ATLANTA – Three members of the Yale women's swimming and diving team swam in the evening finals Saturday on the third day of the 2011 AT&T Winter National Championships. With fast times that chipped away at the Olympic Trials cuts, the list of Yale swimmers headed to the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials in Omaha, Neb., next June now includes Molly Albrecht, Alexandra Forrester, Hayes Hyde and Athena Liao.
Albrecht kicked day three off for the Bulldogs with a competitive time in the 200-meter backstroke. Albrecht clocked in at 2:20.77, good for 56th place in a field of 99 swimmers. In what was her fourth event of the meet she failed to meet the Olympic Trials cut but already qualified in the event at the 2011 ConocoPhillips USA Swimming National Championships this past August.
Liao followed for the Bulldogs in the heats of the 200-meter breaststroke. Liao posted a time of 2:36.67 to land a spot in the C final. Liao was 25th of 88 swimmers, but only the top 19 met the Olympic Trials cut in the prelims. In the evening finals Liao matched her time from the morning with a 2:36.70. Liao again missed the cut, but like Albrecht she has already qualified from this past summer.
The last test of the meet came for the Bulldogs in the 200-meter butterfly. Forrester and Hyde both performed well enough to put themselves in the top 30, with Forrester in eighth place (2:13.10) and Hyde in 25th (2:16.31). The Olympic Trials cut in the event is 2:16.49, meaning Forrester would qualify in her third event and Hyde her first.
In the finals of the 200 fly, Hyde finished eighth in the C final with a time of 2:17.13 for a 28th place overall finish. In the A final, Forrester was the first to make the turn at the 50-meter mark, just as she was in the 100 fly. Forrester's time was 2:12.81, 0.29 seconds faster than her time from the morning, which put her in sixth place. The winning time in the event was 2:08.83, and Forrester was just 2.73 seconds out of the top three.
Next on the calendar for the Bulldogs is a winter training trip to Plantation City, Fla., from Dec. 27 to Jan. 3.
Report filed by Tom Lynam '13, Yale Sports Publicity