Entering Saturday’s second day of competition at Rutgers’ Sonny Werblin Recreation Center, the Penn State Nittany Lion men held a narrow 2-point lead over the Yale Bulldogs. With the second-day schedule holding a lot of 200-400-500 yard events, where Yale generally speaking has the edge, that was a precarious lead to say the least.
While Penn State won both of the day’s relays, Yale won 4 out of 6 individual swimming events, including a 1-2-3 sweep in the 200 breaststroke and 400 IM, to head home with a 181-172 victory.
Freshmen were big factors for Yale on the final day of competition, and none was bigger than Singapore national Kei Hyogo, who won both the 500 free (4:28.75) and the 400 IM (3:55.92), both in commanding fashion, to score 18 out of Yale’s 89 points on the day.
Yale’s other two wins on the day both came from seniors. Alvin Firmansyah swam a 49.37 in the men’s 100 fly to beat Penn State’s Kyle Madley for the big points. Firmansyah earned most of that win with a very good first 50 yards split of 23.0.
In the 200 breaststroke, senior Andrew Heymann won in 2:00.87 for Yale, which is his season-best time. He was followed by two freshman teammates – Jonathan Rutter in 2:02.72, and Derek Kao in 2:03.01.
On the flip side, Penn State looked very good on the 2nd day of the meet in the areas where they’re best: the shorter races and the backstroke races.
Their two individual swimming wins came from Shane Ryan in the 100 free (44.30) and Nate Savoy in the 200 back (1:37.08), but in both cases, 2-3 finishes from Yale kept Penn State from opening up any serious scoring distance.
Penn State also shined in the relays, and again it was their backstrokers that made the difference. Savoy ledd off the 200 medley in 22.29, and would combine with Andrew Schuehler, Kyle Madley, and Shane Ryan for a total time of 1:29.60. That was eight-tenths of a second ahead of the Bulldogs’ top relay, with Savoy being a full second ahead of the Bulldogs’ top backstroker.
The free relay was the best race of the night and was a back-and-forth affair. The two teams were in a dead-heat after the first swimmer, with Nate Savoy and Victor Zhang swimming matching 45.3’s for Penn State and Yale, respectively.
Penn State pulled ahead when freshman Robert Bantley split 44.63 on the 2nd leg, but Yale got the edge after the next leg when the one-time breaststroker Andrew Heymann split 44.84 on their 3rd leg.
It came down to the anchors, and when it comes down to anchors, Penn State has one of the best in all of the Northeastern United States: sophomore Shane Ryan. Ryan split 43.46 to make the margin look wider than it really was, even with Yale’s anchor Aaron Greenberg touching in 44.37 to end their relay.
The final difference was 2:58.98 for Penn State to 2:59.88 for Yale.