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Bulldogs Defeat Cornell for Final Home Meet Win, Greenberg Sets New Pool Record in 50 Free

Aaron Greenberg '18. Photo Courtesy of John Lapides '72
Aaron Greenberg '18. Photo Courtesy of John Lapides '72

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale men's swimming and diving team defeated Cornell 226-127 in its final home meet of the 2017-18 season. The victory concluded a grueling week of competition for the Bulldogs; The team defeated three Ivy League teams over five days. During the two days of competition against Cornell, the Bulldogs claimed first in 15 of the 19 events. Additionally, senior Aaron Greenberg set a new Robert J.H. Kiphuth Exhibition Pool record in the 50-yard freestyle. 

"The team has performed incredibly well over the last week," remarked Jim Henry, the Robert J.H. Kiphuth Coach of Men's and Women's Swimming and Diving. "Today's meet against Cornell was filled with outstanding diving and great racing. It was a great way to honor our seniors in their last meet at home."

On the first day of competition, the Bulldogs posted dominating individual performances, taking first and second in each event. Kicking off the meet to a strong start, first year Christian DeVol and sophomore Chris LaBella claimed first and second in the one-meter diving event with scores of 289.42 and 282.30, respectively. Additionally, senior Kei Hyogo touched first in the 1000-yard freestyle at 9:05.82 with first year Patrick Frith following in second at 9:35.27. 

Yale also found success in the relays on the first day, claiming first and second in each event as well. In the 400-yard medley relay, Yale's 'A' relay – senior Shawn Nee, first year Tim Dorje Wu, Greenberg and sophomore Henry Gaissert – touched first with a time of 3:19.04. Yale's 'B' relay – junior Edward Stolarski, senior Derek Kao and sophomores Ryan Huizing and Max Bottene – followed up in second with a time of 3:21.04.  In the 200-yard freestyle relay, Yale's 'A' relay – Gaissert, Bottene, sophomore Duncan Lee and Greenberg – won the event with a time of 1:21.32. Moreover, Yale's 'B' relay – first year Philippe Marcoux, Huizing, sophomore Tristan Furnary and junior Adrian Lin – claimed runner-up at 1:24.16. 

The Bulldogs continued the momentum on the second day of competition. Yale divers went one-two-three in the three-meter diving event with DeVol in first, LaBella in second and senior Wayne Zhang in third. 

The Bulldogs fielded an all senior relay team – Nee, Kao, Greenberg and team captain Dirk Bell – for the seniors' final home 200-yard medley relay.  In a close finish, the team just barely missed out on first to finish runner-up at 1:31.74. 

Yale found success in the individual medley events throughout the second day of competition. Greenberg won the 100-yard individual medley by over two seconds, touching at 50.07. In the 400-yard individual medley event, Hyogo touched first with a dominating performance. His time of 3:53.37 was over 10 seconds ahead of his nearest opponent. Wu followed up in third with a time of 4:09.00. 

The Bulldogs also took the top podium spot in all the individual freestyle events. In the 50-yard freestyle, Greenberg finished first by over a second with at time of 19.57. Moreover, Greenberg's time set a new Robert J.H. Kiphuth Exhibition Pool record. The previous record of 19.79 was held by Alex Righi '09, who was an American record-holder in the event in 2009. Huizing followed up in third at 21.30.

Gaissert and Bottene finished first and second, respectively, in the 100-yard freestyle; Gaissert touched at 45.38 and Bottene finished at 46.85. Lin led the charge in the 200-yard freestyle, finishing first at 1:40.49.  Gaissert followed up in second with a time of 1:41.80. In the 500-yard freestyle, Hyogo claimed his third individual win of the meet with a time of 4:24.08. Sophomore Matt Slabe also finished runner-up in the event with a time of 4:37.93. 

The team also found success in the stroke events throughout the meet. In the 100-yard backstroke, Stolarski won a tough battle with his Cornell opponents to finish first at 50.85, out-touching the runner-up by 0.04 seconds. Nee took on the mantle in the 200-yard backstroke, finishing first at 1:49.50.

In the 100-yard butterfly, Huizing finished runner-up with a time of 50.38 in a highly competitive field; All the racers were separated by less than one second. Junior William Drexler also claimed runner-up in the 200-yard butterfly with a time of 1:52.48. Following closely behind, Frith finished third with at time of 1:53.78.

Kao challenged the 2017 Ivy League champion, Alex Evdokimov, in the 100-yard breaststroke. In a close race, Kao fell short by less than 0.1 seconds, finishing runner-up with a time of 56.39. Senior Jonathan Rutter won the 200-yard breaststroke at 2:01.06 with a strong performance, finishing over six seconds faster than his nearest opponent.

The Bulldogs' strong performances in the individual events throughout the meet carried over in the final 400-yard freestyle relay. Yale's 'A' relay – Lin, Rutter, Hyogo and Marcoux – claimed first at 3:02.58 while Yale's 'B' relay – Furnary, first year Tyler Harmon, Lee and Drexler, finished runner-up at 3:07.90.

"I'm extremely happy with the steady growth the team has made over the last several months," Henry said. "They are working well together with tough racing and strong diving. We are looking forward to using this momentum in our training."

After concluding their final home meet of the season, the Bulldogs will go on the road for the exciting finale to their season. Next week, they will travel to New Jersey, where they will take on Seton Hall on Jan. 19.


Report by Neil Zheng '19, Yale Sports Publicity