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Record-Breaking Relay Highlights Third Day of Championships

Yale's record-breaking relay team.
Yale's record-breaking relay team.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - The Yale women's swimming and diving team finished the third day of the Ivy League Championships strongly. The team is currently standing second with 990 points, just 63 points behind Harvard.

Yale had 5 swimmers score points in the 1,000-yard freestyle. Cailley Silbert and Kendall Brent swept the competition, capturing first (9:46.16) and second (9:51.12). Their teammates Nathalie Eid and Danielle Liu touched the wall not too far behind, finishing fourth (9:56.09) and seventh (9:59.81). Carrie Heilbrun slipped into sixteenth overall with a time of 10:07.88.

Two swimmers made it to the A-final and one in the B-final after preliminaries of the 400-yard individual medley. Bebe Thompson and Destiny Nelson tag teamed in the A-final, slipping into third (4:15.15) and fourth (4:15.69). Both made the NCAA B-cut. Their teammate Cate Sawkins raced in the B-final, winning the heat with a time of 4:20.81.

Butterfliers Maddy Zimmerman and Heidi Vanderwel made it to the A-final heat of the 100-yard butterfly. They took second (52.89) and fourth (53.40), respectively. Both made the NCAA B-cut. Lili Margitai also made the NCAA B-cut but in the B-final, winning the heat with a time of 53.79. Their teammate Carrie Heilbrun snuck into fourth in the C-final heat, finishing with a time of 55.57, just 0.26 seconds away from the winner.

In the 200-yard freestyle, Claire O'Mara out-touched Princeton's swimmer in the A-final, finishing fifth with a time of 1:48.07, almost making the NCAA B-cut. Her teammates Sophie Fontaine and Kate Rogers competed in the B-final and C-final, respectively. Fontaine finished fourth in her heat with a time of 1:49.35, while Rogers finished eighth in her heat with a time of 1:52.49.

Cha O'Leary blew the competition away in the 100-yard breastroke, winning the event and making the NCAA B-cut with a time of 1:00.13. Her teammate Paulina Kaminski competed in the B-final, barely out-touching several swimmers and finishing fifth with a time of 1:03.55.

Setting the meet record - originally 52.77 set in 2014 - and making the NCAA B-cut, Heid Vanderwel won the 100-yard backstroke with an outstanding time of 52.45. Her teammate Bella Hindley followed not too far behind, also making the NCAA B-cut with a time of 53.68. In the C-finals swam Rogers, finishing strongly with a time of 57.02 in fourth place of her heat.

Competing in the 400-yard medley relay were Vanderwel, O'Leary, Zimmerman and Hindley. Vanderwel led the backstroke leg with a time of 52.79. O'Leary followed as the breaststroke leg, splitting the time in 1:00.40. Zimmerman swam the butterfly leg, splitting a time of 52.66. Hindley finished the relay as the freestyle anchor with a split time of 48.37. The four combined annihilated the competition, winning the race and making the NCAA B-cut with a time of 3:34.22, five seconds ahead of Harvard's relay.

Divers finished the 1-meter dive finals with strong performances. Nikki Watters won the overall event with a total score of 293.35. Her teammate Hannah Walsh followed not too far behind, taking third with a score of 279.10.

After finishing the second full day, the Bulldogs are excited to tackle the final day in hopes of winning the Ivy League Championships a second year in a row. Robert J.H. Kiphuth Head Coach of Swimming and Diving Jim Henry comments, "The team continues to improve with each session of the championships. We had an outstanding evening of racing tonight including winning four events and setting three new Yale records. The 400 Medley's record breaking performance at the end of the night was incredible. We are looking forward to more fast swims and great dives tomorrow."


Report by Angela Lee, YSPH '18, Yale Sports Publicity