November 20, 2011

Bulldogs Make Statement at Terrier Invitational

BOSTON, Mass. - If there was any doubt that this year's Yale men's swimming and diving team was a legitimate contender in the Ivy League, this weekend in Boston should lay it to rest. The Bulldogs stormed to the front of a highly-competitive field at Boston University's Terrier Invitational, beating the likes of the ACC's Boston College, storied BU and the University of Massacusetts in a three-day meet. As they have throughout the season's first two weekend's Yale's freshmen were invaluable components of the win, particularly Robby Harder and Alwin Firmansyah, who brought home multiple wins.

Harder got Sunday started with a win for the Bulldogs, taking first in the epic 1650-yard freestyle (15:52.31). Sophomore West Cuthbert also turned in a strong performance in that event, taking seventh in 16:26.84.

Harder was also a factor in the 200-yard backstroke - the day's next event - taking sixth (1:52.63) behind fifth-place finisher and classmate Mike Lazris (1:52.32). Freshman Dillion Thompson (1:52.84) and junior Jared Lovett (1:55.21) were the seventh and eighth-place finishers, respectively, in that event.

Elis were prevalent in the top ten of the 100-yard freestyle, as well. Paschall Davis was Yale's top finisher, taking sixth in 46.64. Sophomore Pat Killian and freshman Josh Ginsborg were next for the Bulldogs, tying for tenth with remarkable matching times of 47.34.

Freshman Andrew Heymann, sophomore Danny McDermott and freshman Ronald Tsui gave the Elis three in the top ten of the 200-yard breaststroke. Heymann finished seventh (2:06.83), McDermott eighth (2:07.49) and Tsui tenth (2:07.19).

Firmansyah's final individual win of the weekend came in the 200-yard butterfly. The freshman won that event in 1:49.82. Sophomore Ed Becker also swam a very strong race in the 200 fly, taking fourth, just two spots ahead of junior Mike Dominski. West Cuthbert's eighth-place finish gave Yale four swimmers in the event's top ten, and set up the Bulldogs to clinch the meet win in the 400-yard freestyle relay.

The Eli corps in that final race of the weekend was made up entirely of newcomers: Heymann, Davis, Harder and Firmansyah, who finished second in 3:04.08.

The finish clinched the victory for Yale, whose 800 points were a convincing 88 ahead of the second-place finisher Boston College. The showing is the best at the Terrier Invitational for any swimmer on the Elis' roster, and marks a big test passed for the young Bulldogs, whose next meet comes against one of the teams they beat out this weekend - the University of Massachusetts - on Dec. 3rd in New Haven.

Report filed by Chelsea Janes '12, Yale Sports Publicity