CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Yale women's swimming and diving team had its first wins at the 2012 Ivy League Championships on Friday. Alexandra Forrester and Hayes Hyde went 1-2 in the 100-yard butterfly and were half of the winning Yale 200-yard medley relay that set a new school record. Joan Weaver also set a Yale record in the 200-yard freestyle and was the anchor leg of the Bulldog 800-yard freestyle relay that dropped yet another Yale record. Other big performances came from Athena Liao, who finished third in the 100-yard breaststroke, and Cynthia Tsay, who finished second in the 100-yard backstroke. After two days the Bulldogs are in third place with 739.5 points, well ahead of the 600 points they had after day two at Ivy's last year.
Courtney Randolph kicked the second day off for the Bulldogs in the heats of the 400-yard individual medley, finishing eighth with a time of 4:24.15 and putting herself in the evening's final. Angela Lee earned a spot in the consolation final, finishing 16th with a time of 4:28.46. Abigail Nunn (4:29.22) finished 19th and Elizabeth Larsen (4:30.65) finished 24th to get a second swim in the bonus final.
Forrester then set a meet record in the 100-yard butterfly. Forrester took down the first 50 yards in 24.03, the next fastest split being 25.13. Her final 50 yards were also the fastest in the field, adding up to a time of 52.51, more than two seconds faster than the NCAA B-cut in that event (54.62) and breaking her own meet record of 52.58 set two years ago. Hyde came in a clean second place with a time of 54.36, also good for an NCAA B-cut and giving Yale a good outlook for the evening's 100 fly final. Allison West finished 23rd with a time of 56.99 to land a spot in the bonus final.
In the 200-yard freestyle Weaver finished second with a time of 1:48.65. The Bulldogs also put three swimmers in the consolation final: Rebecca DeLaFuente finished 11th with a time of 1:51.03, followed closely by Molly Albrecht in 14th with a time of 1:51.51 and again by Helena Gali in 15th with a time of 1:51.62.
Liao posted the fifth-fastest time out of 25 total swimmers in the 100-yard breaststroke. Liao clocked in at 1:03:05, with just 1.63 seconds separating second place from eighth. Chelsea Dunlap (1:05.41) and Cassidy Lapp (1:06.05) each earned a spot in the consolation final, and Larsen (1:07.10) a spot in the bonus final.
Yet another NCAA B-cut came in the 100-yard backstroke preliminaries, with Tsay taking second in a time of 54.98. Tsay was one of two swimmers to go sub-55, with the fastest time belonging to Princeton's Lisa Boyce whose time broke her own Ivy League record. Michelle Huang finished 20th with a time of 57.78 to head to the bonus final.
In the three-meter diving preliminaries captain Rachel Rosenberg put up 279.35 points for a solid second place. Paige Meneses finished 12th with 242.65 points, and Lauren Gardanier finished 24th with 220.85 points.
The Bulldogs had their first win of the meet in the 200-yard medley relay. Yale's lineup of Tsay, Liao, Forrester and Hyde finished in a time of 1:41.05, breaking the pool record set by Yale in 2010 (1:41.63) – also the Yale school record – as well as the NCAA B-cut in the event (1:42.70). The Bulldogs were in second place after the first 150 yards behind Princeton, but Hyde's 22.77 freestyle leg put Yale in front for first place. In the end the Bulldogs beat Princeton by 0.13 seconds, having lost to Princeton by 3.03 seconds in that event just three weeks ago at HYP.
In the 1000-yard freestyle, Nunn finished 14th in a time of 10:14.37, while Jacqui Levere finished 21st with a time of 10:35.81.
Randolph improved on her time from the prelims in the final of the 400 IM. Randolph posted a time of 4:22.62 to take seventh and set a personal best in the event. Lee finished seventh in the consolation final to take 15th place overall with a time of 4:30.18. Larsen had a slight improvement on her time from the morning, clocking in at 4:30.58 for 21st place. Nunn finished 23rd with a time of 4:32.18.
After swimming the butterfly leg for the winning Yale 200-yard medley relay, Forrester brought in Yale's first individual win as part of a 1-2 finish with Hyde in the 100-yard butterfly. Forrester posted a time of 52.53, again faster than her meet record from two years ago but not faster than her preliminary time. Hyde matched her prelim time exactly, touching the wall in 54.36 to take second place. West finished 21st with a time of 57.05.
Weaver had another personal best in the final of the 200-yard freestyle, this time taking down a five-year old Yale record in the process. Weaver finished second as she did in the heat, but answering her preliminary time of 1:48.65 with a time that just exactly gets her an NCAA B-cut, 1:48.29. This time is faster than the existing school record of 1:48.34 set in 2007 by Jane Kim '10. DeLaFuente posted a time of 1:50.79 to win the consolation final, followed by Albrecht in 10th (1:51.05) and Gali in 12th (1:51.40)
Liao moved onto the podium in the 100-yard breaststroke, finishing third with a time of 1:02.43. Liao met the NCAA B cut of 1:02.98 in a race that saw Columbia's Katie Meili break through the one-minute mark and earn an NCAA A-cut. Lapp (1:05.18), Dunlap (1:05.78) and Larsen (1:06.53) also picked up some points for the Bulldogs in the bonus final.
Tsay kept the Bulldogs in the top three with her second-place finish in the 100-yard backstroke. Tsay clocked in at 55.35 in a tight race where only 0.71 seconds separated second place from seventh place. Huang also netted some points for the Bulldogs, finishing seventh in the bonus final with a time of 58.18.
In the three-meter diving consolation final, Meneses took third for an 11th-place finish overall with a score of 255.95 points. Rosenberg and the other three-meter finalists will compete Saturday evening.
In the last event of the night the Bulldogs finished in second place in the 800-yard freestyle relay. Yale's squad of Tsay, Albrecht, Hyde and Weaver put together a time of 7:19.55, more than three seconds faster than the NCAA B-cut of 7:23.17. At the halfway point Yale was in fifth place but Hyde closed the gap to put Yale back in front of Dartmouth and Penn, and Weaver followed up her career-best swim in the 200 free with a 1:48.03 anchor leg – the fastest split in the entire event – to put the Bulldogs in front of Columbia by a margin of 1.68 seconds. Albrecht, Tsay and Weaver return from last year's 800 free relay where the Bulldogs posted a time of 7:20.23 to set a Yale record. Harvard won this year's event with a time of 7:15.92.
The last day of competition begins Saturday at 11:00 a.m. with the heats of the 200-yard backstroke. Heat sheets and results can be found here.
Report filed by Tom Lynam '13, Yale Sports Publicity