Bulldogs Claim Five Pool Records
NEW YORK, N.Y. - The Yale women's swimming and diving team opened their season in a big way, handily defeating Columbia 199-101 and breaking five pool records in the process. The Bulldogs were able to get their revenge, after losing last year in a closely contested meet. This year they left nothing to chance, winning every event up until the last two and sweeping both the one- and three-meter diving events.
"It was a much bigger win then we thought it was going to be," said Robert J.H. Kiphuth Director of Swimming Frank Keefe. "It's a really nice way to start the season and a very rewarding day. It gives you something on which to build. We've got one win and we're undefeated."
The Bulldogs were led by senior Susan Kim and freshman Alex Forrester who dominated the meet from start to finish. Both Forrester and Kim participated in the 200-yard medley relay to open the event. They were joined by sophomore Emily Dominski and freshman Cynthia Tsay, who led off and closed out the relay, respectively. The four swimmers owned the event with a time of 1:45.10, defeating Columbia's A team by 2.61 seconds and breaking the pool record in the process. Dominski jumped out to an early half-second lead, which Kim maintained in the second leg of the event. But it was Forrester and Tsay who broke the event wide open. Forrester stretched the Bulldogs lead to 1.32 seconds and Tsay then closed it out, stretching the time by another 1.29 seconds.
"To come out and swim that time in our first event of the season is remarkable," said Keefe. "That is probably 2-3 seconds faster than we have ever swum that event at this time of year."
Forrester, not content with just winning her first event as a collegiate swimmer, then went on to claim three more events at the meet. Her next event was the 200-yard freestyle, where she swam a time of 1:48.91, breaking another pool record. Forrester's next closest competitor was a staggering 6.59 seconds behind her. Seniors Jane Kim and Laura Grigereit also scored points for the Bulldogs, coming third and fifth place, respectively.
Forrester then followed up her performance in the 200-yard freestyle by also dominating the 100-yard freestyle. She won the event with a time of 51.35, a full two seconds ahead of teammate Tsay. Tsay finished in second with a time of 53.39. Senior captain Andrea Clifford also scored a point for the Bulldogs, finishing in fifth with a time of 54.59.
The final event of the day for Forrester was also her best. Forrester won the 100-yard butterfly in a time of 53.44 which broke the pool record by an astonishing three seconds. Not only did she break the pool record, but Forrester's closest competitor, freshman teammate Monica Tung, along with the rest of the field, was almost a full five seconds behind her. Tung finished in a time of 58.35.
"Alex Forrester is the real thing," said Keefe. "She and Susan Kim just lit up the pool today. You look at Alex's time in the 100-butterfly and that could be a time that puts her into the NCAAs which is remarkable considering it was her first collegiate meet and her third event of the day."
Forrester's counterpart atop the leader boards, Kim, picked up exactly where she left off last year, dominating the breaststroke events. Kim won both the 100-yard and 200-yard breaststroke and set pool records in each. In the 100-yard breaststroke, Kim clocked in at 1:03.35 which was good enough to beat Katie Meili of Columbia by 1.83 seconds. Sophomore Athena Liao also scored points for Yale, placing fourth with a time of 1:05.41. Kim then had a few events off before getting back in the pool for the 200-yard breaststroke. She managed to leave the rest of the field in her wake, as she cruised to a 4.35 second margin over second place finisher Liao. Kim's time of 2:15.41 broke the pool record. Liao came in second with a time of 2:19.76.
Kim was not the only upperclassman to take home victories as Dominski and sophomore Abigail Nunn also won events. Dominski, who swam in her first meet since early last season after being out due to a back injury, came back strong, winning the 100-yard backstroke. Her time of 57.65 was just a half second faster than Columbia, but good enough for first. Freshman Molly Albrecht also scored points, taking third with a time of 58.22. Nunn took home first in the 1000-yard freestyle with a time of 10:14.18. She defeated freshman teammate Joan Weaver by three seconds. Junior Annie Killian also scored points, coming in fourth place.
But the story of the day was the freshmen. Joining Forrester with first place finishes were Albrecht, Tsay, Tung, and Weaver. Albrecht claimed first in the 200-yard backstroke, Tsay in the 50-yard freestyle, Tung in the 200-yard freestyle and Weaver in the 500-yard freestyle.
Albrecht took home a big win in the 200-yard backstroke defeating Delghi Urbshurow of Columbia by over three seconds. Her time was 2:04.11.
The Bulldogs placed three swimmers in the top five of the always exciting 50-yard freestyle. Tsay took first with a time of 24.45 and Clifford and Dominski took third and fourth, respectively.
Tung's victory in the 200-yard butterfly capped off a one-two-three sweep of the event. She finished in a time of 2:05.08, with sophomore Hayes Hyde and junior Ileana Lucos closely behind her in second and third, respectively.
Finally, Weaver, who came in second to Nunn in the 1000-yard freestyle, got the best of her in the 500-yard freestyle. Weaver took first in a time of 5:01.75, while Nunn came in third with a time of 5:04.75.
The other big story line of the afternoon was Yale's diving team. The Bulldogs swept both the one- and three-meter diving. In the one-meter, sophomore Rachel Rosenberg took first with a score of 240.23. She was followed closely in second by sophomore Lisa Andrekovich who posted a score of 224.63. Rounding out the top three was freshman Paige Meneses with a score of 206.70. In the three-meter diving, Rosenberg again took first, but Andrekovich and Meneses swapped places. Senior Marisa Poverman took fourth in both events for a full Yale sweep, but a team can only score three times in one event.
The Bulldogs will now head to Boston for the Terrier Invite next weekend. The event will take place on November 20-22 at Boston University.
"Next week up at Boston is a different kind of competition with seven or eight schools competing in a championship format," said Keefe. "It will give our kids a different look and let them see how they can perform in a championship type week."
Report filed by Charles Moore '10, Yale Sports Publicity