ATLANTA – Junior Alexandra Forrester met the Olympic Trials standard not once, but twice in the 50 free today on the first day of competition at the 2011 AT&T Winter National Championships. Fast times were delivered across the board from the five swimmers representing Yale in Atlanta, but the story of the night is Forrester becoming the third swimmer on the Bulldog roster headed to the U.S. Olympic Team Trials next June.
The day began with the preliminaries of the 400-meter freestyle, where Molly Albrecht and Joan Weaver had some of their fastest swims at that distance. Albrecht's time was 4:24.09 to put her 49th out of 73 total swimmers. Weaver clocked in at 4:27.07 to take 64th, but only the top 30 swimmers would earn a spot in the evening's finals.
The second event of the day was the 200-meter individual medley, where Hayes Hyde and Athena Liao both raced. Hyde posted a time of 2:25.89, followed closely by Liao with a time of 2:26.71. The pair missed the finals but they will be competing in two more events each in the coming days.
The morning ended with Forrester in the heats of the 50-meter freestyle. Forrester touched the wall in 26.30 to post the 25th-fastest time out of 111 total swimmers in the event. Less than a second separated Forrester from Jessica Hardy's 25.31, the fastest time of the morning. With her time of 26.30, Forrester had punched her ticket for next summer's U.S. Olympic Team Trials.
Forrester was the only Yale swimmer that raced today to earn a swim in the evening's finals. Competing in the C final of the 50 free, Forrester finished ninth for a 29th-place overall finish. Her time was 26.15, faster than her time from the morning by 0.15 seconds and again lower than the Olympic Trials cut.
Things will pick up again in Atlanta at 9:00 a.m. tomorrow with Forrester and Hyde swimming in the heats of the 100-meter butterfly.
Report filed by Tom Lynam '13, Yale Sports Publicity