NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The men's swimming and diving team had a rough start to 2010 Sunday, dropping a 169-131 decision to Cornell's Big Red (4-2) at the Robert J.H. Kiphuth Pool. The dual meet marks the first for the Elis in 2010, and drops Yale's record in the Ivy League to 0-2, after a loss to Columbia in the season's opener.
"When you get to this point in the season, you start to see the holes you need to fill." Robert J.H. Kiphuth director of swimming and diving Frank Keefe said. "You can't bring in new people to fill those holes, so people have to step up. Hopefully we'll learn from today as we head towards championship season."
The Bulldogs got off to a strong start, as their combination of freshman Mike Dominski and juniors Zak Murez, Alex Benz, and Kyle Veatch took the 200 yard medley relay with a time of 1:33.15. The Elis followed that race up with a win thanks to junior Matt Lee's 9:58.91 time in the 1000 yard freestyle. Fellow Bulldog and junior Jerrold Lee took third in that event.
Lugar Choi was Yale's top finisher in the 200 yard freestyle, taking third while Veatch grabbed the fourth spot. Dominski then took second in the 100 yard backstroke.
Sophomore Goksu Bicer's time of 1:51.54 was good for the top spot in the 200 butterfly, while teammate Scott Shinton took third. Bicer won his second race of the day in the 100 yard freestyle, while junior Lugar Choi took third.
Freshman Jared Lovett then led the way for the Elis in the 200 yard backstroke, finishing third with his time of 1:56.84. Senior Craig Steen, battling a knee injury, did the same in the 200 yard breaststroke, swimming a 2:08.36. Matt Lee's 4:39.62 was good for second overall in the 500 yard freestyle, making him Yale's top swimmer in that event.
Goksu Bicer topped off a big day with his third victory, a win in the 100 yard butterfly thanks to a time of 49.43 seconds.
Yet his three first place efforts were not enough to propel the Bulldogs to victory, as Cornell simply took too many spots in the top three -and therefore earned too many points - for the Elis to come away with the win.
Yale's divers also had a tremendous day in the loss, as seniors Drew Teer and Eric Olson, and sophomore Colton Staab took first, second, and third, respectively in the 1 meter diving event. Staab also took first in the 3 meter diving, while Cornell's Michael Sheppard and Jonathan Zollo rounded out the top three.
The meet was the Bulldogs' first since Dec. 5th, a win over the University of Massachusetts.
"We had a great few weeks of training over the holiday break." Coach Frank Keefe said. "The kids are tired, but that's what we had to do. Some of the guys aren't happy they didn't swim as fast as they have -I'm not happy either - but it's a question of what they learned. You're not going to swim rested all the time."
The Bulldogs will need to learn from their mistakes quickly, as a crucial Ivy League meet against Penn and Dartmouth looms on Jan. 16th. The Elis' next home meet comes Jan. 23rd against Navy's Midshipmen.
Report filed by Chelsea Janes '12, Yale Sports Publicity