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Yale Caps Turnaround Season With Win Over Brown

Alexander Benz. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Alexander Benz. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

KINGSTON, R.I. - As turnarounds go, the one pulled off by the Yale men's swimming and diving team this year has been impressive: after going 2-8 a year ago, the Bulldogs rounded out this regular season with a 6-2 record by dint of a 180-120 win over Brown at the University of Rhode Island Saturday. 

Yale set two pool records in the meet, one with its meet-opening win in the 200-yard medley relay (1:34.90) and the other from freshman Rob Harder in the 200-yard backstroke (1:49.91). The win was one of two for Harder on the day, who also took first in the 1000-yard freestyle (9:36.15) and second in the 200-yard IM (1:54.82). 

The Bulldogs got the meet started with that record-breaking relay win thanks to the corps of freshman Mike Lazris and Ronald Tsui and sophomores Paschall Davis and Pat Killian. Yale's second relay quartet of junior Mike Dominski, captain Christopher Luu and sophomores Ed Becker and Calvin Jones took third (1:35.57). 

Harder followed that up with his win in the 1000 free, a race in which sophomore Danny Clarke finished close behind for second-place (9:53.09). Bulldogs grabbed two of the top three in the 200-yard version, as well, as freshman Josh Ginsborg earned the victory in 1:40.12 while senior Goksu Bicer took third (1:42.19). 

Lazris won the 100-yard backstroke in 52.12 and senior Alex Benz made it five straight Yale wins with his impressive victory in the 100-yard breaststroke (58.98). Dominski (1:53.89) and sophomore West Cuthbert (1:56.46) combined to give the Elis two in the top three in the 200-yard butterfly, taking second and third respectively. Freshman Andrew Heymann took second in the 50-yard freestyle (21.63), and third in the 100-yard edition (46.65). Bicer took first in that 100-yard freestyle race in 45.93. 

Sophomore Danny McDermott then took second in the 200-yard breaststroke (2:07.56) before the Bulldogs turned in one of the most impressive team performances of the day in the 500-yard freestyle. Elis were the top four finishers in that event, led by Ginsborg (4:35.30). Cuthbert took second (4:49.60), Clarke third (4:52.58), and Becker fourth (4:54.30).

Bicer was just touched out in the 100-yard butterfly (49.75), and settled for second just ahead of third-place finisher Dominski (51.29). Heymann (1:52.84) rounded out the day's individual events with a win in the 200-yard IM. 

On the diving side, junior Colton Staab and sophomore Tyler Pramer went 2-3 in the 1-meter event, and bumped up to 1-2 for an excellent finish in the 3-meter. 

With the win, Yale heads to the Ivy League Championships with a 6-2 record, a near complete reversal of last year's record. The Bulldogs had impressive wins at the Terrier Invitational, as well as against Penn and Dartmouth - meets in which they struggled last year. Much of the Bulldogs' success was due to the stellar freshmen class, which revealed itself as one of the best in the Ancient Eight. The Elis will head to Princeton, N.J. for the Ivy League Championships Mar. 1-3 to try to make a run at Harvard and Princeton and establish themselves as the third of a trio at the top of the Ivy League.

Report filed by Chelsea Janes '12, Yale Sports Publicity