February 24, 2010

Yale Heads to Ivy League Championship

Princeton Won Regular Season Dual Title

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The Bulldogs finished the regular season in third place in the Ivy League and with an 8-3 record.  The Bulldogs' only losses in league competition came against Harvard and Princeton, the perennial swimming powerhouses.  This weekend the Bulldogs will get a shot to knock them off their pedestal at the Ivy League Swimming and Diving Championships hosted by Harvard in Cambridge, Mass.

History is on the side of the Tigers and Crimson.  Of the last 10 Ivy League Championships, Princeton has won eight and Harvard has won two.  Harvard, however, is the reigning champion.  Yale's last victory came during the 1996-7 season.  Last year, Harvard won with a commanding 1583.5 points to Princeton's 1334.  Yale came in third with 1038 points, managing to hold off Penn (948) and Columbia (916) on the final day.  Yale's big finishers were senior Susan Kim and sophomore Hayes Hyde.  Kim won both the 100-yard breaststroke and the 200-yard breaststroke.  She also broke the Yale, championship, and Ivy League records in both events.  For her efforts, she earned first team All-Ivy for both events.  Hyde won the 200-yard butterfly and earned herself first team All-Ivy honors.  She also earned second-team All-Ivy in the 200-yard IM for her second-place finish.  A quartet of swimmers also took second in the 200-yard freestyle relay and earned second team All-Ivy honors.  Senior Andrea Clifford, Alexis Mann '09, sophomore Erica Kao and junior Ileana Lucos were all members of that team.

Princeton comes into the meet undefeated on the season and as the regular season Ivy League Champion.  Princeton defeated both Harvard and Yale at the annual HYP meet to claim the crown.  Harvard comes into the meet with only one loss on the season, to Princeton.  The Crimson are currently ranked first in the mid-major Division I poll on collegeswimming.com, which is designed to support and promote institutions that do not benefit from large football and basketball television agreements.  Princeton's women were vote getters in the regular Division I poll, but did not crack the top 25.  Also joining the big three at the meet will be Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth and Penn.  Yale soundly defeated all five of those teams in dual meets this season.

Yale is coming off a win over UConn in its final dual meet of the season.  The win marked the seniors and Robert J.H. Kiphuth Director of Swimming Frank Keefe's final meet at Yale.  Keefe will retire after the season and will be coaching in his final Ivy League Championship.  In 2002, the league created a trophy for the women's Ivy League Championship and chose to name it in honor of Keefe.  In his final meet at the helm of Yale swimming, the team will look to capture for Keefe the trophy that bears his name one last time.

The Bulldogs will be led by Kim and freshman Alex Forrester, who have been the most consistent event winners of the Bulldogs this year.  Kim has lost only one breaststroke race on the season and Forrester has lost only three races all year despite swimming five different events.  Forrester comes into the meet just 0.62 seconds away from an NCAA A cut in the 100-yard butterfly.  Kim is just under two seconds off the NCAA A cut time for the 200-yard breaststroke.  Both swimmers will be looking for an opportunity to punch their ticket to the NCAA Championship.

Report filed by Charles Moore '10, Yale Sports Publicity

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