NEW HAVEN, Conn. – A long road has led to the final weekend of competition for the Yale women's swimming and diving team. This Thursday, Friday and Saturday junior Alexandra Forrester will represent Yale at the 2012 NCAA Division I Swimming and Diving Championships in Auburn, Ala. Forrester qualified in the 50-yard freestyle, 100-yard freestyle and the 100-yard butterfly, having won the latter event at the 2012 Ivy League Championships. Forrester returns to NCAA's for the second time in her Yale career, having competed in the 100- and 200-yard butterfly at the 2010 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships her freshman year. This meet will be the last of the 2011-12 season for any of the Bulldogs.
The prelims and finals of the 50-yard freestyle will both take place this Thursday, Mar. 15. Forrester has the 43rd fastest seed time in a field of 72 swimmers with a time of 22.63 from her second-place finish at the 2012 Ivy League Championships. Four swimmers have met this year's A-cut of 21.93, the fastest belonging to the home team's Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace with 21.35.
The prelims and finals of the 100-yard butterfly will both take place this Friday, Mar. 16. Here Forrester will arrive in Auburn seeded 16th out of 60 total swimmers in the event. Her winning time of 52.51 from the prelims at Ivy's falls in between Michigan's Caitlin Dauw (52.50) and USC's Yumi So (52.58). Five swimmers have met this year's A-cut of 52.02, the fastest being Tennessee's Jennifer Connolly with a time of 51.21.
The prelims and finals of the 100-yard freestyle will both take place on Saturday, Mar. 17. In this event Forrester is seeded 51st out of 76 total swimmers in the event. Her time of 49.58 from the prelims at Ivy's was good enough for a third race at this year's meet. Four swimmers have met this year's A-cut of 47.84, the fastest again belonging to Vanderpool-Wallace (46.61).
Two years ago Forrester raced in two events at the 2010 NCAA Division I Women's Swimming and Diving Championships. In the 200-yard butterfly she took 10th with a time of 1:55.32. Her other event was the 100-yard butterfly, where she won the B final with a time of 52.35 to set a Yale record.
Forrester has proven tough to beat in both the 50 free and the 100 fly this year. She won the 50 free against Colgate (23.24), Columbia (23.13), at the Terrier Invitational (23.19) and took second at Ivy's (22.63) where she broke her own Yale record. She also raced and won the 100 fly four times: against McGill (53.72), against Columbia (53.63), at the Terrier Invitational (53.05) and at Ivy's (52.53).
In December Forrester raced the 100-meter butterfly at the 2011 AT&T Winter National Championships. Normally this meet is contested as the U.S. Short Course National Championships, but last year it was decided that the meet would be replaced with a long course competition to allow athletes the chance to meet Olympic Trials qualifying standards. Forrester did just that, qualifying in the 50-meter freestyle, the 200-meter butterfly and the 100-meter butterfly. She finished sixth in the 200 fly on the third day of competition with a time of 2:12.81, but had an even more impressive second-place finish in the 100 fly the day before, clocking in at 58.50.
The 2012 NCAA Division I Women's Swimming and Diving Championships will take place March 15-17 in Auburn, Ala., at Auburn's James E. Martin Aquatics Center. Heats will begin at 12:00 p.m. and finals at 8:00 p.m. each day. Live stats are available here.
Live streams of the meet can be accessed here:
Report filed by Tom Lynam '13, Yale Sports Publicity