April 11, 2007

Elis Elect Stalnecker as Next Captain

April 11, 2007

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Colin Stalnecker, a junior political science major from Indianapolis, IN, was named the captain of the Yale men's swimming and diving team for the 2007-08 season. The announcement came during the team's annual awards dinner last Tuesday.

Stalnecker will take over from outgoing captain Geof Zann, who led the Bulldogs to a third place finish at this year's EISL Championships. Stalnecker has had great success during his three seasons at Yale in breaststroke events and has come to be relied upon to tally points for the Bulldogs in these events.

"It's an oustanding honor to lead such a talented and dedicated group of men," Stalnecker said. "Next season we lose some key swimmers in the senior class, but I'm confident the underclassmen will step up and turn some heads. I've learned something from every captain for my three years on the team. Geof brought a much needed intesity to the team and I look forward to carrying on the recent tradition of success, while creating my own path in the position."

The dinner also served as a chance to look back on some of Yale's top performers this season in the handing out of annual awards. Sophomore standout Alex Righi won three awards after a season that included more records, EISL titles and a top 10 finish at NCAAs in the 100 yard freestyle.

Righi was first awarded the Heaton High Point Award, given to that swimmer or diver who has scored the highest possible number of points for the team in dual meet competition for the past season. For the second year in a row he also recieved the S. Livingston Mather Swimming Award, donated by the late S. Livingston Mather, class of 1905.

Righi's final award was shared with freshman Thomas Robinson. The two shared the Harry Burke Award, honoring Yale's retired former freshman swim coach Harry Burke and is awarded for outstanding contribution to Yale Swimming by an underclassmen." Righi also won this award last year and Robinson has been on the sophomore's tail all season as a fantastic backstroke prospect.

Two graduating seniors won awards. First of all, Zann won the William Leeming Jelliffe Award. This award is given annually to "that senior who has shown the greatest progress and development in swimming ability and outstanding leadership during his college years." The prize is given in memory of William Leeming Jelliffe by his father, the late Dr. Smith Ely Jelliffe. Zann has captained the Bulldogs this year and has also proved a strong competitor in freestyle events.

Jack Hutchinson won the MacLeish Memorial Swimming Trophy. Established in 1936 by Hassted R. Vanderpoel '35S, in memory of Kenneth MacLeish, 1918 who was killed in World War I, this trophy is awarded to "that member of the Yale Swimming Team, who through his or her efforts and high ideals in sportsmanship and loyalty, best exemplifies the spirit of Kenneth MacLeish."

For the second year running, distance freestyle swimmer Andrew Foss was awarded the Phil Moriarty Prize. This award honors former Yale Varsity Swim Coach and United States Olympic Coach, Phil Moriarty. It was established in 1969 by the Yale Swimming Association and is "awarded to that upper-class member of the team who has contributed immeasurably to the Yale Swimming tradition by his dedication and personal achievement."

Aside from being named captain, Stalnecker was also recognized as the recipient of the M. Davies Award. This prize was donated by the family of Melindi Davies, class of 1998. It is awarded each year for outstanding performance in breaststroke swimming. Stalnecker shared the prize last season with 2006 graduate Colin O'Brady. William Rubenstein won the Tim Jecko Award. This trophy is given annually for outstanding performances in individual medley. Tim Jecko was a member of the 1956 United States Olympic Team. He won many national championships and held many records at Yale in freestyle, butterfly and individual medley. The award was established in 2004 by Tim's classmates of the Yale Class of 1959.

Finally, the Robert J.H. Kiphuth Award was presented to Phil Prince. This award honors the former Yale Varsity Swim Coach and United States Olympic Coach, Robert J.H. Kiphuth. It was established in 2003 by the Yale Swimming Association and is "awarded to that individual who has shown outstanding service, dedication and loyalty to Yale University and the Yale Swimming Program."

Report filed by Jamie Cordes '07, Yale Sports Publicity.