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Yale Defeats Brown 171-129

Ileana Lucos. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Ileana Lucos. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The underclassmen of the Yale women's swimming and diving team did right by their senior class with a 171-129 win over Brown on Saturday.  The Bulldogs lead the Bears throughout the day and in the end won eight swimming events and both diving events.  Saturday's meet wraps up the regular season for the Bulldogs, and seniors Kristin Darwin, Ileana Lucos and captain Annie Killian were instrumental in making it a winning season with a record of 6-4.

The divers started the day off clean, earning the top three spots in the three-meter event.  Junior Rachel Rosenberg beat her score from last year's meet against Brown by over 30 points, posting a 306.15.  Sophomore Paige Meneses scored a 276.00 and freshman Christina Brasco took third with 258.97 points.

Yale then lost a very tough fight in the 200-yard medley relay.  Cynthia Tsay got the Bulldogs a lead of almost a full second after her backstroke leg alone.  Athena Liao added to that lead with a fast breaststroke leg, touching the wall at 56.83 to Brown's 58.38 with 100 yards to go.  Brown's butterfly swimmer, however, was off the blocks quick and walked back on Hayes Hyde, who would go on to be a double winner in the 100 and 200 fly later in the day.  Michelle Huang tried her hardest to hold on to Yale's lead during her freestyle leg, but the Brown 'A' freestyler touched first in 1:46.49, just a hair ahead of Huang for Yale in 1:46.54.

The Bulldogs were back at it in the 1000-yard freestyle.  Joan Weaver won the event in 10:16.77, nearly four seconds faster than teammate Abigail Nunn's winning time from last year.  This year, Nunn took second (10:21.30) and Courtney Randolph took third (10:33.73).  Out of the first three events, Yale swept two.

Ileana Lucos represented the senior class well with her first win of the day in the 200-yard freestyle.  Lucos was the fastest in the pool at every turn, finishing first in a time of 1:52.08.  Cynthia Tsay took second in a time of 1:52.74.

The Bears found some success in the 100-yard backstroke and breaststroke.  In the 100 back Molly Albrecht took second in a time of 57.85, an improvement over her winning time of 58.31 in the event from last year, but just out of first place.  Brown won in a time of 57.54.  In the 100 breaststroke Athena Liao took third place in 1:05.08, with first and second both less than half a second ahead.  The winning time was 1:04.69; Chelsea Dunlap took fourth. 

The 200-yard butterfly saw very little separation for a majority of the race.  Lanes three, four and five – with Hayes Hyde, Brown's Natascha Mangan, and Ileana Lucos – were all very close through the first 150 yards.  But Mangan faded in the final lap, posting a 33.30 split to Hyde's 32.20 and Lucos' 31.70.  Hyde won in 2:03.10 while Lucos took second in 2:03.99.  Allison West took fourth.

Rachel Rosenberg won the one-meter diving event with a 290.92, owing much of her success to double eight's on an inward one and half pike.  Paige Meneses took second with 274.57 points, also thanks to a well-executed inward one and a half, hers in tuck position.  Christina Brasco placed fourth with 255.75 points.

After the break for one-meter diving, the Bulldogs won five out of the remaining seven events. Joan Weaver took second in the 100-yard freestyle, followed by Molly Albrecht with a big win in the 200 backstroke.  Albrecht touched the wall at the half in 59.21, the next fastest time being 1:01.77.  She held the lead and went on to win in 2:03.37.  Kristin Darwin took fifth.

A disqualification in the 200-yard breaststroke gave Athena Liao a five second margin of victory.  Liao was first at the 50 and had a half second lead halfway into the race.  She held the lead in the third lap and came home in 35.22 for the last 50 yards to finish in a time of 2:17.42.  The next fastest time was 2:22.45.  Chelsea Dunlap and Courtney Randolph took third and fourth place, respectively.

Molly Albrecht repeated her win from last year in the 500 free.  Albrecht swam the 500 for the first time against Brown last season, and this season she improved upon her winning time by over three seconds.  Albrecht touched first at every 50-yard interval, while Joan Weaver sat in a tight lock for second with Brown's Ellen Downing for a better part of the race.  With 150 yards to go Weaver jumped into second position, and would go on to finish second in 5:04.80 to Albrecht's winning time of 4:58.71.  Captain Annie Killian rallied in the latter part of the race to finish fourth (5:07.17), missing out on third place by a mere one-hundredth of a second.  An impressive finish, nevertheless, as Killian was at one point almost a full two seconds back from third-place Downing.

Hayes Hyde had her second win of the day in the 100 fly.  Hyde was second after the first 50 yards, but a sub-30 second final split won her the event in 56.88.  Ileana Lucos came in second place with a time of 58.25.

After the 100-yard butterfly the Bulldogs had 153 points, enough to win them the meet.  But the stellar performances did not stop there.  In the 200 IM Athena Liao (2:08.19) took second, Angela Lee took fourth (2:11.20) and Abigail Nunn (2:11.71) fifth.

In typical blue-and-white fashion, the Bulldogs owned the 400 freestyle relay.  Ileana Lucos got Yale a solid lead after the first 100 yards, clocking in at 53.33 to Brown's 54.00.  Brown then had fast second- and third-leg swimmers, but it was to no avail.  Anchor Joan Weaver made up a 0.59 second deficit to win the event for the Bulldogs in 3:30.08 to Brown's 3:30.32. 

The Bulldogs have next weekend off before travelling to Princeton on Feb. 24-27 for the Ivy League Championships.

Report filed by Tom Lynam '13, Yale Sports Publicity