Bulldogs Head to Terrier Invitational

Bulldogs Head to Terrier Invitational

Nov. 20, 2008

BOSTON, Mass. - While the Yale Football team takes on Harvard in Cambridge, the Yale women's swimming and diving team will be fighting their own battle, right across the river in Boston. The Bulldogs head to Boston University to take part in the Terrier Invitational for the second year in a row. The invitational will take place over three days beginning Friday and features Boston College, Boston University, Central Connecticut State, Maine, Northeastern, New Hampshire, UMass, Wagner and Yale.

Last year, the Bulldogs took seventh place with 391.5 points. The Bulldogs started out the tournament strongly with 123.5 points and a fifth-place spot in the rankings. They grabbed 30 points in the 200-yard freestyle relay with seventh- and 14th-place finishes. Caroline Dowd '08 placed the highest for the Bulldogs, with a second-place finish in the 500-yard freestyle, earning Yale 17 points. On day two, the Bulldogs picked up points from sophomore Becca Stern in the 100-yard backstroke and from the 800-yard freestyle relay team. At the end of the day, however, the Bulldogs had dropped into 7th place with 262.5 points. The Bulldogs were unable to improve their position on day three. Senior Sara Fracapane took fifth in the 1650-yard freestyle event and senior Blake Walsh took 9th in the 200-yard butterfly, but it was not enough. The invitational was won by Northeastern with Boston College and Boston University taking second and third, respectively.

It should be a different story this year. The Bulldogs are coming off a close loss to the Columbia Lions last weekend. The Bulldogs lost 155-145, but it was a meet that, with one more win, could have gone the Bulldogs' way. This was a big difference from the Columbia meet a year ago, where the Bulldogs lost 173-127. A strong freshman class has already made a difference for Yale. Among those going to Boston, Athena Liao is coming off a third-place finish in the 200-yard breaststroke against Columbia, where she also was part of one of Yale's 200-yard medley relay teams. Among the veterans going to BU, Fracapane returns looking to improve on her fifth-place performance from a year ago.

Yale will be sending a bit different crew to Boston this weekend than the one that competed at Columbia. Competing for the Bulldogs will be Fracapane, Liao, senior Emily Cole, sophomore Kristen Forsberg, junior Laura E Grigereit, junior Jennifer Karinen, freshman Meaghan Watters and sophomore Angela Yu.

This year, the schedule will be spread out over three days. On Friday, competition will take place in the 200-yard freestyle relay, 500-yard freestyle, 200-yard individual medley, 50-yard freestyle and 400-yard medley relay. Competition will continue on Saturday with 200-yard medley relay, the 400-yard individual medley, 100-yard butterfly, 200-yard freestyle, 100-yard breaststroke, 100-yard backstroke and 800-yard freestyle relay. The meet concludes on Sunday with competition in the 200-yard backstroke, 100-yard freestyle, 200-yard breaststroke, 200-yard butterfly, 1650-yard freestyle and 400-yard freestyle relay.

There will be no rest for the weary. The Bulldogs will head back to New Haven Sunday night to hold a dual meet at Southern Connecticut State on Monday. The swimming portion will take place at Southern Connecticut State, while the diving will be held in Yale's own Kiphuth Exhibition Pool.

Last year, the Bulldogs took a decisive victory over the Owls, winning the meet 131-101. Southern Connecticut State put up a fight, with junior Kristen Frost setting a pool record in the 1000-yard freestyle in a time of 9:55.74. She would also win three other events. Yale won a slew of events, though, with Katelyn Kane `08 winning the 50-yard freestyle, senior Blake Walsh winning the 200-yard IM, and sophomore Kristin Darwin winning the 200-yard butterfly by four seconds. Yale also won the diving with junior Marisa J Poverman winning the 1-meter and Ali Jones `08 winning the 3-meter.

Yale comes into the meet with a much stronger team than last year, led by a strong contingent of returners and the addition of a few outstanding freshmen. Freshmen Emily Dominski and Abigail Nunn each recorded two victories against Columbia. Freshman Hayes Hyde helped the 400-yard freestyle relay win, and Freshmen Elizabeth Andrekovich and Rachel Rosenberg each scored points for the Bulldogs in the diving. The returners were paced by junior Susan Kim, sophomore Ileana Lucos, senior Alexis Mann and senior Laura Strittmatter, who all had their hands in victories for the Bulldogs.

Frost returns this year and is coming of five Northeast-10 Conference Athlete of the Week honors in only six weeks. This past week she was joined by teammate Emily Sundel, who made the weekly honor roll.

The Terrier Invitational will begin with preliminaries Friday morning at 10 a.m.

Report filed by Charles Moore '10, Yale Sports Publicity