Righi, Pool, McCloskey Continue to Impress at USA Short Course Nationals

Righi, Pool, McCloskey Continue to Impress at USA Short Course Nationals

Dec. 5, 2008

University of Virginia Day 2 Results
USA Short Course Nationals Day 2 Results

ATLANTA, Ga. - The Yale men's swimming and diving team took to the pool again Friday with three swimmers at the very competitive USA Short Course Nationals, and the rest of the team at the University of Virginia Invitational. The men posted some impressive results at the Short Course Nationals, while the rest of the team fought tough in Virginia, but is struggling to keep up with a Virginia team that has posted 1,028 points. Yale is in second with 495 points, leading West Chester by 84.

Seniors Alex Righi and Chris Pool were back for more at the USA Short Course Nationals on Friday, and they were joined by senior teammate Dennen McCloskey. After preliminaries in the morning, the stage was set for the night session, with all three swimmers making it into their respective finals.

McCloskey started off the evening for the Bulldogs, after qualifying for the `C' final in the 400-yard IM. McCloskey finished seventh in the `C' final and 22nd overall, with a time of 3:58.40. He came into the event seeded 26th, after placing 31st in 2007. The event was won by Hidemasa Sano of the Trojan Swim Club in a time of 3:39.97. McCloskey was 7.41 seconds off the winning time. Tyler Clary of Michigan came in second with a time of 3:40.96 and he was followed by Nick D'Innocenzo of the Magnus Aquatics Group, with a time of 3:43.36.

Next up for Yale was Pool, competing in the 100-yard butterfly. Pool qualified for the `C' final in the morning session, with a time of 47.92. Pool slowed down a bit in the afternoon, but managed to finish sixth in the `C' final and 22nd overall with a time of 48.80. He was just 2.20 seconds off the winner Kishida Masayuki of the Tucson Ford Dealers Aquatics Club. Masayuki finished in a time of 45.20. Right behind Masayuki was Matt Grevers, also swimming for the Tucson Ford Dealers Aquatics Club. He finished with a time of 45.47. Grevers, a Northwestern graduate, won the silver medal in the 100m backstroke at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. He also received two gold medals for being part of the 4x100m freestyle relay and 4x100m medley relay in the preliminaries. Rounding out the top three was Kyle Bubolz, swimming for the New Trier Swim Club, with a time of 45.61.

The last individual final of the night session was reserved for the 100-yard backstroke. It was set as a primetime event, featuring Olympians Matt Grevers and Ryan Lochte. Lochte, swimming for the Daytona Beach Swimming Club, won gold in the 200m backstroke, 4x200m freestyle, and bronze in the 400m and 200m IM at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. He was also the US Record holder coming into this event. Righi swam against both Grevers and Locthe in Thursday's 50-yard freestyle. Righi took third in that event, losing to Grevers and William Copeland of Cal. Lochte would finish seventh in the event.

Righi entered into the meet ranked seventh in the event, after placing ninth last year. He was able to qualify for the `A' final, swimming the fifth fastest qualifying time (47.72). Righi managed to drop .38 seconds off his qualifying time, but was unable to budge from fifth place, finishing in a time of 47.34. Lochte did not break his own record, but did manage to win the event in a time of 45.37. Grevers finished right on his tail, with a time of 45.48. Rounding out the top three was Ben Hesen of Indiana University Club Paradise, with a time of 45.99.

All three Yale swimmers will take to the pool again Saturday. Righi will swim the 100-yard freestyle, an event in which he is the number one seed. Pool will swim in the 200-yard butterfly, and McCloskey will swim the 200-yard backstroke.

While Righi, Pool and McCloskey swam down in Georgia, the rest of the Yale men's swim team was battling the Cavaliers in Virginia. The Bulldogs entered day two of competition in second place with 197 points. No. 13 Virginia was leading with an impressive 480 points.

The Bulldogs opened competition with a strong performance in the 200-yard medley relay, collecting 60 points. The Bulldogs finished in third with a time of 1:31.36. The team consisted of junior Thomas Robinson, senior Matt Sweitzer, freshman Goksu Bicer and sophomore Kyle Veatch. Yale also grabbed fifth place in a time of 1:36.90. That team was comprised of freshman Matt Boone, freshman Christopher Luu, senior Tyler Scheid and sophomore Lugar Choi. Virginia's `A' team won in a time of 1:30.61.

Senior Kyle McElroy and sophomore Matt Lee picked up 27 points for the Bulldogs in the 400-yard IM. McElroy came in fifth with a time of 4:05.55, while Lee finished sixth in a time of 4:10.55. Two Bulldogs swam times in the `B' final that would have put them in the top eight, but due to slower prelim times, they were stuck in the `B' final. Junior Craig Steen and freshman Scott Shinton finished in ninth and 10th, respectively. Luu took 11th. They combined to pick up an additional 22 points for Yale.

Only one Yale swimmer qualified for the `A' final in the 100-yard butterfly. Bicer came in sixth-place with a time of 49.77, just .01 seconds off of the fifth-place time. He scored 13 points for the Bulldogs. Yale picked up an additional 18 points in the `B' and `C' finals of that event.

Yale's best individual performance of the day came in the 100-yard backstroke. Robinson claimed third place in a time of 50.06. Right behind him, in fifth and sixth place, were Veatch and Boone, respectively. The three swimmers combined to score Yale 33 points.

The final event of the day was the 800-yard freestyle relay. Yale claimed fifth and sixth place, for a total of 58 points. Yale's `A' team consisted of Choi, Lee, senior Sebastian Cousins and Veatch. They swam the event in a time of 6:53.62. Yale's `B' team finished just under five seconds behind them, in a time of 6:58.55. That team was comprised of Bicer, sophomore Jerold Lee, Robinson and Scheid.

The Bulldogs will swim their final day of competition at the UVA Invitational on Saturday. The events will be the 1650-yard freestyle, 200-yard backstroke, 100-yard freestyle, 200-yard breaststroke, 200-yard butterfly and 400-yard freestyle relay.

Watch McCloskey's final here.
Watch Pool's final here.
Watch Righi's final here.

Report filed by Charles Moore '10, Yale Sports Publicity