Bulldogs Victorious in Boston

Emma Smith. (photo by Tom Lynam '13, Yale Sports Publicity)

Yale Takes First Place at Terrier Invite

BOSTON – This weekend the Yale women's swimming and diving team divided and conquered.  While the divers were in Pennsylvania for the Bucknell Invitational, the swimmers finished in first place after three days of competition at Boston University's Terrier Invitational.  The swimmers proved that on their own they could be a tightly knit unit, bringing in some serious points with wins in four out of five relays.  Senior Alexandra Forrester won all of her individual events, while freshmen Eva Fabian, Emma Smith and Ali Stephens-Pickeral each won events as well.  This result is a marked improvement for the Bulldogs over last year's third-place finish at the Terrier Invite.

Friday

Yale's first win of the night came when Fabian won the 500-yard freestyle.  Fabian and fellow freshman Casey Lincoln were two of only four swimmers to turn in a sub-five minute time in the morning's preliminaries.  In the final both Fabian and Lincoln improved on their times from the morning, with Fabian posting the top time of 4:52.30.  Lincoln came in fourth with a time of 4:58.90.  Molly Albrecht also swam in the A final, finishing seventh with a time of 5:04.23.

In the 50-yard freestyle, Forrester won her first event of the meet with a time of 23.25.  Cynthia Tsay came in fourth with a time of 24.10

Friday also saw the running of two relays.  In the 200-yard freestyle relay the team of Forrester, Tsay, Stephens-Pickeral and Cassidy Lapp came in a close second to UMass 'A.' The Bulldogs had the faster seed time but finished with a 1:36.27 to UMass' 1:35.11.  In the second relay, the 400-yard medley relay, Yale's number came up.  This time it was Tsay, Stephens-Pickeral, Forrester and Joan Weaver who clocked in at 3:50.32 for first place, with UMass taking second with a time of 3:50.54.

Saturday

The Bulldogs continued to dominate the relays on day two.  Tsay, Stephens-Pickeral, Forrester and Lapp won the 200-yard medley relay by a margin of 1.22 seconds.  Tsay got the Bulldogs their lead after the backstroke leg, and Stephens-Pickeral and Forrester grew the lead on the breaststroke and butterfly legs.  Lapp brought it home to put Yale's final time at 1:44.66.  UMass 'A' took second with a time of 1:45.88.

Smith had a big win in the 400-yard individual medley.  Her time from the morning prelims, 4:25.78, was the fastest in the pool by more than three seconds.  In the evening she came back and lowered her time even further to post a time of 4:23.57 for first place.  Courtney Randolph also dropped time from her morning swim, finishing in sixth place in the A final with a time of 4:31.92.

Forrester had as big of a win in the 100-yard butterfly.  She clocked in at 54.00 flat in the prelims earlier in the day, and in the evening she dropped half a second to take first with a time of 53.50.  Second place went to UMass' Jocelyn Yuen with a time of 56.27.  Kasey Mann took fourth with a time of 58.26, and Tsay rounded out the A final for the Bulldogs in eighth place with a time of 58.95.  Forrester just missed matching her pool record of 53.49 in this event by 0.01 seconds, a record she set in 2008. 

In the A final of the 200-yard freestyle the Bulldogs had four swimmers racing.  Fabian took fourth with a time of 1:52.88, followed by Callie Fosburgh in fifth (1:52.96), Lincoln in seventh (1:54.10) and Albrecht in eighth (1:55.79).

Stephens-Pickeral then won the 100-yard breaststroke.  In the prelims she finished in a dead heat with UMass' Katie Arnott with a time of 1:04.78, but in the final Stephens-Pickeral shaved more than a second off her prelim time to take the win, clocking in at 1:03.72.  Lapp finished fourth in the A final with a time of 1:06.74, and Jacqui Levere won the B final with a time of 1:07.96.

Tsay took a close second place in the 100-yard backstroke.  Tsay was in second after the first 50 yards behind UMass' Rebecca Quirie, but came home in the final 50 in 29.38 to Quirie's 29.43.  Tsay would clock in at 56.89 to Quirie's 56.81.

Day two would close out with the Bulldogs winning the 800-yard freestyle relay.  Yale's 'A' squad of Forrester, Fosburgh, Smith and Fabian posted the top time of 7:29.02, but it was Yale's 'B' group of Tsay, Lincoln, Weaver and Emily Gudbranson who really stepped up to finish in third place.  For the first 300 yards it was Yale 'A' and 'B' leading the race, but UMass 'A' would soon pull ahead of Yale 'B.'  The Bulldogs' third relay team of Randolph, Rebecca DeLaFuente, Gabrielle Bunney and Michelle Huang was the highest finishing 'C' team coming in seventh place with a time of 7:52.77.

Sunday

On the final day of competition Fabian won the second distance event of the weekend, the 1650-yard freestyle.  Her time of 16:43.55 gave her a nearly eight-second margin of victory.  Lincoln finished in a close third place with a time of 16:53.88.

The 200-yard backstroke was Albrecht's best finish of the meet.  Albrecht took third with a time of 2:05.52, faster than her prelim time of 2:06.35.  Smith was not far behind in sixth place with a time of 2:07.58.

Tsay then matched Albrecht's finish, taking third in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 51.97.  Weaver was less than a second behind with a time of 52.78 for seventh place.  Fosburgh won the B final with a time of 52.67.

In the 200-yard breaststroke Stephens-Pickeral finished in second place with a time of 2:22.30.  Levere finished in fifth place with time of 2:26.02.  Randolph made it three Bulldogs in the A final, taking eighth place with a time of 2:29.05 after winning a swim-off earlier in the day with a time of 2:26.83.

Forrester won the 200-yard butterfly by a sizeable margin, but three other Bulldogs brought in points from the A final as well.  Forrester was the only one under two minutes in both the prelims and the finals, where she clocked in at 1:58.87 and 1:59.48, respectively.  In the final Allison West came in fourth with a time of 2:06.51, while Kasey Mann finished seventh (2:07.90) and Fabian eighth (2:08.19).

The Bulldogs finished out the weekend with a win in the 400-yard freestyle relay, their fourth relay win of the weekend.  Forrester, Tsay, Weaver and Fosburgh posted a time of 3:25.29 for first place, the next fastest time belonging to UMass 'A' with 3:28.75.  Forrester got the team nearly three seconds on the field after the first 100 yards, and Tsay and Weaver grew the lead to give Fosburgh a large cushion for the anchor leg.  Yale 'B' and 'C' finished sixth and ninth, respectively.

While the swimmers were in Boston, Yale's diving squad was in Lewisburg, Pa., for the Bucknell Invitational.  On Friday freshman Danielle DeNunzio was Yale's top finisher on three meter, with 244.50 points for fourth place.  On Sunday freshman Olivia Grinker won the one-meter event.  Grinker put up 242.85 points in the prelims and 256.35 points in the final.

Next on the calendar for the Bulldogs is another invite meet, the Brown Invitational in Providence, R.I. from Dec. 1-2.

Report filed by Tom Lynam '13, Yale Sports Publicity