Dowd Named Captain for Next Season

April 11, 2007

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Last Tuesday the Yale women's swimming and diving team held its annual awards dinner. At the end of the 2006-07 season there was a lot to celebrate, including a slew of new school records and a third place finish at Ivies. But with a look ahead to next season, the team also elected its captain for 2007-08, Caroline Dowd.

Dowd, a junior history major from Weston, Mass, will take over from outgoing captain Meg Gill. Elected by her teammates, Dowd has become a crucial member of the squad competing in freestyle and breaststroke events. At this year's' Ivy League Championships, she was a finalist in the 500 yard freestyle, the 100 yard breaststroke and the 200 yard breaststroke.

"I think it will be a challenge to lead the team to an even higher level after such a successful season," Dowd said. "But Meg has taught me how much of an influence the captain can be in leading the team to success."

The dinner also featured the handing out of the team's annual awards. Among the award winners, two names stand out: Gill and fellow senior Moira McCloskey.

McCloskey's four years at Yale may be up, but she will no doubt leave behind a legacy that will remain for some time. During her Yale career she has become Yale's backstroke specialist and has set a number of school records both in individual backstroke events and as a crucial part of Yale's relay teams.

While Yale may have relied on McCloskey to perform in backstroke events, it is Gill who has emerged as Yale's outstanding freestyle swimmer. She will graduate as the Ivy League 50 yard freestyle champion and has made a similarly impressive mark on Yale's record books in both individual and relay events. As the team's captain for the 2006-07 season, Gill lead the Bulldogs to an 8-2 dual meet record and a third place finish at Ivy League Championships.

For the second year in a row McCloskey was awarded the Heaton High Point Award for the member of the team who scored the highest possible number of points for the team in dual meet competition this past season. She also won the S. Livingston Mather Swimming Award for the second year in a row. This prize is donated by the late S. Livingston Mather, class of 1905, and is awarded for outstanding performance in backstroke swimming.

McCloskey's other two awards were shared with other team members. She shared the Tim Jecko Award with Brenna Davis. This trophy is given annually for outstanding performances in individual medley. Tim Jecko was a member of the 1956 United States Olympic Team. He won many national championships and held many records at Yale in freestyle, butterfly and individual medley. The award was established in 2004 by Tim' s classmates of the Yale Class of 1959.

McCloskey and Gill shared the Eleanor "Bobbie" Dawson Award. This award goes to "that upper-class member on the women's team who has contributed immeasurably to the Yale swimming tradition by her dedication and personal achievements". The award honors the former secretary to Robert Kiphuth and Phil Moriarty, a national official, and supporter of Yale Swimming, Eleanor "Bobbie" Dawson.

Gill also won the William Leeming Jelliffe Award. This award is given annually to "that senior who has shown the greatest progress and development in swimming ability and outstanding leadership during his college years." The prize is given in memory of William Leeming Jelliffe by his father, the late Dr. Smith Ely Jelliffe.

A third member of the senior class was also recognized at the dinner. Chase Butler won the MacLeish Memorial Swimming Trophy. Established in 1936 by Hassted R. Vanderpoel '35S, in memory of Kenneth MacLeish,1918 who was killed in World War I, this trophy is awarded to "that member of the Yale Swimming Team, who through his or her efforts and high ideals in sportsmanship and loyalty, best exemplifies the spirit of Kenneth MacLeish."

Finally, it was time to look to the future, as Yale's two outstanding freshmen both won awards. Jane Kim received the Harry Burke Award. Established in 1966 by the Yale Swimming Association, this award honors Yale's retired former freshman swim coach Harry Burke and is "awarded for outstanding contribution to Yale Swimming by an underclassman." Jane's performance in freestyle events this season has marked her out as a rising star in Ivy League swimming.

Susan Kim won the M.Davies Award. This prize was donated by the family of Melindi Davies, class of 1998. It is awarded each year for outstanding performance in breaststroke swimming. Susan had a great rookie season in both individual breaststroke events and relay events.

Finally, the Robert J.H. Kiphuth Award was presented to Phil Prince. This award honors the former Yale Varsity Swim Coach and United States Olympic Coach, Robert J.H. Kiphuth. It was established in 2003 by the Yale Swimming Association and is "awarded to that individual who has shown outstanding service, dedication and loyalty to Yale University and the Yale Swimming Program."

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