Bulldogs To Face Columbia in Season Opener

Molly Albrecht. (photo by Tom Lynam '13, Yale Sports Publicity)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – This Friday the Yale women's swimming and diving team has its first official meet of the 2012-13 season.  The Bulldogs will take on Columbia at home in Kiphuth Pool, and while these two teams have not seen each other since Ivy's last year, the Bulldog-Lion rivalry is still very much alive.

Last year this meet went to Columbia, a team that added a strong freshman contingent of 13 swimmers and went on to finish the dual season with a 6-1 Ivy record.  By the 2012 Ivy League Swimming and Diving Championships, however, the Bulldogs had hit their stride and finished third behind Harvard and Princeton, with Columbia coming in at fourth place.

In 2009 and 2010 the Bulldogs pulled out a win over the Lions in dual competition by margins of 199-101 and 174-126, respectively.  This year's senior class of Molly Albrecht, Alexandra Forrester, Megan Harada, Victoria Lawrence, Paige Meneses, Cynthia Tsay and captain Joan Weaver will look to lead the team to its first victory of the season at home just as they did two years ago as sophomores.

In the team's first outing of the season, a tri-meet scrimmage against Colgate and Lehigh on Oct. 27, the Bulldogs picked up two victories.  The margin against Colgate was a close 61-52, while Yale fared better against Lehigh with a score of 82-29.  The format of the scrimmage was such that the team could only enter two swimmers per event, so the hope is that in Friday's regular Ivy League meet lineup, the team will do even better when everyone is competing in their primary events.

The big wins for Yale in Hamilton against the Mountain Hawks and the Raiders came in the distance events.  Freshman Eva Fabian set a pool record in the 1000-yard freestyle, as did Forrester in the 200-yard individual medley.  A third pool record came from the 800-yard freestyle lineup of Albrecht, freshman Callie Fosburgh, freshman Emma Smith, and Fabian.  The Bulldogs claimed the 500-yard freestyle as well but the same could not be said for the 50-, 100- and 200-yard freestyle events.

This past Friday the Bulldogs had a second scrimmage against SCSU, where the Bulldogs topped the Owls 222-77.  Here Yale took first in every event save for two, the 100-yard backstroke and the 400-yard individual medley.  Of Yale's 14 wins, four belonged to freshmen.  In the diving events Meneses and freshman Olivia Grinker went 1-2 in both one- and three-meter events, with Meneses putting up a solid 280.00 points on one-meter.

After Tsay came in second in the 50-yard freestyle at the tri-meet scrimmage against Colgate and Lehigh by a margin of 0.02 seconds, Forrester found the team some redemption by breaking SCSU's 25-year-old pool record in the 50 free.  Forrester clocked in at 23.23, on par with her time from last year's scrimmage against Colgate, to break the existing record set by Olympian Jenny Thompson.

Friday's meet against Columbia will take place at the Robert J.H. Kiphuth Exhibition Pool located inside Payne Whitney Gymnasium.  Diving will begin at 4:00 p.m., with the swimming to follow at 5:00 p.m.

Report filed by Tom Lynam '13, Yale Sports Publicity