Yale Beats SCSU in Season's First Meet

Josh Ginsborg. (photo by Tom Lynam '13, Yale Sports Publicity)
Josh Ginsborg. (photo by Tom Lynam '13, Yale Sports Publicity)

NEW HAVEN, Conn.- The Yale men's swimming and diving team opened the regular season with a victory at home on Saturday, beating the Southern Connecticut State Owls 210-88. Both the men's and women's teams competed at the Robert J. H. Kiphuth Exhibition Pool.

Yale began the meet with a brilliant performance in the 1 and 3-meter dives by senior Cole Florey, sophomore James McNelis, freshman Anthony Mercadante, and senior Tyler Pramer. Pramer took first place and topped his best scores from last season in both dives, and McNelis set a new personal record in the 1-meter. Mercadante took second in the three-meter with a score of 321.52, the highest-scoring first dive for a Yale freshman in at least three years. The Elis ended the diving session with a 32-4 lead.
Yale kicked off the swimming competition with a first place finish in the 400-yard medley relay. Sophomore Kevin Stang, senior Danny McDermott and sophomores Victor Zhang and Brian Clark finished the race in 1:36.14. Sophomore Brian Hogan claimed the first individual event for the Bulldogs, winning the 1000-yard freestyle with a time of 9:32.78.
Freshman Aaron Greenberg won the 200-yard freestyle in a strong debut race. Zhang held off SCSU's Christian Berg in the 100-yard backstroke, winning the race by .18. Ronald Tsui, Alwin Firmansyah and Nick Sehlinger took the top three spots in the 100-yard breaststroke, adding to Yale's growing momentum. But SCSU fought back when Raymond Cswerko beat out Yale sophomore William Yang to win the 200-yard butterfly.
Cswerko challenged Yale's swimmers, but the Owls couldn't match Yale's depth. After the 200-yard butterfly, the Bulldogs won six straight events. Junior Andrew Heymann won the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 21.05. After a fifteen-minute intermission, sophomore Josh Ginsborg, who missed all of last season with an injury, won the 100-yard freestyle. It was his first race at Kiphuth Pool in 22 months.
Freshman Alex Schultz took first in the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 1:58.35, an auspicious start to his Yale career. Tsui got his second victory of the day in the 200-breaststroke, finishing in 2:08.28. He and freshman Alex Goss finished far ahead of their competitors.
Junior Rob Harder was an intimidating presence behind the block for the 500-yard freestyle. Harder, the Yale record holder and defending Ivy League champion in the event, won the race in 4:37.01, 15 seconds ahead of SCSU's top finisher. Stang and senior Danny Clarke finished third and fourth, respectively.
Zhang, Clark, and freshman Oscar Miao finished first, second and third in the 100-yard butterfly, respectively. Zhang joined Tsui as the only Bulldogs to win two individual events on Saturday.
That would be Yale's last win of the meet; Cswerko took first place in the 200-yard IM, and the Owls out-touched the Bulldogs in the 200-yard freestyle relay. SCSU finished in 1:29.33, just ahead of Yale's 1:29.52. But Yale still ended the meet with a comfortable 99-point lead. After the relay, both teams wished each other good luck for the upcoming season in their closing cheers.
Tim Wise, the Robert J. H. Kiphuth Director of Men's Swimming, said: "Overall I am fairly pleased with where we are at this point in the season.  It is always nice to get a win. Now we turn our focus to next weekend and look forward to another test."
Yale will race again next Saturday, Nov. 16, when they face the Columbia Lions in their first Ivy League meet of the season. The meet will be held in New York, and is scheduled to start at 5:00 p.m. 

-Report filed by Josh Mandell '16