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Yale Men’s Swim and Dive Celebrate Season with End-of-Year Honors

The Robert J.H. Kiphuth Exhibition Pool (Photo courtesy of Robbie Short '19 / Yale Daily News)
The Robert J.H. Kiphuth Exhibition Pool (Photo courtesy of Robbie Short '19 / Yale Daily News)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale men's swimming and diving team celebrated its 2017-18 season and honored members for their great contribution to the team. The team closed out their season in February with a 7-2 dual meet record and a third-place finish at the 2018 Ivy League Swimming Championship, breaking 11 school records along the way.   

Senior Shawn Nee received the Livingston Mather award for outstanding performance in backstroke swimming. Nee posted strong performances throughout the season, earning key wins to help the team top their opponents in dual meets. Nee closed out his senior season strongly, swimming the backstroke leadoff of two Yale records in the 200-yard and 400-yard medley relays. The prize was donated by S. Livingston Mather, class of 1905. 

First year Tim Dorje Wu was awarded the M. Davies Award for excellence in breaststroke swimming. Wu made a splash in his first collegiate meet, finishing first in the 100-yard breaststroke at dual meet against Brown. He kept up the momentum throughout the year and claimed third at the 2018 Ivy League Championships with a school record at 53.85. Wu also swam the breaststroke leg on both of the Yale-record breaking 200-yard and 400-yard medley relays. The award was donated by the family of Melindi Davies '98. 

Senior Jonathan Rutter received his second Tim Jecko Award for excellence in the individual medley events. This year, Rutter claimed fifth in the 200-yard individual medley at the 2018 Ivy Championships, setting a Yale record at 1:45.96. Moreover, Rutter took fourth in the 400-yard individual medley, contributed to the school record-breaking 800-yard free relay and finished runner-up in the 200-yard breaststroke in a new school record of 1:55.68. The Yale class of 1959 established the award in 2004 to honor of Jecko, a 1956 Olympic Team member.

Senior Kei Hyogo was honored with his fourth consecutive John Edward Heaton High Point Award, awarded to the swimmer who scored the highest possible number of points for the team in dual meet competition for the past season. Throughout his collegiate career, Hyogo has shown his versatility with strong performances in many events. He won 14 out of his 18 individual events during the dual meet season and recieved the 2018 Harold S. Ulen Award as the Ivy League's career high point swimmer. He will be leaving his mark on the Yale record books with four individual records and four relay records. 

Junior Adrian Lin was presented the MacLeish Memorial Swimming Trophy, awarded to a member of the team who, "through effort and high ideals in sportsmanship and loyalty to Yale, best exemplifies the spirit of Kenneth MacLeish, class of 1918." Lin earned his first trip to the 2018 NCAA Division I Swimming Championships this season and was elected captain for the upcoming 2018-19 season by his teammate. Hassted R. Vanderpoel '35 established the award in 1936 to honor MacLeish, who died on a Royal Air Force mission in World War I less than a month before the armistice. 

Sophomore Henry Gaissert received the Harry Burke Award for outstanding contribution to Yale swimming by an underclassman. Gaissert had multiple individual finishes in the finals of the 2018 Ivy League Championships, including a third-place finish in the 50-yard freestyle. Moreover, Gaissert stepped up to deliver key freestyle relay performances, helping the Bulldogs set four new relay records. The award was established by the Yale Swimming Association to honor Yale's retired freshman coach. 

Senior Derek Kao received the William Leeming Jelliffe Memorial Award, who "showed the greatest progress and development in swimming ability and outstanding leadership during their college years." Kao excelled at the breaststroke events throughout his collegiate career and just barely missed the finals in both the 100-yard and 200-yard breaststroke at the Ivy League Championships in his first three years. Undeterred, Kao finished his senior season strong with a sixth-place finish in the 100-yard breaststroke this year, dropping nearly three seconds from his first collegiate race in 2014. Dr. and Mrs. Smith Ely Jelliffe in memory of their son, William L. Jelliffe, Ph.B. 1923.

Senior Aaron Greenberg and Hyogo shared the Phil Moriarty Prize, given to an upperclassman "who has contributed immeasurably to the Yale Swimming tradition by his dedication and personal achievement." While Hyogo took the mantle in the long-distance freestyles and the individual medley events, Greenberg established his dominance in the sprint freestyles, winning both the 50-yard and 100-yard freestyle at the 2018 Ivy League Championship. Both Greenberg and Hyogo also represented Yale at the NCAA Division I Swimming Championships, earning their tickets through years of training and dedication. The award honors the late Moriarty, a member of the American Swimming Coaches Association Hall of Fame and the International Swimming Hall of Fame who compiled a 195-25 record as head coach of the Bulldogs from 1959-1976.


Report by Neil Zheng '19, Yale Sports Publicity