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Sweep of Dartmouth and Penn Caps Busy Week for Yale

William Yang. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
William Yang. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The Yale men's swimming and diving team swept Dartmouth and Penn Saturday afternoon at Kiphuth Exhibition Pool, beating the Big Green 196-104 and the Quakers 155-145. Combined with Wednesday's 181-119 win over Cornell, the Bulldogs have now picked up three Ivy League wins in a span of four days to improve to 3-1 in the league.

"I was very proud of the way the guys raced this afternoon," said Tim Wise, the Robert J. H. Kiphuth Director of Men's Swimming. "Penn gave us everything we could handle and Dartmouth had a swimmer break two Kiphuth Exhibition Pool records. This was a Big Boy swim meet, and I'm very pleased the guys were able to hang in there and clinch the win before the freestyle relay."

The meet got off to a tense start for Yale when Penn swam to a first-place finish in the medley relay. But the Bulldogs rebounded with victories in the next two events. Sophomore Brian Hogan won the 1000-yard freestyle, and junior Rob Harder claimed a close victory in the 200-yard freestyle. 
Dartmouth swimmers won the 100-yard backstroke and the 100-yard breastroke. Nejc Zupan, one of the fastest swimmers in the history of the Ivy League, set a pool record of 54.79 in the 100 breastroke. But Yale junior Andrew Heymann wasn't far behind, finishing second with a time of 55.80.

Junior Alwin Firmansyah picked up another win for Yale in the 200-yard butterfly. He finished in 1:49.05, just .23 ahead of Penn's Rhoads Worster. Freshman Oscar Miao showed that the impressive sprinting he displayed in Wednesday's meet against Cornell was no fluke: he finished second in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 21.07. 

As the swimmers rested during the diving round, senior Tyler Pramer scored valuable points with a win in the 1-meter dive. His score of 285.65 put him 13.25 points ahead of Penn's Jack Stein. Dartmouth's Brett Gillis, who won the 1-meter dive last time he faced Yale and Penn, finished sixth. 

The Quakers took three of the top four spots in the 100-yard freestyle. Harder broke up the pack from Penn by placing second with a time of 46.00. The Bulldogs countered with an impressive performance in the 200-yard backstroke. Sophomore Kevin Stang and Freshman Alex Schultz swam to a 1-2 finish.  

Zupan raced to another victory for The Big Green—his 1:59.45 swim in the 200-breaststroke was his second pool record of the day. Again, Heymann kept pace with the reigning Ivy League champion, finishing second in 2:00.67. He will have many opportunities to reclaim Zupan's pool record for Yale before his career is over.

Penn gave a valiant effort to remain in contention, taking first place in the 500-yard freestyle and 100-yard butterfly. But Yale swimmers neutralized the Quakers' surge in points by finishing second or third in these races, as well as the 200-yard IM. Hogan and freshman Ben Lerude tied for second in the 500, and Firmansyah and Lazris took second and third in the 100 butterfly, respectively. Second and third place finishes by Heymann and Firmansyah in the IM clinched a win at the meet for the Bulldogs. Yale's meet  concluded with a second-place finish in the 400-yard freestyle relay. 

Saturday's victory over Penn was Yale's third straight in the annual match-up. It had special significance for the Bulldogs' seniors, who lost to the Quakers in the final relay when they were freshmen. Coach Wise said he was happy for his seniors and impressed by the team's speed in light of their grueling training over the last month:

"The guys have swum 24 workouts in the last 15 days and are pretty beat up and tired. To maintain their focus and composure speaks volumes to the progress we are making... All in all there was just a lot to feel good about today."

Yale's next meet is at Rutgers University, where they will compete against Fordham and Rider on Jan. 25. The meet begins at the Rutgers Aquatic Center in Piscataway, NJ, at 10:30 AM. 

Report by Josh Mandell '16