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Bulldogs Celebrate 2010-2011's Top Performers at Annual Banquet

Christopher Luu. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Christopher Luu. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

The Yale men's swimming and diving team announced its award winners for the 2010-2011 season at its annual banquet Friday night. Eight different swimmers earned prizes for first-year Robert J.H. Kiphuth Director of Swimming Tim Wise's squad. 

Freshman Mike Bogese earned the Tim Jecko Award, awarded annually for outstanding performances in the individual medley.  Tim, a member of the 1956 United States Olympic Team, won many national championships and held many records in freestyle, butterfly and the individual medley.  It was established in 2004 in honor of Tim Jecko '59 by the Yale Class of 1959. Bogese burst onto the Yale swimming scene with a very strong freshman season, turning in consistent top-three performances in the 1000-yard freestyle, often dueling with senior Matt Lee for the top spot in that event. Bogese was also a force in the IM, particularly at H-Y-P, where he won the 400-yard medley straight out.

Fellow freshman Danny McDermott took home the M. Davies award, donated by the family of Melindi Davies, class of 1998, and awarded for outstanding performance in breaststroke swimming. McDermott was a force in the breaststroke all season, perhaps most spectacularly at the Ivy League Championships where his time of 2:04.70 was good for 13th overall in the 200-yard breaststroke. McDermott also showed brilliance in the 400-yard IM, taking 12th at the Ivy League Championships in that event to show versatility after a season of consistently strong breaststroke performances.

Sophomore Mike Dominski, who earned second-team All-Ivy honors in the 100-yard butterfly for the second-straight season, earned the S. Livingston Mather award, donated by the late S. Livingston Mather, class of 1905, and awarded for outstanding performance in backstroke swimming. Dominski was an integral part of Yale relay squads all year, and turned in top-three finishes in the 100-yard backstroke against Cornell (2nd), Penn/Dartmouth (2nd), Harvard/Princeton (3rd), UConn (2nd), and Brown (1st).

Captain Kyle Veatch, a stalwart for the Elis in the sprint events for four years, earned the Heaton High Point award for scoring the highest possible number of points for the team in dual meet competition for the past season. Classmate Alex Gornitzky was awarded the William Leeming Jelliffe Award, awarded to that senior who has shown the greatest progress and development in swimming ability and outstanding leadership during his college years, given in memory of William Leeming Jelliffe by his father, the late Dr. Smith Ely Jelliffe. Gornitzky was third in the 100-yard backstroke against Brown (51.63),  fourth against UConn (52.09), and turned in a phenomenal fifth-place finish in that event at H-Y-P (50.77). Gornitzky was also a major component of Yale relay squads all season.

 Senior diver Eric Olson earned the MacLeish Memorial Swimming Trophy, established in 1936 by Hassted R. Vanderpoel '35S, in memory of Kenneth MacLeish, 1918 who was killed in World War I.  This trophy is awarded to that member of the Yale Swimming Team, who through his efforts and high ideals in sportsmanship and loyalty, best exemplifies the spirit of Kenneth MacLeish. Olson was a big part of an improved Yale diving corps, earning first-place finishes in the 1-meter diving event against Cornell and Brown, and in the 3-meter event against Navy, breaking into the top three in at least one of those events in nearly every single meet this season.

Freshman Pat Killian earned the Harry Burke award given to that underclassman that makes an outstanding contribution in honor of Yale's former freshman swim coach. Killian went head-to-head with Veatch in the sprint events all season, while also turning in some strong performances in the 200-yard freestyle (4th at the highly-competitive Terrier Invitational in the season's second meet). Killian was also a major component of the ever-important relay teams.

Senior Matt Lee, who has been a massive contributor to the Yale effort through his consistently solid performances in the distance events, took home the Phil Moriarty Prize,  honoring former Yale Varsity Swim Coach and United States Olympic Coach, Phil Moriarty.  It was established in 1969 by the Yale Swimming Association and is "awarded to that upperclassmember of the Men's Varsity team who has contributed immeasurably to the Yale Swimming tradition by his dedication and personal achievement". Lee was a force in the 500-yard freestyle and 1000-yard freestyle throughout his career, and took first overall in the 1650-yard event at the Terrier Invitational. Lee took first in the 1000-yard freestyle against Columbia, Cornell, Penn/Dartmouth, and Brown.

 The Bulldogs also elected now-junior Christopher Luu their 2011-2012 captain by a vote at the banquet. Luu is the 104th captain in the program's 114th year.