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Yale Takes Down Two in Ivy League

Hayes Hyde. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Hayes Hyde. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Dartmouth Big Green and Penn Quakers fell to the Bulldogs of the Yale women's swimming and diving team in Kiphuth Pool on Saturday.  Yale beat Penn 179-121, while Yale trounced Dartmouth 193-107.  This margin of victory over the Big Green replaces last week's 187-113 victory over Cornell as Yale's largest of the season thus far.  The Bulldogs protected every last yard of their home pool, winning 12 out of 16 events including both diving events.  The Bulldogs are now 5-0 in dual meets.

Early in the day the diving duo of Rachel Rosenberg and Paige Meneses put the Bulldogs on the board with yet another one-two finish in the one-meter event.  Rosenberg won with a score of 269.15, followed by Meneses with 263.80.  Freshman Christina Brasco was not far behind in fourth place with 243.00 points. 

The first swimming win of the day came for the Bulldogs in the 200-yard medley relay.  The Yale 'A' flight of Cynthia Tsay, Athena Liao, Hayes Hyde and Joan Weaver touched in 1:46.48 to Penn's 1:48.64 and Dartmouth's 1:49.60.  Weaver then took third in the next event, the 1000-yard freestyle, touching in 10:19.39.  Abigail Nunn took fourth (10:23.43) and Courtney Randolph took sixth place (10:25.51) for Yale.

Dartmouth and Penn found some success in the next two events.  Dartmouth won the 200 free, with Molly Albrecht coming in second (1:53.17).  Penn then won the 100 backstroke, with Cynthia Tsay also coming in second (58.40).  The tides quickly turned, however, and Yale was back on top in the 100 breaststroke.  In the event's second heat Athena Liao was in a close second place going into the 50-yard turn. Liao pushed out in front of Penn in lane three to come home in 32.94, the next fastest second 50-yard split being Penn's 35.28.  Liao won in a time of 1:04.13.

In the 200 fly Hayes Hyde was out quick, touching the wall first at the 50 and again at the 100.  At 150 yards into the race Hyde had over a one second lead, but pressure was again coming from Penn in lane three.  Hyde clocked in at 2:04.07, a mere 0.04 seconds faster than Penn's Melissa Paratto.  Ileana Lucos took fourth place (2:08.04).  Before breaking for diving Erica Kao took fifth (24.81) in a very quick 50-yard freestyle.  Only 0.51 seconds separated fifth-place Kao from the winning time.  The 50 free would be the last event of the day that Yale did not win.

After a solid second-place finish in the one-meter diving event, Paige Meneses showed she has some real chops in the three-meter as well.  Teammate Rachel Rosenberg took second place with 253.05 points.  Meneses, however, was far and away with 278.30 points, owing much of her first place finish to median scores of seven on her first dive, back one-and-a-half with three-half twists, and her last dive, inward one-and-a-half pike.

The remaining swimming events went all to the Bulldogs.  Cynthia Tsay narrowly edged out teammate Ileana Lucos to win the 100 freestyle in 52.50 to Lucos' 52.63.  In the 200 backstroke Molly Albrecht was neck and neck with Penn in lane three at the halfway point of the race, but consistent 31-second splits in the last 100 yards won out as Albrecht touched in 2:03.30 to win the event.

Athena Liao then had a big win in the 200-yard breaststroke.  After the first 50 yards Liao had a 0.81 second lead, and it only grew from there.  With 50 yards to go it had widened to nearly four seconds and in the end Liao finished in 2:17.13, a remarkable five seconds faster than Penn's second place swimmer (2:22.14).  Chelsea Dunlap and Courtney Randolph took fourth and sixth place.

In the 500 freestyle Joan Weaver and Molly Albrecht had over a half second lead on the field after 50 yards.  Albrecht stepped out front after the first 150 yards but regardless both Weaver and Albrecht still had about a length on Dartmouth in third position.  With 150 yards to go Weaver moved into first position and had a three second lead on Dartmouth coming into the final 50 yards.  Weaver touched first in 4:59.90, while Albrecht took second with a time of 5:01.74.  Abby Nunn finished fourth in the event (5:06.67).

Hayes Hyde kept things going in the 100 fly.  Hyde touched first at the half, and coming down the homestretch she was almost a length up.  In the end Hyde finished in 57.08, well ahead of second-place Dartmouth (58.14).  Athena Liao then won the 200 IM, her third individual win of the day.  Liao had over half a second lead after the butterfly leg.  Penn gained some ground going into the breaststroke, but Liao sealed the deal on the freestyle leg, winning in a time of 2:08.39.

In the last event of the day, the 400 freestyle relay, there was very little separation coming into the first turn.  The 'A' teams of Yale, Penn and Dartmouth quickly stepped out, and in the third leg the Yale team of Joan Weaver, Hayes Hyde, Ileana Lucos and Cynthia Tsay jumped into first position.  With 150 yards to go Lucos had put the Bulldogs almost a second ahead.  On the final lap Tsay had a two second lead.  Yale won in a time of 3:31.02, next to Penn's time of 3:32.90.  Dartmouth clocked in at 3:33.95.

Next weekend the Bulldogs hit the road and will swim against the blue and gold of the Naval Academy.  The meet will take place at 12:00 p.m. in Annapolis at Navy's Lejeune Hall.

Report filed by Yale Sports Publicity