January 7, 2012

Bulldogs Rout Big Red on Senior Day

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – In their last home meet as Bulldogs, the swimmers and divers of the Class of 2012 went out in style today as Yale defeated Cornell 189.5-93.5.  Yale took 12 out of 14 swimming events including both relays and won both diving events.  The win shores up Yale's dual season record to an even 1-1.

The Bulldogs found success early on in the three-meter diving event.  Captain Rachel Rosenberg took the top spot with a score of 271.95, owing much of her score to straight sevens on a front two-and-a-half pike.  Paige Meneses took third with a score of 251.63.

On one meter freshman Lauren Gardanier made her way to the podium, taking third with 236.40 points. Meneses finished second with a score of 266.85, while Rosenberg was far and away with 284.62 points.  Rosenberg's score is more than nine points higher than her score against Cornell last year, and it qualifies her for the NCAA Zone Diving Championships in March, having already qualified on three-meter against Columbia.  On her last dive, an inward one-and-a-half pike, Rosenberg brought in an eight and an eight-and-a-half, the highest scores of the day.

Heading into the afternoon's swimming events, the score was Yale 28, Cornell 10.  With a win in the 200-yard medley relay, the lead grew even more.  Yale's 'A' team of Cynthia Tsay, Athena Liao, Alexandra Forrester and Helena Gali finished in a time of 1:45.46, more than two-and-a-half seconds faster than Cornell's 'A' team (1:48.00).

Molly Albrecht captured the first individual win of the meet, taking the 1000-yard freestyle by a whopping 20 seconds.  Albrecht had a lead of more than five seconds by the 250-yard mark and had a pool length on the field going into the last 200 yards.  Her final time was 10:26.76; in second was Cornell's Adrienne Groccia in 10:47.07, followed closely by Courtney Randolph in third with a time of 10:48.77.

Joan Weaver had her first win of the day in the 200-yard freestyle, touching the wall in 1:52.74 ahead of Tsay (1:55.25) and Cassidy Lapp (1:56.98) to sweep the event for the Bulldogs.

Forrester was just as impressive in the 100-yard backstroke, clocking in at 56.73 ahead of Cornell's Emily Dean (58.90).  Michelle Huang took third for Yale with a time of 1:01.11.

After winning six straight events, the Bulldogs finally ceded a win to the Big Red in the 100-yard breaststroke.  Liao took third (1:05.35) and Chelsea Dunlap fourth (1:09.12), Liao just a little more than half a second away from first place.  Cornell's 1-2 swimmers posted sub-31 splits for the first 50 yards that ultimately spelled victory for the Big Red, despite Liao having the second-fastest second 50 yards in the event.

Hayes Hyde picked things back up for Yale in the 200-yard butterfly.  Hyde won by more than four seconds, finishing in a time of 2:04.03, a much faster swim than her performance at this meet last year (2:04.82).  Hyde is an Olympic Trials qualifier in the 200-meter butterfly.

Weaver then had a career-best swim in the 50-yard freestyle.  Normally a distance swimmer, Weaver touched the wall first from lane six to win the event in a time of 24.54 as part of a clean sweep for the Bulldogs.  Gali finished second in 24.65, followed by Lapp in third with a time of 24.82.

Forrester and Albrecht each had their second individual wins of the meet in the 100-yard freestyle and the 200-yard backstroke, respectively.  Forrester swam a 51.02, with Gali touching second for the Bulldogs.  Albrecht clocked in at 2:06.10, with Tsay (2:09.82) taking second this time.

For her third individual win of the day, Weaver finished first in the 500-yard freestyle by more than two seconds.  Weaver had a 1.25-second lead after the first 50 yards and from there she went to work.  Her final time was 5:02.99, well ahead of Cornell's Meredith Drummond (5:05.20).

Yale's senior class was at it in the 100-yard butterfly.  Hyde had the faster first 50, but Liao held on to finish within a second of her classmate.  Hyde's time was 57.03, making for her second win of the day, while Liao posted a 57.91.

Tsay had her first win of the day in the 200 IM, bringing Yale's total to 13 events overall.  Tsay had a lead after the butterfly and backstroke legs, but a strong breaststroke split from Cornell in lane three brought the race down to the final 50 yards.  In the end Tsay's sub-30 freestyle split carried her to victory with a time of 2:09.05, while Angela Lee finished third (2:14.23) and Elizabeth Larsen fourth (2:14.59).

Already owning wins in the 50-, 200-, and 500-yard freestyle, Weaver posted the fastest time for the first 100 yards of the 400-yard freestyle relay to send the Bulldogs on their way to a win.  Weaver, Gali, Forrester and Huang finished with a time of 3:31.74 as part of a 1-2 finish with Rebecca DeLaFuente, Lapp, Hyde and Albrecht (3:36.34).  Cornell's 'A' squad finished in 3:39.07, making the final score of the meet 189.5-93.5.

Next up for the Bulldogs is an away meet against Dartmouth and Penn in Hanover, N.H., on Jan. 14.

Report filed by Tom Lynam '13, Yale Sports Publicity

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