Bulldogs Fall to Third
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - The Bulldogs fell to third on the second day of swimming, but managed to win three events and stay within reach. The 200-yard medley relay team won, freshman Alex Forrester won the 100-yard butterfly and senior Susan Kim won the 100-yard breaststroke. Princeton still sits in first with 982 points. Harvard is in second at 944, with Yale just behind them in third with 916 points.
"This was another fantastic day for us," said Robert J.H. Kiphuth Director of Swimming Frank Keefe. "This is the best I have seen any Yale team swim in my 32 years. It is a great credit to what they have done work wise, and if you look at it, we are still very young. Every one of our swimmers came back to score in the night session."
The Bulldogs opened the morning with the 400-yard IM, an event not usually swum during dual meets. Junior Kristin Darwin was the only Yale swimmer to get into the A final. She finished fifth in the preliminaries with a time of 4:26.44. Penn dominated the A final getting three swimmers through, while Harvard and Princeton each got two. Yale was unable to put anyone into the B final, but freshman Margaret Brown did earn a spot in the C final with a time of 4:34.94.
Forrester did exactly what she needed to in the morning. Forrester swam the fastest time in the 100-yard butterfly, by over two seconds. With her preliminary time of 52.58, she broke the meet record, the pool record, and her own Ivy League record, set earlier this year. She also inched ever closer to the elusive NCAA A cut time of 52.02. Joining Forrester in the A final will be two other Yale swimmers, sophomore Hayes Hyde and freshman Monica Tung. Hyde's time was 55.87 and Tung's was 56.33. Senior Andrea Clifford also advanced to the B final with a time of 57.07.
Kim opened her day with a big win in the 100-yard breaststroke. Like Forrester, she too rewrote the record books. She took first in the prelims with a time of 1:01.26 that broke her own meet record and the Ivy record set earlier this year by Courtney Kilkuts of Princeton. Kim finished 1.58 seconds ahead of Katie Meili from Columbia. Sophomore Athena Liao also made it through to the A final with her time of 1:03.98.
Yale had three girls in the top ten of the 100-yard backstroke and two in the A final. Freshman Molly Albrecht and Sophomore Emily Dominski finished in a tie for sixth with their times of 56.09. Chiara Spinazzola of Cornell broke the Ivy record in the prelims with a time of 54.53. Yale's other top ten finisher, freshman Cynthia Tsay, made it through to the B final with a time of 56.95.
The Bulldogs opened the evening session with a bang, winning the 200-yard medley relay by .16 seconds. The team of Albrecht, Kim, Forrester, and Dominski swam a time of 1:41.63, just edging out Princeton. Yale extended their lead over Harvard to 17 points with the victory and closed to within 29 points of Princeton.
"Tsay has been swimming the 200-yard medley all year, but I needed her to swim the 800-yard freestyle relay today," said Keefe. "We put in Molly and had Emily swim the last leg. It worked well."
The 1000-yard freestyle was swum without preliminaries due to its length and freshman Joan Weaver swam a great race for the Bulldogs, taking sixth. Her time of 10:12.78 was 4.39 seconds faster than her season best.
"Joan swam a tough double today," said Keefe. "We had her in the 100-yard freestyle and the 1000-yard freestyle. That is a tough day. She also swam a leg of the 800-yard freestyle relay. Abby Nunn also had another great day for someone with broken ribs, scoring points in the 1000-yard free."
Nunn took 15th for Yale with a time of 10:25.08 and Brown took 17th with a time of 10:30.41.
Yale only had one swimmer in the A final of the 400-yard freestyle. Darwin took fourth with a time of 4:25.92, improving over her preliminary time. Brown also swam the event taking 21st in the C final. With so few swimmers in the event Harvard leapfrogged over Yale to take a 63 point lead.
Forrester continued her dominance in the 100-yard butterfly, winning her second event of the championships. Her time was a little slower than the preliminaries at 53.03, but she had already broken Jill Sterkel's 29 year-old pool record in the morning. She also broke the meet and Ivy League records. Two other Yale swimmers placed in the A final. Hyde and Tung took sixth and seventh place, respectively. Hyde had a time of 55.74, while Tung clocked in at 55.96. Clifford swam in the consolation final taking 16th overall with a time of 57.68. With Yale's dominating performance in the event they inched closer to Harvard and Princeton who were just separated by four points at this stage of the meet.
"The 100-yard butterfly was a big event for us," said Keefe. "Anytime you can score three swimmers in an A final, it is huge."
The 200-yard freestyle was another big event for the Bulldogs. Weaver, swimming in her second event of the day, took third with a time of 1:49.86. Lucos was just behind her in fourth with a time for 1:50.82. Grigereit also swam in the event for Yale. She took 15th with a time of 1:53.31.
Kim won her first event of the championships and broke the meet, pool, and Ivy League record in the process. The pool record was set by Tracy Caulkins of Nashville in 1981. Kim's time was 1:00.66 and just .67 seconds away from an NCAA A cut. Almost as impressive was Liao who took fourth in the event with a time of 1:03.45, proving that although Kim is graduating, the breaststroke events are being left in good hands. With Kim and Liao coming through for Yale, the Bulldogs closed within 15 points of Harvard and 66 points of Princeton.
In the 100-yard backstroke, Dominski came up with a huge finish for Yale, taking second with a time of 54.80. She dropped over a second off her preliminary time. Albrecht took sixth for Yale with a time of 56.38. In the B final, Tsay took the top spot for a ninth place finish overall. Her time was 56.51. Yale overtook Harvard after the 100-yard backstroke and held a 13 point lead.
The Bulldogs got their third victory of the day from sophomore Rachel Rosenberg who won the three-meter diving with a staggering score of 291.60. Freshman Paige Meneses took seventh with a score of 266.60. Sophomore Lisa Andrekovich took 15th in the B final with a score of 206.75.
In the 800-yard freestyle Yale took third with a score of 7:24.67. The team of Tsay, Lucos, Albrecht and Weaver fought throughout the race, but by the time Weaver entered the pool to close out the race, they were five yards behind Harvard and five yards ahead of Penn, so all she could do was hold on.
At the end of the day Princeton led with a score of 982. Harvard reclaimed second with a score of 944 and Yale was in third at 916.
"Anything can happen tomorrow," said Keefe. "We will try and do the best we possibly can. We have a lot of good swims in us tomorrow and a lot of events that favor us."
Tomorrow's events will be the 1650-yard freestyle, 200-yard backstroke, 100-yard freestyle, 200-yard breaststroke, 200-yard butterfly, one-meter diving and 400-yard freestyle relay.
Report filed by Charles Moore '10, Yale Sports Publicity