Yale Athletics

The men and women’s swimming and diving teams hit the pool with impressive strokes this past weekend against Brown University and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. 

At the Kiphuth Exhibition Pool on Friday, Nov. 5, the men’s team dominated Brown in a 194–106 victory, and the women’s team did the same with a 184.5–115.5 win. The next day,  both teams beat UMass, finishing off the perfect opening weekend. 

“After spending weeks discussing our individual and collective goals, it was satisfying to put our words into action and see the first part of the process unfold,” men’s swimmer Noah Millard ’25 said. “Fuelled by our family and friends in the stands, I was really impressed with the intensity we brought from the very first event that gave us momentum for the rest of the competition.”

Millard, who won his three events — the 200 freestyle, 200 backstroke and 500 freestyle — headlined the Bulldogs’ successful start to the season. He told the News that his personal goals for the year are to set the school record in the 200 freestyle and chase the 500 freestyle record. In addition, he aims to finish the season as the Ivy League champion and even qualify for his second NCAA Championship. 

According to Millard, the team’s “mental toughness” has improved from last year, and he is excited to see the “hunger and determination” from returning athletes and the new first years.

Iszac Henig ’23 and Millard both qualified for the NCAA Championships last year, where Henig earned All-America recognition, and Millard finished 24th in the nation in the 1650 freestyle.

On the women’s swim team, Alex Massey ’25, Ophelia Pilkinton ’23 and newcomer Lilly Derivaux ’26 won multiple events for Yale against Brown. Lily Horenkamp ’26, another newcomer, won the 1 and 3-meter dive. 

The women’s team also won the 200 medley and the 400 freestyle relays on Friday. 

“This time of year is not known for fast times due to the high intensity of the training,” associate head coach Kyle Schack said. “Given that, our results were quite positive, and that meant a lot.”

Schack noted that both the Brown and UMass teams were well coached, which is why Yale’s “group effort” was crucial to winning the overall meets. 

California native Ray Wipfli ’25 finished this weekend with a new personal best against UMass in the 1-meter dive. He noted the “tough” loss against Brown last year and the contrasting “dominance” Yale had against Brown this year. 

“It was great to see how the first years filled in some of the holes in our roster and to see many of the returning athletes improve on their performances last year,” Wipfli said.

At last year’s Ivy League Championship, the men’s team placed sixth. This year, however, the team is looking to greatly improve upon these results. The women’s team placed second at the Ivy League Championship last year after a perfect regular season

Wipfli said that beating Brown was a “promising step” towards the goal of improving their Ivy ranking this year.

“There was a significant amount of time spent reviewing what went wrong last season by our coaches and us, so we have identified the areas that we can improve on and are working towards doing so,” Millard said. 

Two new coaches have joined the swimming and diving team this year, including Dani Korman and Joey Reilman as assistant swimming and diving coaches. 

The men’s team will host Columbia University back home at the Kiphuth Exhibition pool once again this Saturday, while the women will travel to New York City to face the Lions.

Paloma Vigil is the Arts Editor for the Yale Daily News. She previously served as a DEI co-chair and staff reporter for the University and Sports desks. Past coverage includes religious life, Yale College Council, sailing and gymnastics. Originally from Miami, she is a junior in Pauli Murray College majoring in Psychology and Political Science.