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Bulldogs Celebrate 2018-19 Season with Team Honors

The Robert J.H. Kiphuth Exhibition Pool (Photo courtesy of Robbie Short '19 / Yale Daily News)
The Robert J.H. Kiphuth Exhibition Pool (Photo courtesy of Robbie Short '19 / Yale Daily News)

 NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale men's swimming and diving team celebrated its 2018-19 season and honored members for their great contribution to the team. The team closed out their season in February with a 4-4 dual meet record and a fifth-place finish at the 2019 Ivy League Swimming Championship, breaking a school record in the 400-yard medley relay in the process.  

Sophomore Tyler Harmon received the Livingston Mather award for outstanding performance in backstroke swimming. Harmon placed seventh at the 2019 Ivy League Championships and led off the Yale record breaking 400-yard medley relay. The prize was donated by S. Livingston Mather, class of 1905.

Sophomore Tim Dorje Wu was awarded his second M. Davies Award for excellence in breaststroke swimming. Wu claimed fifth in the 100-yard breaststroke at the 2019 Ivy League Championships and swam the breaststroke leg on the Yale-record breaking 400-yard medley relays. The award was donated by the family of the late Melindi Davies '98.

Senior William Drexler received the Tim Jecko Award for excellence in the individual medley events. Drexler posted strong performances throughout the dual meet season with key finishes to help the team defeat their opponents. The Yale class of 1959 established the award in 2004 to honor of Jecko, a 1956 Olympic Team member.

Junior Henry Gaissert was honored with the John Edward Heaton High Point Award, awarded to the swimmer who scored the highest possible number of points for the team in dual meet competition for the past season. Gaissert found great success in the sprint freestyle events, winning a number of individual events in the dual meets. At the 2019 Ivy League Championships, he finished runner-up in the 100-yard freestyle and third in the 50-yard freestyle.

Gaissert was also presented the MacLeish Memorial Swimming Trophy, awarded to a member of the team who, "through effort and high ideals in sportsmanship and loyalty to Yale, best exemplifies the spirit of Kenneth MacLeish, class of 1918." Hassted R. Vanderpoel '35 established the award in 1936 to honor MacLeish, who died on a Royal Air Force mission in World War I less than a month before the armistice.

Sophomore Christian DeVol received the Harry Burke Award for outstanding contribution to Yale swimming by an under year. DeVol had led the Yale diving team to top finishes throughout the season and finished fourth in both the one-meter and three-meter diving at the 2019 Ivy League Championships. The award was established by the Yale Swimming Association to honor Yale's retired first year coach.

Senior Adrian Lin received the William Leeming Jelliffe Memorial Award, who "showed the greatest progress and development in swimming ability and outstanding leadership during their college years." Both the team captain and a fierce competitor, Lin was a leader in the water and on deck during the 2018-19 season. At the 2019 Ivy League Championships, Lin finished runner-up in the 200-yard freestyle. Dr. and Mrs. Smith Ely Jelliffe in memory of their son, William L. Jelliffe, Ph.B. 1923.

Lin was also awarded the Phil Moriarty Prize, given to an upper year "who has contributed immeasurably to the Yale Swimming tradition by his dedication and personal achievement." Lin will be leaving behind a significant legacy with an individual school record in the 200-yard freestyle and three relay records. The award honors the late Moriarty, a member of the American Swimming Coaches Association Hall of Fame and the International Swimming Hall of Fame who compiled a 195-25 record as head coach of the Bulldogs from 1959-1976. 


Report by Neil Zheng '19, Yale Sports Publicity