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Men's swimming bests trio of league foes; divers shine

On a team dominated by athletes slicing through the water, it's sometimes easy to overlook what goes on above the water.

For the men's swimming team, three members have been quietly dominating their own portion of the pool: the diving well. Sophomore divers Terry Meck and Andy Shyong, along with freshman Chris Jensen, continually make significant contributions to the team, both in the air and on the deck.

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"They provide good stability and leadership for the team," head coach Rob Orr said.

Over the last two weekends, the Tigers have improved their record to 6-0 (both overall and in the Eastern Intercollegiate Swimming League), beating Dartmouth, 189-87, Brown, 140-103, and Columbia, 144-9. But with the swimmers not yet in top form, the divers had a chance to shine.

In all but one of the six competitions over the three meets, either Meck or Shyong prevailed. As in previous meets, the duo provided the one-two punch to accumulate the maximum number of points possible. Meck won the three-meter event against both Dart-mouth and Brown, while Shyong was victorious in all three one-meter events.

As has been the case throughout the year, if one diver didn't win, the other did.

"We help each other out," Shyong said. "When I have a bad meet, (Meck) helps me by diving well, and vice versa."

Orr likes what he sees coming from the divers.

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"They're taking charge," Orr said. "It's kind of like they say, 'Okay, now it's your turn.' "

Expanded repertoire

As they approach the bigger meets at the end of the season, the divers have shown steady improvement. Not only have they increased their repertoire by adding new dives, but they are also approaching lifetime best scores.

At Columbia Saturday, Shyong returned home to post one of his best performances ever. In his old high school's home pool and against his former high school coach, Shyong scored 308.70 points to outdistance the field in the one-meter event.

Upcoming challenge

But an even bigger meet looms on the horizon for the Tigers, especially their divers. At the Harvard-Yale-Princeton Invitational this weekend, the Tigers face their strongest foe of the season. No team but Princeton, Harvard or Yale has won the EISL Championship since 1971.

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"Our biggest challenge is going to be trying to go one-two against Harvard," Shyong said. "For most of the year, the swimmers carry us. But in a close meet this weekend, our places will mean a lot more."

Senior captain Jason Eaddy reinforces the value of the divers on the team.

"The divers are a huge part of the team," Eaddy said. "We wouldn't have won H-Y-Ps last year without them."

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