Nov. 19, 2003
The Bulldog Men Swimmers and Divers open their 2003-2004 season when they travel to College Park, MD this coming Thursday through Saturday (11/20-22) and compete for the first time in the 2003 Terrapin Cup Invitational. The three day meet will follow the NCAA national championship format and prepare the Bulldogs for the championship meets (EISL's & NCAA's) later this school year. The meet will be held in College Park Maryland at the University of Maryland's new Campus Recreation Center Natatorium. This outstanding facility was the site of this past summer's 2003 USS National Swimming Championships. At this meet, and pool, numerous new American record were established.
The Yale team hopes to challenge the Terrapin men's squad which is the defending team champion from the 2002 Cup Meet. Other teams returning are the runner up team from the West Chester University, and third place team finisher from last season the squad from James Madison. The field will also include teams from the University of Connecticut, William and Mary, Old Dominion and Drexel.
The Yale Men's swimming and diving team is coming off the 2002 - 03 campaign in which it finished a solid 3rd place finish at the Eastern Intercollegiate Swimming League Championship and with an 11 - 2 dual meet record. As a new season begins the Bulldogs hope to continue their rich tradition of swimming and diving success. Head coach Frank Keefe returns for his 26th season at the helm of the Blue.
The Yale men return 11 of the 18 swimmers from last years Eastern squad. Leading the way are a pair of school record holders, Alex Nash and Jimmy Veazey. Nash, this year's captain, was a top 8 finisher in his three individual events while Veazey finaled in two.
The success of the Yale sprinters may prove to play a pivotal role in the overall success of the program this year. Veazey and fellow seniors Jack Cooney and Matt Bowman are back and will be relied upon heavily. Underclassmen that have shown promise include sophomores Tom Hardy and Cameron Hendrick and, although untested, much is expected of freshman Andrew Foss and Ben Dzialo.
The middle distance freestyle group returns intact from last year. Yale's Top 5 200 freestyler's and 3 of the Top 5 500 freestyler's are all back. This will be a major strength for the Bulldogs. Look for Cooney and Quinn Fitzgerald to lead the charge while Bowman, Kieran Locke and Foss will all see considerable action.
The Yale distance group will once again compete for top honors in the League. Returnees Matt Aldrich and John Atkinson were finalists at last years EISL meet. Freshman Kent Garber, Mark Fisher, Lou Krasenics, Kevin Pudas and possibly a few others will continue the Distance Group tradition.
The backstroke group will be a mix of youth and experience. Nash broke George Gleason's school record at last years Eastern meet in the 100. Seniors Cooney, Cole Heggi and Hanan Levin, possess the experience necessary while freshman Chris Dufek, Mike Slater, Matt Thunell and Geof Zann are all eager to prove they can compete.
The breaststroke group like the middle distance freestylers, return everyone from last season. Tom Hardy and Colin O'Brady posted top times last year. Cameron Hendrick has recovered from a knee injury last season and will join Joe Mack and Robert Schotter to provide depth.
The butterflyers are a well tested group. Leading the way are Nash and Veazey. Both were finalists, placing 5th and 7th, respectively in the 100 at the EISL Championships. Veazey broke Mike Caperonis's 200 record at the HYP meet in February and lowered that standard again at the EISL meet. Other candidates that will round out the squad in this stroke include Cooney and Fitzgerald as well as freshman Dzialo, Ryan Koscianski and Thunell.
The Individual Medley events like the backstroke will combine experience and potential. Seniors Cooney, Bowman and Heggi have performed well throughout their careers. Sophomores Brendan Everman and Hendrick will combine with freshman Dufek, Krasenics and Slater to form Yale's next group of strong IM swimmers.
Mike Rohrbaugh returns as the lone diver. With the addition of Ryan Moenke as the new Bulldog's diving coach, he is looking for a greater contribution from Rohrbaugh.
The team is greatly anticipating the start of the 2003 - 04 season. The leadership of the senior class and the balanced contribution of the underclassman has Yale thinking about taking the next step at the conference meet. The team is eager to get off well at the Terrapin Cup Invitational, as it will provide the Bulldogs with a great deal of competition and an opportunity to prove that Yale is one of the better teams in the east.