Yale In Fifth At Ivies Going Into Final Day

Feb. 24, 2006

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - At the end of its second day of competition at the Ivy Championship, the Yale women's swimming and diving team slipped to fifth overall with 618 points. The team's performance was punctuated by Moira McCloskey's win in the final of the 100-yard backstroke.

McCloskey, who was seeded second overall in the 100-yard backstroke, actually swam her fastest time in the preliminary round. Her time of 56.29 was just her personal best on the season. In the final she swam 56.34, narrowly beating out Princeton's Kelly Hannigan and Harvard's Lindsay Hart. McCloskey was joined in the final by Brenna Davis, who came in eighth with a time of 58.73.

The other individual standout for the Bulldogs, as on day one, was junior Meg Gill. Gill added to her second place finish in Thursday's 50-yard freestyle with a third place in the final of the 100-yard butterfly. Her time of 55.71 was a personal best.

But aside from the old guard, the Bulldogs also received some crucial points from some of the younger team members. In the 100-yard breaststroke, freshmen Marilee Kiernan and Katie French both qualified for the final, finishing fifth and seventh respectively. Kiernan and French showed a great deal of promise for the future as the only two freshmen to qualify for the final of the event.

"The breaststrokers really stepped it up tonight," senior Megan Bailey said. "It was huge to have them both in the final as far as points are concerned."

The Bulldogs also performed well in Friday's relay events. In the first event of the day, the 200-yard medley relay, the Yale team of McCloskey, Gill, Caroline Dowd and Alexis Mann finished third in 1:44.78. Their time is a new Yale record, beating the previous record of 1:44.97, which had stood since 1992. In the last event of the day, the 800-yard freestyle relay, Chase Butler, Dowd, Bailey and McCloskey finished fifth in a time of 7:35.84.

As expected, Princeton and hosts Harvard pulled away throughout day two, leaving a gap of nearly 300 points between them and third place Pennsylvania. Yale is fifth, but only 2.5 points behind fourth place Columbia.

"We're really close to Penn and Columbia," Bailey said. "They're both definitely within reach. We also usually get stronger throughout the meet, so tomorrow could be a good day for us. We just need to make sure we swim fast in the morning to make as many finals as possible."

The Bulldogs will begin their final day of competition at Harvard's Blodgett Pool at 11 am tomorrow. Complete Results are available online.

Report filed by Jamie Cordes '07, Yale Sports Publicity.