Bulldogs Bring Home Two Wins and Two Pool Records from Dartmouth

Athena Liao. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Athena Liao. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

HANOVER, N.H. – The Yale women's swimming and diving team continued its winning ways today with victories over both Dartmouth and Penn.  The Bulldogs defeated the Quakers 161-138 and the Big Green 174-126 to bring their official dual season record (also their Ivy League record) to 3-1.  The senior class continues to impress after last weekend's senior night at Kiphuth Pool, as Hayes Hyde, Athena Liao, and Rachel Rosenberg each won two individual events at this weekend's meet.  Alexandra Forrester showed the junior class was just as strong, setting a pool record in the 100-yard freestyle and contributing to another pool record in the 400 free relay.  With Yale winning a majority of the swimming events, as well as both diving events, and Dartmouth and Penn splitting the others, the Bulldogs went home with two wins in their last meet before a three weekend series in February that culminates in the Ivy League Championships.

Rosenberg began the meet with a captain's precision.  Rosenberg put up 270.45 points in the three-meter diving event, coming within two points of her winning score of 271.95 on three-meter last week against Cornell.  Lauren Gardanier was fifth on three-meter with 235.70 points.  Rosenberg would go on to win the one-meter as well with a score of 265.05.

The Bulldogs had a clear win in the 200-yard medley relay to kick off the afternoon's swimming events.  Cynthia Tsay, Liao, Hyde and Forrester put together a time of 1:46.88, just shy of the pool record of 1:46.22.  The next fastest time was 1:48.18 from Penn.

Liao followed up her breaststroke leg in the medley relay with a win in the 100-yard breaststroke.  Liao was the only one in the pool with a sub-31 first 50, and she built on her lead in the final 50 to clock in at 1:04.60.

Hyde's first individual win came in the 200-yard butterfly.  Hyde found good competition in the home team's Valerie Orellana, who was less than 0.10 seconds behind Hyde after 50 yards and again at the 150-yard mark.  On the last lap Hyde swam 33.21 to Orellana's 33.58 to touch the wall first in a time of 2:04.91.  Less than one second separated the top four swimmers in the event.

Joan Weaver and Cassidy Lapp were both in striking distance in the 50 free, but the win went to Dartmouth.  Weaver took second in a time of 24.70, with Lapp not far behind for fifth place with 24.94.

Forrester then had an exciting finish in the 100-yard freestyle.  Forrester went out at 24.49 – a time that would have won her the 50 free – and held off Penn's Shelby Fortin for the win.  Forrester's time was 51.14, breaking the three-year-old pool record of 51.52.

Molly Albrecht had her turn in the 200-yard backstroke.  Albrecht went 29.42 for the first 50 yards, and by the half she had a 1.37-second lead.  She would go on to finish in a time of 2:05.26, the second-place time being 2:06.96.

After her win in the 100-yard breaststroke, Liao had an even more impressive performance in the 200-yard breaststroke.  Liao had a cushion of 3.23 seconds on the field going into the last 50 yards.  Her final time was 2:18.57, with Penn's Laura Klick taking second in 2:24.15.  Elizabeth Larsen finished fourth with a time of 2:26.00.

Hyde had her second win in the 100-yard butterfly.  Hyde was third after the first 50 yards, but she came home in 29.92 to finish in 57.04, matching her 57.03 from last weekend's meet against Cornell almost exactly.

Tsay then won the 200-yard individual medley over Penn's Melissa Paratto, despite none of Tsay's individual splits being the fastest in the event.  Liao's 37.05 breaststroke split was the fastest to come from the field, but Liao would finish fifth with a time of 2:10.81.  Consistently fast times across all four strokes delivered Tsay to a win in a time of 2:09.23.

The Bulldogs finished strong, setting a pool record in the 400-yard freestyle relay.  Forrester used the same speed she had shown in the 100-yard freestyle to get the Bulldogs an early lead, touching the wall in 51.62.  Lapp and Hyde held on to the lead, posting times in the 52-second range, and Weaver came home in 51.38 to give the Bulldogs a time of 3:28.67, a new pool record by 1.41 seconds.

Up next is the annual tri-meet between Harvard, Yale and Princeton on Feb. 4-5 in Cambridge, Mass.  The Bulldogs have their work cut out for them at the two-day HYP meet.  Harvard and Princeton were both in the top five in the CollegeSwimming.com Mid-Major Ranking on Dec. 15, and both teams are undefeated in the Ivy League so far this season.

Report filed by Tom Lynam '13, Yale Sports Publicity