NEW HAVEN, Connecticut, November 10. THE Yale men's swimming and diving team got off to a strong conference schedule on Friday. The Bulldogs overcame the big first hurdle of Columbia by a score of 171-129 at Robert Kiphuth Memorial Exhibition Pool. The women turned the tide on Columbia, 169-123. The victory reversed the trends from last season, which saw Columbia defeating Yale in both the dual meet season and in the Ivy Championships.
In men's action, Yale went on to record wins in 11 of the meet's 16 events. The Elis also ensured a high point total by finishing second in the 5 events won by Columbia's swimmers and divers.
Three Yale swimmers came away with two individual wins in the event. Captain Geof Zann won in both the 100 and 200 yard backstroke, fighting off competition from freshman teammate Thomas Robinson, who finished third and second in the two events respectively.
Senior Andrew Foss and sophomore Alex Righi won two events each and helped Yale run the table in the individual freestyle events. Foss won the 200 and 500 yard freestyle, while Righi maintained his dominance over the sprint events, winning the 50 and 100 yard free.
Righi and Zann also made up one half of Yale's winning 200 yard medley relay team which also included Colin Stalnecker and Chris Pool. The Yale 'A' team was in poll position after Righi's fast freestyle leg, and maintained their lead to help the Bulldogs get off to a winning start in the first event of the meet.
Yale also had individual victories from Pool, Dennen McCloskey and Tyler Scheid. In the diving events, Yale's deep team couldn't solve Columbia's Justin Reardon in either the 1 or 3 meter events, but the four Eli divers did manage to sweep second through fifth in both events.
On the women's side, the Bulldogs prevailed in their Ivy League and home opener thanks to some familiar faces and a couple of new ones. Captain Meg Gill and fellow senior Moira McCloskey each won two individuall events at Robert Kiphuth Memorial Exhibition Pool. But the experienced standouts were not the only ones to dominate their events. Freshmen Jane Kim and Susan Kim won three individual events and two individual events respectively in their first Ivy meet of their young Yale careers. Gill, McCloskey, Jane Kim and Susan Kim combined to give Yale 9 of its 12 first place finished.
Gill took home victories in the 50 yard freestyle and the 100 yard butterfly, and also combined with McCloskey, Caroline Dowd and Andrea Clifford to win the 200 yard medley relay. But in the 100 yard freestyle, Gill was pipped to the post by Jane Kim, who finished almost a second ahead of her captain.
McCloskey was once again on good for in the backstroke, winning both the 100 yard and 200 yard events. Yale managed to control the points in both events thanks to Brenna Davis' two second place finishes.
Both Gill and McCloskey were in fine form, swimming times that were amongst Yale's fastest in recent years. Freshmen Jane Kim and Susan Kim kept up the pace, as they both finished with a time faster than any recorded by a Yale swimmer throughout the course of the 2005-06 season.
Jane finished the meet with a hat trick of wins in the 100, 200 and 500 yard freestyle events. Her time of 1:51.34 in the 200 yard freestyle was 1.35 seconds faster than Chase Butler's fastest time in the event last season.
Susan Kim recorded similarly impressive times in her two victories in the 100 and 200 yard breaststroke events. Her time of 2:18.27 in the 200 was also faster than any time recorded by a Yale swimmer last season.
Yale's other victories came from a pair of sophomores. Distance specialist Laura Strittmatter swam to a comfortable win in the 1000 yard freestyle, and Blake Walsh edged out Columbia's Nina Beary for a win in the 200 yard butterfly.