In the second week of the regular season, the Yale men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams traveled to the Empire State to take on Columbia.
On Friday, the women’s team (3–0, 2–0 Ivy) bested the Lions (1–1, 1–1) with a combination of strong individual swims and successful dives, continuing its undefeated start to the season. The Elis dominated the early events, winning nine of the first 11, coming away with a final score of 172–127.
On the springboard, diver Nikki Watters ’21 put in a performance to remember. She recorded a 272.93 in the one-meter dive and a 269.41 in the three-meter dive, coming away with wins in both events.
In the pool, new transfer Caitlin Tycz ’22 continued to shine. The former USC swimmer grabbed a first-place finish in the 200-yard butterfly, finishing with a time of 2:00.89.
The Elis were dominant across the freestyle events, placing first in every category apart from the 500-yard. Standout performances came from Izzi Henig ’22 and Raime Jones ’22 in the 100- and 200-yard, respectively. Henig touched in at 51.62, besting her Columbia opponent by 35 milliseconds. Jones swam a season-best performance with a 1:49.69, coming first by almost two seconds. Both swimmers, alongside teammates Ophelia Pilkinton ’23 and Claire O’Mara ’21, were a part of the winning 200-yard freestyle relay team.
First year Jamie Yeh ’23 placed first in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 56.58. According to Yeh, the Elis’ sense of team spirit both on and off the pool deck has been crucial to her success.
“I think I’ve been surprised by how much the team’s energy can make a difference in both practices and races. It was so cool to be racing at Brown and Columbia because everyone on the team was genuinely just so happy and excited to be there,” Yeh said. “With a championship meet coming up, I can’t wait to see my teammates throw down some best times. I’m just trying to enjoy every ‘first time’ moment I’m getting here.”
On Saturday, the men’s team (2–1, 1–1) fell to Columbia (3–0, 2–0) by a 44-point margin. Despite the 172–128 defeat, the Blue and White had strong showings in a number of events at the Uris Pool.
Diver Christian DeVol ’21 came out on top in both of his events, scoring a 355.12 in the three-meter dive and a 330.23 in the one-meter dive.
Liam Bogart ’22 finished first in the 1000-yard freestyle with a time of 9:35.20 — nearly three seconds faster than his competitors.
The Elis saw success in the 100-yard butterfly, with Connor Lee ’23, Patrick Frith ’21 and Ryan Huizing ’20 finishing in first, second and third, respectively.
The 400-yard freestyle relay team, consisting of Henry Gaissert ’20, Philippe Marcoux ’22, Greg Kalin ’23 and Joseph Page ’23, glided to a first-place finish with a time of 2:58.66, setting an Uris Pool record in the process.
The Elis travel next to Columbus, Ohio, on Thursday to compete in the Ohio State Invitational. The Yale swimming and diving teams will go up against strong competition with teams as varied as Virginia Tech, Notre Dame, Kentucky University, UCLA, the University of Buffalo and Ohio State.
“The team has been focused on school and internships and this trip will help them find their voice in the team and understand where they are needed to support each other,” associate head coach Kyle Schack said. “The swimmers and divers are hard workers and they relish moments like this where they can contribute in a positive way to the advancement of the program.”
According to Schack, the competition format in the Buckeye State will differ slightly from that of the regular season dual meets. Athletes qualify into the scoring finals by performing well in the preliminary rounds.
As the Ivy League Championship in February uses a similar format, this will be a perfect opportunity for the Elis to gather experience and test its strengths against high-level out-of-conference competition.
“Moving towards the Ohio State Invite, we are looking to keep our momentum and race hard against teams outside of our conference,” captain Kendall Brent ’20 said. “Our goal is to tackle each race and dive one at a time, and work towards obtaining personal bests in both short course and long course races.”
The Ohio State Invitational runs from Thursday till Saturday at the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion in Columbus, Ohio.
Ryan Chiao | email@example.com