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Huskies Narrowly Beat Bulldogs

Athena Liao. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Athena Liao. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

STORRS, Conn. – Though many swimmers won individual events, the points simply did not add up for the Yale women's swimming and diving team on Saturday.  Out of 16 total events the Bulldogs claimed nine, yet still fell to UConn 157-143.  This makes the Bulldogs 5-4 in dual meets for the season.

Things began in the early afternoon when Yale took a very close second in the 200-yard medley relay.  Sophomore Cynthia Tsay of Yale's 'A' team had the fastest backstroke split at 27.54.  UConn's Caitlin Gallagher – former schoolmate of sophomore Molly Albrecht – made up ground for the Huskies during the breaststroke portion.  Junior Hayes Hyde, however, took back the lead with a 25.69 butterfly split to UConn's 26.20.  The Huskies had a fast freestyle leg and took first with a time of 1:46.93 to the Bulldogs' 1:47.65.  The Yale 'B' team finished in fifth position.

In the 1000-yard freestyle, the top two spots went to swimmers from UConn who finished in a dead heat with a time of 10:18.25.  Captain Annie Killian took third (10:37.11), Margaret Brown took fourth (10:46.07) and Angela Lee took sixth (10:48.16).

The Bulldogs really showed that they came to play in the 200-yard freestyle.  Joan Weaver finished first in a time of 1:54.28, and Hayes Hyde finished second in a time of 1:55.03.

Athena Liao brought this same ferocity into the 100-yard breaststroke.  Liao went out at 31.11, which put her in second position at the half, and came home in 33.64 to win the event in 1:04.75 as compared to the second-place UConn time of 1:04.77.

Ileana Lucos won the 200 fly handily.  Lucos posted the fastest splits at the 50, the 100 and in the final 50 to finish in a time of 2:04.32, well ahead of second-place UConn (2:06.01).

In the one-meter diving event, the upperclassman pairing of sophomore Paige Meneses and junior Rachel Rosenberg took second and third.  Both Meneses (279.30) and Rosenberg (276.53) yet again posted scores that would have qualified them for the NCAA Zone Championships, had they not already done so on several occasions.  UConn's Danielle Cucco won the event with a score of 289.20.  Freshman Christina Brasco finished seventh.

After the break for the one-meter diving Yale won five consecutive events.  In the 100 free Ileana Lucos took first with a time of 52.35, and teammate Hayes Hyde was half a second behind in second position with a time of 52.85.

Molly Albrecht then won the 200-yard backstroke.  Albrecht was nearly a second ahead of the competition on every lap, touching in 2:03.64.  The next fastest time was UConn's 2:07.05.

The 200-yard breaststroke was Athena Liao's second win of the day.  Liao finished in 2:18.08, ahead of UConn's Caitlin Gallagher – whom Liao defeated in the 100 breaststroke – in 2:18.79.

What the Bulldogs lacked in the 1000-yard freestyle, Molly Albrecht made up for in the 500-yard freestyle.  After the first 50 yards Albrecht could just not be caught.  Her final time was 4:56.33, an even six seconds ahead of UConn's second place finisher (5:02.33).

Hayes Hyde had her first win of the day in the 100 fly.  Her time was 57.05.  Ileana Lucos finished third in a time of 57.79.

In the three-meter diving event, Rachel Rosenberg finished second and Paige Meneses finished fourth.  Like in the one-meter, UConn's Danielle Cucco won and Christina Brasco finished seventh. 

The Bulldogs confirmed that they are a force to be reckoned with in sprint freestyle in the meet's last event, the 400-yard freestyle relay.  The Yale 'A' squad of Ileana Lucos, Cynthia Tsay, Molly Albrecht and Joan Weaver posted the fastest splits all throughout the race to finish in a time of 3:32.09, well ahead of the UConn 'A' team's 3:35.33.

Next week the Bulldogs will host Brown University for their last dual meet of the season.  The meet will begin at 1:00 p.m. at Kiphuth Exhibition Pool.

Report filed by Tom Lynam '13, Yale Sports Publicity