Team Finishes Second Overall
BOSTON, Mass. - The Bulldogs won four events on Sunday, but it was not quite enough to overtake Boston University, as the Bulldogs finished second at the Terrier Invitational. BU finished with 819.5 points to the Bulldogs 779. In total, the Bulldogs won seven individual events and one relay over three days.
But despite not winning the invitational, the meet was a success.
"We swam really well this weekend," said Keefe. "It was our first test in a three day meet with prelims in the morning and finals in the evening. We won a lot of events and had a lot of great swims. We learned a lot about what our kids could do, especially against some really good competition."
The goal for the Bulldogs was to use the invitational to prepare for the Ivy League Championships in March.
"The big thing about an invitational like this is to get prepared for the championships at the end of the season," said Keefe. "The freshmen in particular have never swum three-day meets. High school state championships are usually one day meets. If we don't swim an invitational, come February, kids will be going crazy trying to figure out what is going on."
If this meet is any indication, the Bulldogs' freshman should not have any problem come Ivies. Three of the four events that Yale won on Sunday were won by freshman. Freshman Molly Albrecht won the 200-yard backstroke and Alex Forrester won both the 100-yard freestyle and 200-yard butterfly.
"Alex Forrester was outstanding as usual," said Keefe. "Over the course of the invitational, she won the 100- and 200-yard butterfly, as well as the 100-yard freestyle."
Forrester won the 100-yard freestyle by a slim margin. She finished the race in a time of 50.77, with Boston's Emily Munday right behind her at 50.98. The Bulldogs also had three swimmers in the B final. Lucos took 10th with a time of 52.56 with Tsay close behind her in 12th with a time of 52.78. Weaver rounded out the Yale contingency with a time of 53.32 in 16th place.
Forrester also took first in the 100-yard freestyle. After dropping over a second off her preliminary time, Forrester finished with a time of 1:57.65. Her next closest competitor, Amanda Schmitz of Boston was almost four seconds behind her with a time of 2:01.56. The Bulldogs dominated the A final with a total of four swimmers. In addition to first place, Yale claimed third through fifth places. Lucos, Tung and Hyde finished with times of 2:03.89, 2:04.41 and 2:05.55, respectively.
The Bulldogs first victory of the day was in the 200-yard backstroke. Albrecht won the event by two seconds over Katie Radin of BU with her time of 2:02.28. Albrecht's victory was even more significant considering she was the only Bulldog that made it into the night session in either final.
Yale's other victory of the day came from the always dominant Kim. Kim took first in the 200-yard breaststroke by over a second. Her time of 2:15.28 was 1.63 better than Kristen Connors of BU. Liao also swam in the A final and finished fourth with a time of 2:20.15.
The only individual event the Bulldogs did not win was the 1650-yard freestyle. An event not swum during dual meets, sophomore Abigail Nunn was still able to take second with a time of 17:06.50. Three other Bulldogs scored points in the event. Freshman Joan Weaver took fourth with a time of 17:24.56. Junior Annie Killian and freshmen Margaret Brown took eighth and 10th, respectively. Killian's time was 17:35.76, while Brown's was 17:43.55.
The Bulldogs relay team took second in the 400-yard freestyle relay. Weaver, Lucos, Tsay and Forrester finished the relay in a time of 3:29.75. The other Bulldog relay of Albrecht, Tung, sophomore Hayes Hyde and senior Andrea Clifford took eighth with a time of 3:34.87.
In the end, depth hurt the Bulldogs again. With only Albrecht swimming at night in the 200-yard backstroke and the Bulldogs often not getting any swimmers into the B final, they just could not keep up with Boston. But as Coach Keefe stressed, this weekend was not about the results.
"We were more focused on times and learning about championship meets than the team results this weekend," said Keefe. "Before every session we were meeting to talk about how to handle ourselves. We talked about what we did before and what we have to change. It is a learning process, so by the time we get to the conference meet, we have an idea of what our warm-up procedure is like. For instance today, the first event is the mile which takes a long time. If kids start warming up before that, they will get cold and have nothing to do. So, you learn what the process is like."
If times were the focus this weekend, then the Bulldogs won.
"We actually swam better times than last week," said Keefe. "To follow up a dual meet, with a three day, two session invitational, and have kids go faster is unbelievable."
The Bulldogs will now turn their attention to Southern Connecticut, who they will face Monday, Nov. 23.
"We'll practice tomorrow morning and swim against Southern Connecticut tomorrow afternoon," said Keefe. "We are doing a lot of racing right now and are pretty beat up. It's a tough time of year. I'm sure people would have liked to go to the Harvard/Yale game and have a weekend off, but we just don't have the weekends available and we need to swim an invitational to get ready for Ivies."
It will be a quick turnaround for a group of swimmers who have swam six sessions in three days.
"Everyone will probably swim one event tomorrow against SCSU, but the kids that didn't swim in Boston will carry most of the load tomorrow."
The meet with Southern Connecticut will be swum in Yale's Kiphuth Exhibition pool at 4 p.m.
Report filed by Charles Moore '10, Yale Sports Publicity