January 31, 2013

Battle of the Unbeatens at HYP

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – This weekend the Yale women's swimming and diving team will place its undefeated Ivy League record on the line at the annual tri-meet against Harvard and Princeton.  The Bulldogs are 4-0 in dual meets this season with wins again Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth and Penn, but the Crimson and the Tigers are unbeaten in the conference as well.  As Yale's last away meet before Ivy's, which will also be hosted by Princeton, this meet will be a good benchmark for Yale's swimmers and divers to look back to in four weeks when all eight teams convene in Princeton for the Ivy League Championships.

"We are excited to race against two very good teams," said Robert J.H. Kiphuth Head Coach Jim Henry.  "It is a great chance to compete in the same pool the Ivy Championships will be held at next month."

The three teams competing this weekend account for 25 of the last 27 Ivy League Championship titles, and Princeton and Harvard have traded the top spot back and forth for the last 13 years.  The Crimson are the winners of last year's Ivy League Championship meet, taking it back from the Tigers who held a 43-dual meet winning streak running up to last year's HYP meet.

Yale's season thus far has been mostly without fault.  The team began the 2012-13 season with three successful scrimmages against Colgate, Lehigh and SCSU, followed by a win against Columbia in Yale's home opener.  The Bulldogs then took first place at the Terrier Invitational in Boston, and racked up three more dual meet wins earlier this month.  The squad has set four school records so far.  At the Brown Invitational, however, the Bulldogs placed second behind Princeton after three days of competition.

The Tigers are ranked number one in the Ivy League as of earlier this month.  Like Yale, Princeton also has a record of 4-0 so far, but with wins against Brown, Cornell, Dartmouth and Penn, and also like Yale the Tigers have a strong group of freshman swimmers.  Princeton has freshmen that have met NCAA B-cuts in the 100-yard backstroke, 200-yard backstroke, 200-yard butterfly and the 400-yard IM.

Harvard has already raced – and won – against everyone in the Ivy League except for Princeton and Yale.  As their last test before Ivy's, the Crimson enter this weekend unbeaten except for a sixth-place finish at the UGA Fall Invitational against some very fast teams from outside the Ivy League.  Harvard will have some strong distance swimmers this weekend, including last year's Ivy League Champion in the 1000-yard and 1650-yard freestyle, as well as the second-place finisher in the 500-free at Ivy's last year.

The meet will take place this Friday and Saturday at Princeton's Denunzio Pool.  Competition begins Friday at 6:00 p.m., and will continue Saturday at 12:00 p.m.  The events scheduled for Friday are the 200-yard medley relay, 1000-yard freestyle, 200-yard freestyle, 100-yard backstroke, 100-yard breaststroke, 200-yard butterfly, 50-yard freestyle, and a 400-yard IM exhibition, and diving will be run concurrent with swimming.  Saturday's events are the 100-yard freestyle, 200-yard backstroke, 200-yard breaststroke, 500-yard freestyle, 100-yard butterfly, 200-yard IM and the 400-yard freestyle relay.

Report filed by Tom Lynam '13, Yale Sports Publicity