The Yale men’s swimming and diving team will head into its biggest meets of the year full of momentum. With its tri-meet against Harvard and Princeton two weeks away and the Ivy League Championships two weeks after that, the Bulldogs defeated Seton Hall 219–79 on Friday.
The 140-point blowout in New Jersey means that Yale will enter HYP undefeated in 2018 and riding a five-meet win streak. Against Seton Hall, Yale won 15 of the 16 races.
“Our victory over Seton Hall is indicative of how well we can compete when on the road while the home team has a considerable spectator turnout,” Tristan Furnary ’20 said. The crowd at Seton Hall was loud and definitely made their presence felt, yet we were able to respond appropriately. That is most likely the scenario we expect to find ourselves in at HYP.”
First years stepped up to capture four of Yale’s 14 individual victories on Friday. Christian Devol ’21 swept the two diving events for his sixth and seventh wins of the season.
In the swimming portion of the afternoon, Patrick Frith ’21 and Jonathan Liao ’21 won the distance events, with Frith taking the 1,000-yard freestyle and Liao finishing first in the 500-yard freestyle — in which Yale swept the top-three places. Both grabbed the first collegiate wins of their Yale careers.
“It was great to see the first years take over for a while,” Frith said. “Jonny Liao and I train together just about every day with the distance group, and for both of us to take home victories in the distance events was a great step forward … Seeing the first-year class fight through the tough training we’ve been enduring to and race and dive at a high level is great to see.”
Not only did Yale sweep the 500-yard freestyle, Bulldog swimmers also claimed the top-three spots in the 100-yard freestyle and 100-yard butterfly. Henry Gaissert ’20 won the freestyle sprint, with Jonathan Rutter ’18 and Philippe Marcoux ’21 finishing second and third, respectively. In butterfly, Kei Hyogo ’18 won by nearly two seconds and was trailed by Shawn Nee ’18 and Will Drexler ’19.
But Yale will face stiffer competition as it approaches its championship season. The Bulldogs will conclude the regular season against Harvard and Princeton in Cambridge with the Ivy League regular season title on the line. The Crimson and the Tigers enter the regular season finale undefeated in Ivy League play while the Elis boast a 3–1 record.
Yale has not beaten Princeton since 2005 and Harvard since 1992. Yale’s two opponents have won or shared every Ivy League title since 1971.
But, according to Aaron Greenberg ’18, the Bulldogs are swimming as well as they ever have in his Yale career. The senior said he has been amazed by how much the team has progressed since he arrived in New Haven.
“We are pulling out times in dual meets that we would be going at Ivy League Championships tapered back in 2014,” Greenberg said. “It’s a huge improvement, and I’m happy to be a part of this. We want to be competing for Ivy League titles each year, and I believe we are now in a position to do that.”
Harvard will host HYP on Feb. 2–3.
Selena Cho | firstname.lastname@example.org