Bulldogs Close Out Season and Era Against UConn

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Alexandra Forrester. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Senior Day and Farewell to Coach Keefe

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Bulldogs have one last contest before the Ivy League Championships and it promises to be a memorable one.  The Bulldogs’ final home dual meet is also senior day and the night that the Payne Whitney Gym’s Kiphuth Exhibition Pool will say goodbye to the Robert J.H. Kiphuth Director of Swimming Frank Keefe.  Keefe is retiring after 31 seasons with the Bulldogs and will leave behind a storied legacy.

Eight seniors will be honored Saturday afternoon.  Andrea Clifford, Laura Grigereit, Deb Gruen, Jennifer Karinen, Jane Kim, Susan Kim, Faris Montgomery and Marisa Poverman will partake in their final home meet.

The last time Yale and UConn met, the Bulldogs suffered a tough defeat 184-116.  Only two Bulldogs were able to win events during the meet, Alexis Mann ’09 and senior Susan Kim.  Kim won the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 2:15.05, but missed out on winning the 100-yard breaststroke by just .07 seconds.  She lost to UConn’s Caitlin Gallagher, who will certainly be a tough test for Kim this weekend.  Kim did break the pool record in the 200-yard breaststroke, however.  In the end Yale was plagued by injury and UConn was much more rested than the Bulldogs having just come off a big conference meet for which they tapered.  It was also UConn’s final home meet and senior night.

This time it will be Yale’s final home meet, senior day, and Keefe’s final home meet as coach of the Bulldogs.  Talk about extra motivation.  Keefe has been the Yale coach for 31 seasons. Among his various accolades are guiding the Bulldogs to nearly 500 victories, six Ivy League titles, and two undefeated seasons.  He was the assistant coach for the 1984 U.S. Olympic team, as well as head manager for the 1988 U.S. Olympic team.  He has personally coached 11 Olympic swimmers.  He is a member of the American Swimming Coaches Association Hall of Fame, two-time Eastern Intercollegiate Swimming League Coach of the Year, and the Ivy League Women’s Championship Trophy is named in his honor.

The Bulldogs come into the meet 7-3 overall and 5-2 in the Ivy League.  They are coming off a win over Brown on Wednesday, but have only had two days of rest.  Against Brown, senior Susan Kim continued her dominance in the breaststroke events and 200-yard individual medley.  Freshman Alex Forrester captured two individual wins in the 50-yard freestyle and 200-yard backstroke.  Freshman Monica Tung also captured two events winning both the 100- and 200-yard butterfly.  The outstanding swim of the day went to freshman Molly Albrecht who, swimming the 500-yard freestyle for the first time, swam a time of 5:01.95, which was the third fastest time on the team all season.

The pre-meet ceremony begins at 12:45 with an introduction of the seniors before the men’s and women’s team captains and Yale Athletics Director Tom Beckett reflect on Keefe’s career. The YUAD is currently conducting a “Pack The Pool” campaign to honor the legendary coach’s tenure on campus.

Yalebulldogs.com will offer a live online video stream of the meet.  To purchase the live video, simply click on the "Yale All-Access Live Video" icon on the right-hand side of yalebulldogs.com and follow the simple instructions.  Fans can also go directly to: 

http://www.stretchinternet.com/yaleschedule.html

and click "Watch" next to the swim meet.  The price to watch the meet is $6.95.

For fans not able to make it to New Haven on Saturday afternoon, yalebulldogs.com provides the fastest and easiest virtual ticket available.  Follow along in real-time as Yale takes on UConn and bids farewell to a legend.

Report filed by Charles Moore ’10, Yale Sports Publicity