Yale Tops Columbia in Season Opener

Mike Lazris. (photo by Tom Lynam '13, Yale Sports Publicity)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – In one of only two home meets this season, the Yale men's swimming and diving team defeated Columbia in Kiphuth Pool on Saturday.  Yale won all but four swimming events and split the diving events with the Lions. Of Yale's 11 wins, sophomores Alwin Firmansyah and Andrew Heymann claimed three each.  The final score was Yale 170, Columbia 130.

Tyler Pramer got things started for the Bulldogs with a win in the three-meter diving event.  Pramer had a score of 312.45, a marked improvement over his scores on three meter from Yale's two preseason scrimmages, and was the only diver to score over 300 points.  James McNelis finished fourth with a score of 236.25.

Yale's 200-yard medley relay then won in what was a very close race.  Mike Lazris matched Columbia's backstroke swimmer almost exactly, but it was Heymann who got the Bulldogs a lead on the breaststroke leg and Firmansyah who grew the lead on the butterfly leg.  Paschall Davis finished things up with a quick freestyle swim to put Yale 'A' in first with a time of 1:32.57.  Columbia's  'A' relay finished second in a time of 1:32.83 with Yale 'B' in third with a time of 1:34.49.

Rob Harder had his first win of the day in the 1000-yard freestyle.  Harder clocked in at 9:26.74, well ahead of his own winning time against Columbia from this dual meet last year (9:30.61).  In third was William Yang (9:27.81) and Brian Hogan was fifth (9:40.44).

Columbia claimed the 200-yard freestyle and 100-yard backstroke, but Heymann cruised to a comfortable win in the 100-yard breaststroke.  Heymann posted a time of 56.87, the next fastest belonging to Columbia's Matthew Swallow (58.18).  Ronald Tsui was third with a time of 58.99.

The 200-yard butterfly belonged to Firmansyah, proving that Harder wouldn't be the only one to improve upon his own winning times from last year's dual meet against Columbia.  Firmansyah clocked in at 1:47.48 to better last year's time of 1:47.59.  Firmansyah's margin of a victory was a solid three seconds, with a few more seconds back to Jake Goldstein (1:54.01) for fourth place and Jared Lovett (1:54.28) for fifth place.

Davis posted a time of 21.11 in the 50-yard freestyle, faster than his time at this meet last year but only good enough for second place this time around.  Then in the one-meter diving event Pramer put up 292.35 points for third place, with McNelis behind him in fourth with 277.20 points.

Firmansyah's second individual win came in the 100-yard freestyle.  With the only sub-22 split for the first 50 yards Firmansyah got himself a lead and would go on to finish with a time of 45.21, again faster than his winning time from last year.  Victor Zhang took third with a time of 46.54, and Pat Killian took fifth with a time of 47.47.

Kevin Stang and Lazris had a close 1-2 finish in the 200-yard backstroke.  Lazris had the fastest first 50 yards but Stang came back in the second 50 to take the lead.  In the end Stang finished in a time of 1:50.47 to Lazris' 1:50.74.  Only 0.49 seconds separated the top three swimmers in the event.

The second breaststroke event of the afternoon also went to Heymann.  Again with a margin of victory of more than three seconds, Heymann clocked in at 2:04.05 to win the 200-yard breaststroke.  Tsui took third with a time of 2:09.28 and Danny McDermott took fourth with a time of 2:09.66.

Harder won the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 4:34.95 to claim both distance events against the Lions.  Yang took second with a time of 4:35.71. 

Firmansyah also claimed the 100-yard butterfly, his third individual win of the day.  His time of 49.22 was good enough for first place.  Mike Dominski put some points on the board as well in fourth place with a time of 51.28.

The 200-yard individual medley was Yale's last win of the day, and Heymann's first-place finish would ensure a victory for the Bulldogs.  Heymann had a slight lead over Lazris after the butterfly leg but Heymann really pulled away while swimming backstroke.  After relatively fast breaststroke and freestyle splits Heymann's final time was 1:51.67, the next fastest time belonging to Columbia's Eric Traub (1:54.63).

Lazris and Stang also added to Yale's point total with fourth- and fifth-place finishes in the 200 IM to give the Bulldogs more breathing room heading to the 400-yard freestyle relay.  There Columbia 'A' would just beat Yale 'A' flight of Zhang, Killian, Davis and Harder, touching the wall in 3:05.33 to Yale's 3:05.78.

Next the Bulldogs will travel to Lewisburg, Pa., for the Bucknell Invitational from Nov. 16-18.

Report filed by Tom Lynam '13, Yale Sports Publicity