SWIMMING & DIVING: Women cap off perfect season at HYP meet
At the annual Harvard-Yale-Princeton swim meet, the Yale women’s team blew the Tigers and Crimson out of the water with dominant victories. However, the men came up short, placing third on the day.
Zoe Berg, Photo Editor
With the Ivy Championships starting in two weeks, the Yale women’s swimming and diving team (9–0, 7–0 Ivy) has much to look forward to. The team closed out their regular season in dominant fashion, defeating Harvard (6–2, 5–2) and Princeton (8–1, 6–1) 211–89 and 182–118, respectively at the annual Harvard-Yale-Princeton meet.
Meanwhile, the Yale men’s swimming and diving team (4–4, 3–4) slipped below .500 with losses to both Harvard and Princeton this weekend. The men’s team was bested by Harvard (8–1, 7–0) 104.5–248.5 and by Princeton (7–1, 6–1) 163.5–189.5 at the Robert J. H. Kiphuth Exhibition Pool this past weekend.
“It was a great performance by both teams against strong competition. HYP in the Kiphuth Pool brings out the best in our team,” head coach Jim Henry said. “We look forward to improving upon the HYP success at the Ivy championship in a few weeks.”
All eyes were on the women’s competition as all three schools were undefeated in conference play going into the meet. In the end, the Bulldogs finished on top, claiming both the HYP title and the top spot in the Ivy League standings.
The women’s 64-point margin of victory over the Tigers is the squad’s second-smallest this season, after a 162.5–137.5 defeat against Penn.
“The team had a phenomenal meet this weekend. Not only were we racing our rival schools Harvard and Princeton, but it was also our seniors’ last home meet,” swimmer Claire Michalik ’25 said. “The energy throughout the weekend was a huge component of our success in the pool and on the boards. It was amazing to watch my teammates’ faces light up as they touched out the competition or set a new personal best time.”
Yale has claimed the HYP crown in five of the last six seasons, and over this span the Bulldogs have posted a 64–2 dual meet record. Iszac Henig ’23 got the Bulldogs off to a great start by winning the 100 yard freestyle with a time of 48.37. Alex Massey ’25 reigned champion in the 200 yard backstroke with a time of 1:57.32. Yale nearly swept the 200 breaststroke, with Ava Franks ’25 winning with a time of 2:12.56, and MaryKate Buckley ’23 coming in second with a time of 2:16.23. A Princeton swimmer eked out third, just 0.05 seconds ahead of Olivia Paoletti ’23.
The Bulldogs also shined in team events, dominating the 400 yard freestyle relay. Henig, Ophelia Pilkinton ’23, Lindsey Wagner ’23 and Marlise Moesch ’22 won with a time of 3:17.61. In second place was the Yale team of Marissa Healy ’23, Vivian Weng ’24, Junseo Kim ’25 and Raime Jones ’23.
As this was their final home meet of their college careers, seniors Alessandra Baldari ’22, Marisa Conner ’22, Ashley Loomis ’22 and Moesch were all honored.
“We are very pleased with the finish to our senior weekend,” assistant coach Molly Chamberlain told Yale Athletics. “Our group’s intensity and camaraderie were the keys to these wins. I’m grateful to our senior class who led the way. We are looking forward to championship season.”
While Yale finished first in the women’s competition, the men’s team will aim to turn things around at the Ivy League Championships next month.
This past weekend, Harvard earned the HYP title, with Princeton coming in at second in front of Yale.
Yale swimmer Noah Millard ’25 made the most of his first HYP meet. The Australian took the 500 freestyle by storm, posting a winning time of 4:18.99.
Other standout performances for the Bulldogs came from JP Ditto ’24, placing second in the three-meter diving event. Jack O’Connor ’23 finished third in the 400 individual medley, clocking in at 3:54.24. Marcus Hodgson ’24 and Alex Brehm ’25 also made the podium with third-place finishes in the 100 yard butterfly and 200 yard breaststroke, respectively.
Before the men’s competition began on Saturday afternoon, Princeton diver Griffin Brooks adorned the Tigers’ bench with two transgender pride flags.
“It seems like transgender rights have been a source of debate recently… and I wanted to make sure that people knew where I stand. I am gender nonconforming [and] non-binary and thus I fall under the trans umbrella and I identify as trans.” Brooks wrote to the News. “I’m proud of who I am, and I think that Ivy League Athletics should be a place free from judgement and any discrimination.”
Griffin also mentioned that they also displayed the trans flags at the Princeton-Columbia-Navy meet the weekend prior to HYP.
The Bulldogs remain hopeful about their chances to earn the Ivy League crown in February. With the women’s team being undefeated, hopes are high.
“Building off the momentum of an undefeated season and HYP championship, our eyes are set on the Ivy title and our best swimming is still to come,” Michalik said.
The Bulldogs will begin their fight for the Ivy title on Feb. 16 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.