CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - The Yale women's swimming and diving pulled through a tough competition against Harvard and Princeton this past weekend, winning overall against both teams. The team was shortly behind after completion of the first day, 84-66 against Princeton and 79-71 against Harvard. Both swimmers and divers made a strong comeback the second day to finish the overall competition with scores of 161-139 against Princeton and 162-138 against Harvard.
Though the Bulldogs were slightly behind in terms of scores on the first day, they still had several outstanding performances. Distance freestylers Cailley Silbert and Lilla Felix took second (9:55.86) and third (9:57.97) in the 1,000-yard freestyle, respectively, with Silbert finishing just within 0.14 seconds behind Princeton's swimmer. Breastrokers Cha O'Leary and Ashley Pales swept the field in the 100 yard breastroke, finishing first (1:00.60) and third (1:02.18), respectively.
In the 200 yard butterfly, Sophie Fontaine slipped into third, touching the wall with a time of 2:00.79. Sprinter Bella Hindley flew ahead of the competition, winning the race and breaking the Blodgett Pool record - last broken in 2012 - in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 22.43. To wrap up the first day, Destiny Nelson took the gold in the 400-yard individual medley with a breath-taking time of 4:13.89, finishing more than five seconds ahead of Princeton's swimmer who finished second.
The team pulled through the second day of the meet, taking first, second, and third in majority of the events. Hindley once again won another event - the 100-yard freestyle - with a time of 48.7, defeating both Harvard's and Princeton's fastest sprinters. Nelson and Heidi Vanderwel tag-teamed the 200-yard backstroke, finishing first (1:55.93) and second (1:57.06). O'Leary and Pales once again competed in their second breastroke event - the 200-yard breastroke - and slipped into second (2:11.80) and third (2:15.23) with O'Leary finishing just 0.08 seconds away from Harvard's swimmer.
Fontaine, Silbert, and Kendall Brent raced as the triple threat of the 500-yard freestyle, taking first (4:49.36), second (4:49.48), and third (4:49.76), respectively. Butterflier Maddy Zimmerman crushed the competition in the 100-yard butterfly, winning the event with a time of 53.15. Nelson competed once more in the individual medley - the 200-yard individual medley this time - with her teammate Sophie Pilkinton, out-racing the the entire competition and placing first (1:59.64) and second (2:03.09), respectively.
Lili Margitai, O'Mara, Kate Rogers, and Hindley represented Yale's A-relay in the 400-yard freestyle relay, finishing just short of a second away from Harvard's A-relay but under two seconds ahead of Princeton's A-relay, wrapping up the tri-meet with an overall win.
Robert J.H. Kiphuth Head Coach of Swimming and Diving Jim Henry was ecstatic about the team's performances. "The team did an outstanding job working together to get two more wins against some great competition. We improved from the beginning of the meet with every event. I am very proud of how the team responded after being behind after day one. We are all looking forward to using the momentum from this meet into the Ivy Championships in 12 days."
He was also excited to compliment the senior class on their "impressive 44-3 dual meet record in their four years including a 31 meet win streak."
The Bulldogs have now finished all the dual meets of season with another all Ivy dual meet champion title. They will return to the Blodgett pool at Cambridge, Mass., in a couple of weeks for their conference meet, the Ivy League Championships.
Report by Angela Lee, YSPH '18, Yale Sports Publicity