Feb. 5, 2009
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - For the Bulldog men's swimming and diving team, this Saturday's meet against the Huskies of UConn presents an opportunity to get a winning streak started after losing two tough dual meets last weekend to Harvard and Princeton. The Elis (5-4 overall, 3-3 Ivy League), who soundly defeated their cross-state opponent last year, will seek to continue building upon their improvement over the past months that will hopefully carry into the championship part of the season.
In 2008, the Bulldogs picked up a huge win against the Huskies, winning 199-99. In the process, the Yale swimmers and divers registered wins in 13 of the 16 events, only failing to pick up the first-place position in the 200-yard backstroke, the 200-yard individual medley and the 400-yard freestyle, an event in which the Bulldogs did not enter a competing team that that was eligible to score.
While the Bulldogs did achieve a big win last year, the Huskies still have the possibility to be a challenging opponent. UConn posted an 8-1 dual-meet record last season and placed fifth at the Big East Championship. This year, the team has posted an undefeated (7-0) dual-meet record, but the team has not competed against any opponent the Bulldogs have faced in dual-meet competition. The team is coming off of a 163-122 win against Georgetown on Jan. 31. The diving competition at the meet should be tough, as UConn freshman Brad Schott has met the NCAA Zone Diving standard (330.83) in the three-meter event while junior Stephen Ferreria has a high score of 299.78 in the one-meter event.
The Bulldogs look in good shape going into the meet, with the vast majority of event winners from last year returning to the team. Of the 13 events that the Bulldogs won in 2008, the winners for the Bulldogs return in 10. Senior captain Alex Righi won three individual events, sophomore Matt Lee won two events and sophomore Lugar Choi along with seniors Chris Pool, Tyler Scheid and Matt Sweitzer each won one event last year. In the swimming events, of the first-place finishers, only Colin Stalnecker `08, the winner of the 200-yard breaststroke, has graduated, but another swimmer, such as Sweitzer, senior Kyle McElroy or junior Craig Steen should be able to fill in his place. As well, Jeffrey Lichtenstein '08 won both the one- and three- meter events in 2008, but sophomore Eric Olson, freshman Colton Staab and junior Drew Teer, each of whom have won events this season, should be able to guarantee a strong performance for the team in both events. In the three-meter event, Olson has already qualified for the NCAA Zone Diving Championships, just like UConn's Schott, but Olson boasts a higher score (333.83).
Robert J. H. Kiphuth Director of Swimming Frank Keefe is looking forward to the meet.
"The UConn meet will be interesting and exciting because they are a scholarship school," Keefe said. "Hopefully our kids will be ready after competing for so many weekends."
Competition will get underway at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday.
Report filed by Caleb Dorfman '09, Yale Sports Publicity