Nov. 24, 2008
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The Bulldog men's swimming and diving team returned to dual meet competition on Monday with an impressive victory over Southern Connecticut State. The Bulldogs, who won 181-112, also emerged victorious over the Owls last year by a score of 144-72.
The meet against Southern Connecticut State was a good opportunity for the team to get in competitive swimming time prior to resuming invitational competition next weekend. While Southern Connecticut State is an NCAA Division II school, the team had six All-Americans last season, including two who returned and competed for the team at the dual meet. For the majority of the Bulldogs, the next weekend's meets at the University of Virginia Invitational, the US Short Course Nationals and the Rutgers Diving Invitational will be the first taste of non-dual meet competition this year. For all except for 10 members of the team that competed at the Terrier Invitational, which took place Friday through Sunday, the last competition in swimming took place in a dual meet win against Columbia on Nov. 15.
Despite some swimmers on the Yale team only competing in a limited number of events, the Bulldog performance against Southern Connecticut State was impressive. The Bulldogs won 11 of the 16 events contested, including a sweep of the top three places in both the one- and three-meter diving events. The Bulldogs also captured the top two spots in the 200-yard medley relay, the 100-yard backstroke and the 500-yard freestyle.
The Bulldogs started the day off strongly in the diving events, which took place at the Kiphuth Exhibition Pool, while the swimming events took place at Southern Connecticut State. In the three-meter diving event, sophomore Eric Olson emerged atop the podium with a score of 333.83 while freshman Colton Staab placed second (289.20) and junior Drew Teer was third (281.93). Olson also won the three-meter event at the dual meet against Columbia.
The divers again helped the Bulldogs earn points in the one-meter diving event by winning the top three places. Staab won the event for the Bulldogs with a score of 275.85. He was followed by Teer in second (267.30) and Olson in third (262.35). Staab also won the one-meter event against Columbia.
The success in diving events carried over into the pool. The Bulldogs started off the competition in the pool in the 200-yard medley relay, which the Bulldogs placed first and second in. The team of junior Thomas Robinson and seniors Matt Sweitzer, Tyler Scheid and Alex Righi won in a time of 1:36.07. The Eli team of sophomore Kyle Veatch, freshman Christopher Luu, senior Dan Li and junior Jon Taylor placed second in a time of 1:39.90.
Sophomore Matt Lee swam to an impressive victory of more than three seconds in the 200-yard freestyle event. Lee, who swam the event in 1:45.93, has shown great versatility across events this season, winning the 1000-yard freestyle against Columbia.
The 100-yard backstroke event treated the Bulldogs well. Robinson won the event in 52.48 with senior Dennen McCloskey third in 53.56. Veatch was fourth in 55.31.
Shinton, who was competing in only the second meet of his collegiate career, garnered his first career collegiate victory in the 200-yard butterfly event (1:55.70). Shinton finished in front of Ben Prue, a returning All-American for Southern Connecticut State. Senior Kyle McElroy placed third (2:01.28) and Cousins finished fourth (2:03.07).
Righi, the runner up at the NCAA Division I Championships at the 50-yard freestyle event last year, won the event at the Southern Connecticut meet in a time of 20.56.
The Eli strength in the sprint freestyle events carried over to the 100-yard freestyle. Veatch won in 47.63 and was followed by Taylor in 49.57.
Robinson picked up his second individual and third overall win of the meet in the 200-yard backstroke event in a time of 1:55.64. This was more than five seconds ahead of the second-place finisher from Southern Connecticut State, Aaron Rocheleau, who was a collegiate All-American last year.
Junior Craig Steen was the top finisher for the Bulldogs in the 200-yard breaststroke event, finishing third in 2:15.39. McCloskey was fourth in 2:19.20.
Sophomore Lugar Choi won the 500-yard freestyle by more than three seconds in a time of 4:50.90. Shinton was second in 4:54.70.
Veatch next won the 100-yard butterfly in 52.24. Scheid was second and McCloskey was third for the Bulldogs in times of 53.32 and 55.05, respectively.
For the Eli swimmers and divers, the Southern Connecticut State meet was a valuable competitive experience prior to the major meets next weekend. The US Short Course Nationals and University of Virginia Invitational will take place Dec. 4-6 while the Rutgers Diving Invitational will take place Dec. 5-6.
Report filed by Caleb Dorfman '09, Yale Sports Publicity