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Bulldogs Off to a Great Start!

The Bulldogs kick off the season against Brown. Photo credit to John Lapides.
The Bulldogs kick off the season against Brown. Photo credit to John Lapides.

NEW HAVEN, Conn.— The Yale women's swimming and diving team defeated the meet against Brown by a landslide. Throughout the competition, the ladies won majority of the events with outstanding performances. The Bulldogs won the meet 201.5-93.5, taking their first win in the league.



The divers swept the first three places in the 3-meter as well as 1-meter diving. In the 3-meter dive, Nikki Watters won with a high score of 303.22. Her teammates Hannah Walsh and McKenna Tennant placed second and third respectively with scores of 300.52 and 278.77. Similarly, the divers scored the top three points with Tennant (277.80), Watters (274.72) and then Walsh (262.60) in the 1-meter dive.


The swimmers won many of their events, some of which they also took the top three spots. In the 200-yard medley relay, the A-Relay swept first (1:42.88) just under a second from Brown's A Relay, while Yale's B Relay came in third with a time of 1:46.27 just a second ahead from Brown's B Relay.


Following the relay, Yale's Cailley Silbert and Nathalie Eid flew from the rest of the competition in the 1000-yard freestyle, winning first (10:06.71) and second (10:13.94) respectively. Carrying the momentum, Claire O'Mara and Hana Blankemeier sped through the event finishing first (1:50.69) and third (1:51.65) in the 200-yard freestyle.


Heidi Vanderwel and Destiny Nelson victoriously won first (55.13) and second (56.43) respectively in the 100-yard backstroke. Similarly, Cha O'Leary took first (1:02.50) while Paulina Kaminski snuck into third (1:06.21) in the 100-yard breastroke.


Bebe Thompson, Carrie Heilbrun and Sophie Fontaine crushed the 200-yard butterfly, finishing first (2:03.14), second (2:04.15) and third (2:06.94) respectively.


In the 50-yard freestyle, Bella Hindley out-touched Brown's swimmer, placing first with a season best of 23.22 seconds. Similarly, Hindley out-touched Brown's swimmer by 0.07 seconds in the 100-yard freestyle, finishing with a time of 50.72. Her teammate Hanna Blankemeier finished within two seconds from her, placing fourth with a time of 52.17.


In the 200-yard backstroke, Nelson led the pool, finishing first (1:58.88), with her teammate Cate Sawkins, who placed second (2:03.15) just 0.06 seconds ahead of Brown's swimmer. Similarly, O'Leary flew ahead from the competition, finishing first (2:17.54) with her teammate Kaminski finishing second (2:21.50) in the 200-yard breastroke.


Right after, Bulldogs Danielle Liu, Fontaine and Heilbrun crushed the competition in the 500-yard freestyle, finishing first (5:00.19), second (5:03.51) and third (5:04.28), respectively. Swimmers Lili Margitai, Maddy Zimmerman and Charlotte Hylinksi also swept the field in the 100-yard butterfly, placing first (56.54), second (56.57) and third (56.74).


Finishing the individual events, Nelson and her teammate Sophie Pilkinton led the race in the 200-yard individual medley, placing first (2:03.33) and second (2:06.64), respectively. Their teammate Sawkins followed not too far from them, placing fourth with a time of 2:09.46.


To wrap up the meet, the Bulldogs' A-Relay placed just short of Brown's A Relay with a time of 3:26.06 with their teammates on the B-Relay finishing right after them (3:31.69) in the 400-yard freestyle relay.




Report filed by Angela Lee, YSPH '18, Yale Sports Publicity