November 12, 2011

Yale Comes Up Short at Columbia

NEW YORK – In a meet that came down to the last event and saw two pool records fall, the Yale women's swimming and diving team put up a good fight in its loss to Columbia on Friday.  The Bulldogs and the Lions split wins in the 14 swimming and two diving events evenly, but with the Lions consistently racking up points in second and third position and taking the top spot in both relays, the meet ultimately went in their favor.  The final score of the meet was Columbia 161.5, Yale 138.5.

The meet started off with the 3-meter diving event, where Paige Meneses and captain Rachel Rosenberg finished second and first, respectively.  Meneses put up 271.96 points, while Rosenberg could not be caught with 289.73 points.  Rosenberg's score was good enough to qualify her for the NCAA Zone Diving Championships next March.

In the first swimming event of the evening, the 200-yard medley relay, the Bulldogs finished less than a second behind the Lions.  The team of Cynthia Tsay, Athena Liao, Hayes Hyde and Alexandra Forrester finished in a time of 1:44.80 to Columbia's 1:44.06, both teams swimming faster than the standing pool record that Forrester and Tsay helped to set in 2009.

Tsay would later find success in the 100-yard backstroke, winning in a time of 57.83 to Columbia's Laney Kluge (58.21).  Michelle Huang also picked up some points for the Bulldogs, finishing in fifth place with a time of 1:01.43.

Hyde coupled her fast butterfly leg from the 200-yard medley relay earlier in the night with a win in the 200-yard butterfly.  Hyde finished with a time of 2:03.34, over two seconds ahead of second place.  Allison West finished third in a time of 2:08.83.

Just as they had done in the last two legs of the 200 medley relay, Hyde then ceded the pool to Forrester who set a pool record in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 23.13.  This is faster than the previous record of 23.51 set by Columbia's Katie Meili last year, and is less than half a second off of Forrester's own Yale record in the event set two years ago.  Forrester finished first in the 100-yard freestyle as well, cruising to a win after building a 1.63 second lead after the first 50 yards.

The 200-yard backstroke went to Molly Albrecht (2:04.45) and the 200-yard breaststroke went to Liao (2:17.99).  These first place finishes, coupled with a 1-2 finish from Forrester (53.63) and Hyde (56.89) in the 100-yard butterfly, put the Bulldogs just 14 points behind the Lions heading into the last event with 17 points up for grabs.  But with Columbia racing four flights in the 400-yard freestyle relay and Yale just two, the meet would go to the home team.  Yale finished second and fourth in the 400 free relay, with just 0.66 seconds separating first and second place.

Yale will get another shot at Columbia when the two schools race at Boston University's Terrier Invitational next week.

Report filed by Tom Lynam '13, Yale Sports Publicity