December 6, 2013

Yale Looking Strong After Day 1 of Princeton Invitational

PRINCETON, N.J. – The Yale women's swimming and diving team sits in second place after the first day of Princeton's Big Al Open invitational.  The Bulldogs delivered strong performances in each of Friday's five events and sit within striking distance of the Tigers with two days of competition left.  Princeton leads with 281 points, Yale is second with 258 points and Dartmouth is in third with 183 points.

Yale's swimmers performed well in the preliminaries, and entered the evening's finals aiming to make a mark on the first day of competition.  The first event of the evening was the 200-yard freestyle relay.  Yale's "A" relay team of Michelle Chintanaphol, Olivia Jameson, Anna Wujciak and Kina Zhou had put up the second fastest time in the preliminary round but finished fifth in the final in a time of 1:35.24.

The Bulldogs bounced back after this disappointing result to finish 1-2 in the next event, the women's 500-yard freestyle.  Eva Fabian won the event in 4:47.86 and Isla Hutchinson-Maddox was second in 4:51.07, touching just ahead of the third-place finisher.  Also scoring crucial points for the Bulldogs in this event were Casey Lincoln, who finished seventh in 4:56.82, and Wujciak, who was eighth in 5:00.04, as well as Jameson, who won the B final in 4:54.82 to finish ninth.

The next event, the 200-yard individual medley featured the second of Yale's two wins on the night, as Emma Smith crept ahead during the breaststroke leg and just managed to hold of a late charge to touch first in 2:01.41.  Sydney Hirschi was fifth in a time of 2:03.13 and Zhou finished sixth in 2:03.86 to round out Yale's A finalists.  Chintanaphol and Courtney Randolph went 1-2 in the B final to secure much needed points for the Bulldogs, with Chintanaphol finishing in 2:03.34 and Randolph finishing in 2:03.43.   

In the 50-yard freestyle, Zhou finished in second, putting up a time of 23.15 seconds.  It was a solid performance, especially considering the one swimmer to finish in front of Zhou was Princeton's senior All-American Lisa Boyce.  

The final swim of the day was the 400-yard medley relay.   Yale put in a strong effort, as the team of Chintanaphol, Hirschi, Ali Stephens-Pickeral and Wujciak finished second in a time of 3:46.78.  A second Yale relay team consisting of Elizabeth Fosburgh, Emily Gudbranson, Elizabeth Larsen and Kasey Mann notched critical points for the Bulldogs, finishing ninth in a time of 3:56.32.

Yale will be back in action tomorrow, with a full slate of races scheduled.  The Bulldogs will swim the 200-yard medley relay, 400-yard IM, 100-yard butterfly, 200-yard freestyle, 100-yard breaststroke, 100-yard backstroke and 800-yard freestyle relay.   Additionally, Yale's divers will compete in the one-meter diving competition.  Preliminaries will begin at 11 a.m. and the day's finals will start at 6 p.m. 

Report filed by Lyon Van Voorhis '15, Yale Sports Publicity