Jan. 28, 2009
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The women's swimming and diving team will head to Cambridge on Friday, Jan. 30 to face Harvard and Princeton in its most important dual meet of the season. Yale comes into the meet 3-1 in the Ivy League and 5-2 overall. Princeton, currently ranked 25th by the College Swimming Coaches Athletic Association, is coming off a win over Dartmouth 200-95. Harvard brings a 5-0 record to HYPs, including a win over Ivy rival Brown 199.5-99.5 last weekend.
The Bulldogs are trying to reverse history this weekend. Princeton and Harvard have traditionally been the top two teams in the Ivy League. Princeton won both HYPs and the Ivy League Championship in 2008, with Harvard coming in second both times. Last year at home, the Bulldogs lost to the Tigers by a score of 237-65 and the Crimson by a score of 198.5-119.5. The Bulldogs were unable to claim the top spot in any races, but senior Alexis Mann, sophomore Brittany Iacouzze and Caroline Dowd '08 all had second-place finishes. Senior captain Aidan McKinlay sees a chance to reverse that trend this year.
"HYP is an important meet for us this year," said McKinlay. "With the help of our freshmen, our goal is to beat Harvard this year. It will be tough to do, but if everyone steps up and races well it is a goal within reach."
The Bulldogs will also be aided by an extra week of rest, giving them an advantage over their Ivy League rivals, who both swam dual meets last weekend.
"We have not rested in a long time," said junior Susan Kim. "We have been doing a lot of yardage and this will be our first chance to drop the yards and see how we perform with a little bit of rest. It will be good for us because the level of competition at HYPs is so much higher."
The last time the Bulldogs were in the pool competitively was Jan. 17 against Dartmouth and Penn. The Bulldogs won that dual meet, defeating Dartmouth 191-109 and Penn 152-148. Yale won eight of the sixteen events in that meet including, two by freshman Abigail Nunn and Kim. Kim also broke the Dartmouth pool record in the 200-yard breaststroke. Other winners were Mann in the 50-yard freestyle, sophomore Ileana Lucos in the 200-yard butterfly, freshman Rachel Rosenberg in the one-meter diving and senior Brenna Davis in the 200-yard backstroke.
If the Bulldogs know one thing, it is not to take their opponents this weekend lightly. The Tigers have won every Ivy League championship since 2000, except for 2004-05 which Harvard won. Princeton has won 20 Ivy League titles overall, while Harvard has won eight and between the two of them, they have won 78% of the Ivy League championships to date.
"The league is pretty well balanced this year," said Robert J.H. Kiphuth Director of Swimming Frank Keefe. "It's going to be the team with the most depth that comes out on top. Traditionally, Princeton is the dominant women's team mainly because they are so deep."
The meet will begin on Friday afternoon at 6 p.m. with the second session taking place Saturday, Jan 31 at 12 p.m.
Follow the race at meetresults.com. Harvard will have instant results after every race, a live online swimming scoreboard and live video streaming.
Report filed by Charles Moore '10, Yale Sports Publicity