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Bulldogs to Face In-State Rivals

Kristin Darwin. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Kristin Darwin. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Now in the latter part of its season, the Yale women's swimming and diving team will travel to Storrs, Conn., this Saturday to compete against the University of Connecticut Huskies.  The Bulldogs fought hard but gave up wins these past two weekends, their dual meet record now standing at 5-3.  UConn will then be good competition, given its dual meet record of 5-2.  The Huskies have losses against Villanova and most recently Penn, whom the Bulldogs defeated on Jan. 15.  The Bulldogs will be taking on the Huskies not only on their home turf, but also on their senior day.  It will be interesting to see if the older program, Yale, can carry the state on its back, or if this "public ivy" will have the mettle to best its intrastate rival.

Last year the Bulldogs hosted the Huskies on what was the final home meet for then-head coach Frank Keefe.  Keefe ended his tenure of 31 years as Robert J.H. Kiphuth Director of Swimming on a winning note, as the Bulldogs downed the Huskies 202-98 to make for a winning season of 8-3.  This year, the Bulldogs hope the outcome will be the same to further prove that under the new regime, the Bulldogs are just as strong and just as fast.

A great race to watch this weekend will be the 200-yard medley relay.  Not only will the event kick things off between the two Connecticut schools, but with any luck it will pit sophomore Molly Albrecht against UConn's Caitlin Gallagher.  Both attended Free State High School in Lawrence, Kan., and now they both swim for two of the most respected programs in New England.  Albrecht, primarily a backstroke swimmer, will swim the first leg in either the 'A' or 'B' relay.  She will be looking to post a fast enough split to get back before Gallagher, primarily a breaststroke swimmer, jumps off the blocks for the second leg.  Gallagher and Albrecht have both been known to race in the individual medley events as well.

Often the unsung heroes of these meets, the diving outfit of junior Rachel Rosenberg, sophomore Paige Meneses and freshman Christina Brasco are ready to get back to their winning ways.  With the exception of Meneses taking third in the three-meter event against Cornell by a mere 0.6 points, Rosenberg and Meneses had been the top two finishers in every one of their appearances up until last weekend's meet against Harvard and Princeton.

"They are very talented.  Both Rachel and Paige train hard and are good competitors," said diving coach Chris Bergère.  The two divers have qualified for the NCAA Zone Championships in March several times over.  Meneses has posted scores good enough to qualify her for Zones in the one-meter on three occasions and the three-meter on two occasions.  Rosenberg has qualified three times over in both the one-meter and three-meter.  Brasco has not yet qualified but has two more opportunities, both this weekend in Storrs and next Saturday at home against Brown.  The NCAA Zone Championships will be held in Annapolis, Md., at the Naval Academy from Mar. 11–13. 

This weekend's meet will start at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday at the Wolff-Zackin Natatorium in Storrs, Conn.

Report filed by Tom Lynam '13, Yale Sports Publicity