saturday for the men and on Saturday and Sunday for the women.