Four Bulldogs Compete at U.S. Open

Nov. 30 2006

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Four members of the Yale men's swimming and diving team were in action in the first day of the U.S. Open Thursday, competing against a strong lineup that included some household names of USA Swimming. The Bulldogs had four swimmers competing in four of the day's six events.

Alex Righi once again led the way for the Bulldogs Thursday. Righi swam in the strong fifth heat of the 50 meter freestyle that included Olympians Ian Crocker (USA) and Brent Hayden (Canada). Righi finished 6th in the heat with a time of 24:02, which was good enough to send him to the `C' Final Thursday evening.

Righi climbed from 20th overall to 18th by finishing 2nd in the `C' Final in a time of 23.56. The sophomore standout, who will represent USA Swimming in the 2007 Pan American Games, was just 0.15 seconds behind Georgia's Peter Verhoef, who will travel to the 2007 World University Games with Team USA. The event was won by NC State's Cullen Jones, a 2008 Olympic hopeful, who set a meet record with his time of 22.11.

In the 200 meter backstroke, Yale had two representatives in a field that featured six-time Olympic Champion Michael Phelps. Geof Zann finished 41st overall and 6th in his heat in the morning session with a time of 2:10.11. Dennen McCloskey swam in heat 1 of the event, and his time of 2:11.36 in 54th place overall.

Andrew Foss swam in the seventh heat of the 400 meter freestyle event. Foss finished 4th in his heat with a time of 4:10.72. After leading his heat with a fast first 50 meters, he fell behind in the middle section of the race to finish in the middle of the pack. The 4th place finish was good for 51st overall.

Righi, Zann, McCloskey and Foss also had a strong showing in the 800 meter freestyle relay. The Bulldog quartet narrowly edged out fellow canine-inspired Bulldog Aquatic Club from Michigan to claim 15th overall with a time of 7:54.20.

Day 2 of the U.S. Open will see all four of Yale's day 1 competitors in action again. They will be joined by Ben Dzialo and Tyler Scheid, who will both race in the 100 meter butterfly. Complete Results are available on the USA Swimming website.

Report filed by Jamie Cordes '07, Yale Sports Publicity