NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale women's swimming and diving team won against Cornell 271-82 in the final home meet of the 2017-18 season Tuesday. The team claimed first in 18 of the 19 events, and in the majority of those the Bulldogs claimed second and third places as well.
The Bulldogs dominated individual performances both days, taking the top three spots in almost every event. Divers McKenna Tennant, Hannah Walsh and Brigita Burgess swept first, second and third with scores of 314.85, 276.15 and 272.25, respectively, in the 3-meter diving. Divers Nikki Watters, Walsh and Talbott Paulsen took first (302.47), second (291.30) and third (283.28) in the 1-meter dive.
Similarly, long-distance freestylers Cailley Silbert, Kendall Brent and Sophie Fontaine took first (10:00.84), second (10:11.64) and third (10:19.79) in the 1,000-yard freestyle. In the 500-yard freestyle, Cailey Silbert, Carrie Heilbrun and Nathalie Eid continued the first, second, third streak with times of 4:58.10, 4:59.95 and 5:01.67. Middle distance freestylers Danielle Liu, Destiny Nelson and Cheryl Xiang also claimed first (1:52.14), second (1:54.23) and third (1:55.16), respectively. Freestyle sprinters Bella Hindley and Amy Zhao snuck into first (23:26) and second (24.74), respectively, in the 50-yard freestyle. Similarly, Claire O'Mara and Kate Rogers took first (52.08) and second (52.34), respectively, just under a second ahead of Cornell's sprinter in the 100-yard freestyle.
Backstroker Heidi VanderWel dominated the competition in the 100-yard backstroke, winning with a time of 55:84, more than a full second ahead of Cornell's swimmer. In the 200-yard backstroke, Cate Sawkins and Elizabeth Felix strongly held first (2:02.40) and third (2:05.90) throughout the race.
Breaststrokers Cha O'Leary and Paulina Kaminski led the competition in the 100-yard breaststroke, placing first (1:02.83) and second (1:06.37), respectively. In the 200-yard breaststroke, Ashley Pales, Paulina Kaminski and Mary Tate dominated the pool, taking first (2:22.04), second (2:22.46) and third (2:25.10).
Butterfliers Charlotte Hylinski and Sophie Fontaine slipped into first (2:05.24) and second (2:05.55) in the 200-yard butterfly, just a second ahead of Cornell's butterflier. In the 100-yard butterfly, Maddy Zimmerman touched first with a time of 55:15, almost two full seconds ahead of Cornell.
The individual medley swimmers also had strong performances. In the 400-yard individual medley, Sophie Pilkinton, Bebe Thompson and Cate Sawkins placed first (4:27.05), second (4:29.02) and third (4:34.32). Similarly, Bella Hindley, Destiny Nelson and Lili Margitai took first (57.13), second (58.12) and third (58.37).
Yale also successfully won events in the relays, with the exception of only one. Yale's A-relay, B-relay and C-relay continued the first, second and third victory streak in the 400-yard medley relay with times of 3:45.39, 3:49.90 and 3:50.51, respectively. Still maintaining the first spot, Yale's A-relay and B-relay took first (1:34.68) and second (1:37.20), respectively, in the 200-yard freestyle relay. In the 200-yard medley relay, Yale's A-relay and B-relay placed first (1:42.89) and third (1:47.14). Though Yale lost the top spot to Cornell in the 400-yard freestyle relay, Yale's A-relay and B-relay were able to keep second (3:30.74) and third (3:30.76).
Satisfied with the performances, Coach Jim Henry commented, "The team has performed incredibly well over the last week. Today's meet against Cornell was filled with outstanding diving and great racing. It was a perfect way to pay tribute to our seniors in their last meet in the Exhibition Pool. Our growth over the last several months has been steady and strong. We are all looking forward to the meets ahead."
Concluding the final home meet of the season, the Bulldogs look forward to the remaining dual and tri-meets against teams within and outside of the Ivy League. Within a few days, they will travel to New Jersey, where they will compete at Rudgers on Jan. 12.
Report by Angela Lee '18, Yale Sports Publicity