Five Swimmers to Represent Yale at Winter National Championships

Joan Weaver. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – With their first championship-style meet under their belts, five members of the Yale women's swimming and diving team will head to Atlanta this weekend to compete at the 2011 AT&T Winter National Championships.  Racing at Boston University's Terrier Invitational less than two weeks ago has prepared the squad for three days of heats and finals, but this weekend's long course meters racing format will still be a change from the short course yards format the Bulldogs are more used to seeing.  At stake are bids to next summer's U.S. Olympic Team Trials for individuals who qualify.

In April it was decided that the previously scheduled 2011 AT&T Short Course National Championships would be replaced with a long course competition to allow athletes the chance to meet Olympic Trials qualifying standards.  In that spirit, these Winter National Championships will not include any relay events.

Five swimmers will be competing this weekend: Molly Albrecht, Alexandra Forrester, Hayes Hyde, Athena Liao and Joan Weaver.

Albrecht and Liao have already qualified for the trials with their times from the 2011 ConocoPhillips USA Swimming National Championships this past August.  Albrecht has met the cut for the 200-meter backstroke, and Liao the cut for the 200-meter breaststroke.

Thursday will begin with the heats of the 400-meter freestyle, where Albrecht and Weaver will kick things off for the Bulldogs.  Next will be the 200-meter individual medley, where Hyde and Liao will race.  Finally the day will end with Forrester in the heats of the 50-meter freestyle.

Friday begins for the Bulldogs with Forrester and Hyde in the 100-meter butterfly.  Then Albrecht will swim the 200-meter freestyle, followed by Liao in the 100-meter breaststroke.  The day will end with Albrecht racing again, looking for a good finish in the 100-meter backstroke.

Saturday will be the final day, beginning with Albrecht racing the 200-meter backstroke.  Forrester will then swim the 100-meter freestyle, followed by Liao in the 200-meter breaststroke.  Finally Hyde and Forrester will finish things out together in the 200-meter butterfly.

The event will be attended by a host of elite swimmers from all over the globe.  A total of 64 out of 108 U.S. National Team members will be present, including 34 members of this year's U.S. delegation to the 2011 FINA World Championships.

The meet will be held from Dec. 1-3 in Atlanta, Ga., at the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center.  Heats will start at 9:00 a.m. Thursday and continue through Saturday, with finals beginning at 6:00 p.m. each day.  Footage from the meet will air nationally on NBC on Sunday, Dec. 4 at 2:00 p.m.  USA Swimming will also have a live webcast available of prelims and finals for all three days.

Report filed by Tom Lynam '13, Yale Sports Publicity

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