OMAHA, Neb. – A strong contingent of swimmers from the Yale women's swimming and diving team competed at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials this past week. For two of Yale's recent graduates, Hayes Hyde '12 and Athena Liao '12, the trials were one last opportunity to race. For the other four Bulldogs who will be returning to Kiphuth Pool next year, the racing experience will prove invaluable as the 2012-13 season approaches.
On the first day of competition incoming freshman Emma Smith raced in the heats of the 400-meter individual medley. Smith posted a time of 5:02.54 to finish 111th out of 125 finishers in the event.
Smith's future classmates from the Class of 2016 were next to race. Incoming freshman Ali Stephens-Pickeral raced in the heats of the 100-meter breaststroke on Tuesday, as did Eva Fabian in the 400-meter freestyle. Stephens-Pickeral had a great swim, placing well in the top half of the event, coming in 59th out of 152 total swimmers. Her time of 1:11.62 was just a hair better than her qualifying time of 1:11.69, and likewise she greatly improved her standing in the field with an initial seeding of 98th. In the 400 free Fabian posted a time of 4:20.80 to put her 71st out of 113, also an improvement on her 85th seed in the field but not a personal best.
On Wednesday Smith raced again, this time in the heats of the 200-meter individual medley. She posted a time of 2:22.02 to finish 98th out of 113.
Hyde raced on Thursday in the 200-meter butterfly. She finished 79th out of 130 with a time of 2:17.84. The following day Liao raced in the 200-meter breaststroke, finishing 113th out of 118 with a time of 2:44.33.
On Saturday Molly Albrecht raced in the 200-meter backstroke. She finished 149th out of 186 with a time of 2:21.13. The event was won by American record holder Missy Franklin on her way to qualify for the London Games in six events, the most of anyone of the U.S. team.
Fabian had her second race on Saturday, competing in the heats of the 800-meter freestyle. She stopped the clock in 8:54.43 to finish a respectable 37th out of 65. Fabian missed out on a spot in the finals but was able to post a faster time than four-time Olympic gold medalist Janet Evans (9:01.59), whose Olympic comeback ultimately proved unsuccessful.
The 2012 U.S. Olympic Team roster is available here.
Report filed by Tom Lynam '13, Yale Sports Publicity