January 14, 2012

Bicer Wins Three as Bulldogs Maintain Perfect Slate

Look out Harvard and Princeton: the Yale men's swimming and diving team is for real. The Bulldogs passed their final test before their showdown with the perennial powerhouse Crimson and Tigers when they disposed of both Dartmouth and Penn Saturday in Hanover. Freshmen Alwin Firmansyah and Rob Harder broke pool records as Yale downed the Quakers 188-112 and the host Big Green 174-126.

Firmansyah's records came in the 200-yard butterfly (1:48.17) and 200-yard IM (1:50.37), both of which bested the previous mark by over a full second. Harder's came in the 200-yard backstroke, one of his two wins on the day along with the 500-yard freestyle. Harder took second in the 1000-yarder, as well.

Firmansyah teamed with classmates Mike Lazris and Andrew Heymann and senior Goksu Bicer to open the day with a big win in the 200-yard medley relay, which the quartet swam in 1:32.78.

Harder (2nd) then combined with sophomores West Cuthbert (5th) and Danny Clarke (9th) to give Yale three in the top ten in the 1000-yard freestyle. Distance events proved strong for the Bulldogs throughout the meet, as they bested their 1000-yard showing with three of the top six in the 500-yard race. Harder took the win, followed closely by junior Mike Dominski (4th) and freshman Josh Ginsborg (6th).

Ginsborg was the victor in the 200-yard freestyle, an event in which sophomore Pat Killian also swam well, taking 6th.

That was followed by one of Yale's best showings of the day, as three of the top six finishers in the 100-yard backstroke were Bulldogs. Lazris took second, touching out Dominski (third). Senior Matt Boone also impressed, taking sixth.

The Elis were well-represented in the 100-yard breaststroke, too. Heymann led the way with a second-place finish, and classmate Ronald Tsui wasn't far behind in fifth. Just behind him, senior captain Christopher Luu and sophomore Danny McDermott tied for sixth.

Firmansyah's record-breaking performance in the 200-yard butterfly was backed by a 4-5 finish by junior Jared Lovett and Becker, respectively. Bicer followed it with a win in the 50-yard freestyle, and Paschall Davis made that a lucrative race for Yale as he grabbed third.

Bicer made it two big wins with a victory in the 100-yard freestyle, as well. He touched out Firmansyah (second) and Ginsborg (fourth). Yale's control of the top two spots continued in Harder's 200-yard backstroke performance, as Lazris finished just behind him for second in that race.

The Bulldogs continued to show off their depth and versatility with dominance in the 200-yard breaststroke. Heymann took second, Tsui fourth, McDermott fifth, and Luu eighth.

Bicer rounded out an unbelievable three-win day with a win in the 100-yard  butterfly. Davis took fifth. Firmansyah's win in the 200 IM followed, and that set up Ginsborg, Killian, Davis and Harder to make sure Yale's day ended where it started: with a win. With their time of 3:06.15, that corps sealed the win for the Bulldogs, whose dual victories send them to H-Y-P with a perfect record.

Not to be overlooked are Yale's divers, led by sophomore Tyler Pramer, who took second in both the 1-meter and 3-meter events.

The vastly-improved Elis now have two weeks before they see just how far they've come. That's when they'll take on the cream of the Ivy League crop, Harvard and Princeton, who, after Saturday's Yale showing, certainly look to have some company at the top as the season comes to an end and everyone looks towards the all-important, season-defining Ivy League Championships in early March.

Report filed by Chelsea Janes '12, Yale Sports Publicity.

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