KINGSTON, R.I. – The Yale women's swimming and diving team dropped a close one Saturday. In their final dual meet of the season the Bulldogs fought hard against Brown but ceded a victory to the Bears by a margin of just two points. The Bulldogs were competitive right from the very start, but narrow wins by Brown in the 100-yard freestyle, 100-yard butterfly and 200-yard IM – each by just a few tenths of a second – ultimately spelled victory for the Bears. The big wins of the night belonged to Joan Weaver, who won both distance swimming events, and the Yale diving squad for sweeping both diving events. The Bulldogs finish with a record of 3-4 for the regular season.
The Bulldogs had their first win in the 1000-yard freestyle. Weaver finished with a time of 10:20.43, the next fastest time coming from Brown's Charlene Flores (10:24.97). Weaver had a lead after the first 50 yards and pulled away from there. Abigail Nunn finished fifth with a time of 10:34.22.
Athena Liao had a narrow win in the 100-yard breaststroke. Liao went 30.96 for the first 50 yards, sitting back on Brown's Briana Borgolini (30.90). Liao came back in 34.39 for the last 50 to Borgolini's 34.93 to touch the wall first and win it for the Bulldogs with a time of 1:05.35. Cassidy Lapp finished fifth with a time of 1:07.70.
Alexandra Forrester was back at it in the 50-yard freestyle, finishing first for Yale with a time of 23.57. Forrester was the only one in the pool under 24 seconds and was 0.58 seconds away from this year's NCAA B-cut. Helena Gali took fifth with a time of 24.93.
Yale's divers helped to close the lead Brown had built early on by claiming the top three spots in the one-meter event. Paige Meneses finished first with a score of 291.51 points. Captain Rachel Rosenberg took second with 276.30 points, and Lauren Gardanier finished third with 242.62 points.
After Tsay finished just 0.17 seconds out of first in the 100-yard freestyle, Molly Albrecht won the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 2:05.29. Albrecht is an Olympic Trials qualifier in the 200-meter backstroke.
Weaver had her second win of the day in the 500-yard freestyle. Weaver posted a time of 4:59.69, her third sub-five minute time of the season. Brown's Ashley Frith finished second (5:06.93), followed by Albrecht in third with a time of 5:08.96.
In the three-meter diving event, Rosenberg and Meneses traded places. Rosenberg put up 298.05 points, her highest of the season, to take first in another one-two-three finish for the Bulldog diving squad. Meneses took second with 272.92 points. Gardanier had a season-high 272.32 points for third place, putting both her and Meneses just a little more than seven points away from qualifying for the NCAA Zone Diving Championships. Megan Harada finished seventh with 227.17 points.
In the final event of the meet, the Bulldogs won the 400-yard freestyle relay. Yale's 'A' flight of Hyde, Lapp, Gali and Weaver finished first with a time of 3:28.96, one of the fastest times the Bulldogs have put together this season. But with the score being 145-138 in favor of Brown heading into this last event and with 17 points up for grabs, a first place finish alone would not clinch the victory for the Bulldogs. With Brown 'A' and 'B' taking second (3:29.30) and third (3:34.25), the meet would go to the Bears by a slim margin of just two points.
The Bulldogs have next weekend off from racing but have the all-important 2012 Ivy League Championships the following week. The three-day meet will take place at Harvard's Blodgett Pool in Cambridge, Mass., from Feb. 23-25.
Report filed by Tom Lynam '13, Yale Sports Publicity