Seniors Lead Team to Win Against Brown

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Alexandra Forrester. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Bulldogs Set Pool Record in 200-Yard Freestyle Relay

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – After being delayed two days because of the winter storm the Yale women's swimming and diving team finally squared off against Brown on Monday night, and the Bulldogs made it worth the wait.  Yale defeated Brown 173-127 and set a pool record in the process.  The meet was celebrated as senior night, as divers Megan Harada and Paige Meneses, along with swimmers Molly Albrecht, Alexandra Forrester, Victoria Lawrence, Cynthia Tsay and captain Joan Weaver had their last meet at home in Kiphuth Pool.  When all was said and done Yale won 12 out of 16 events, eight of which were individual wins by the members of the class of 2013.  Over the weekend Princeton lost to Columbia so the Bulldogs finish tied for second in the conference heading into the Ivy League Championships.

"We are happy with the win and getting the meet in tonight," said Robert J.H. Kiphuth Head Coach Jim Henry.  "Many thanks to all who braved the weather to support us.  I am proud of our seniors and the team that followed their example.  We are taking the right steps getting ready for the end of the year.  To finish 5-2 and tied for runner up in the Ivy schedule is a great step in the right direction for the team."

To kick things off Meneses took first on three meter.  Meneses brought in 289.87 points, more than 17 points better than her winning score at HYP last week and a new season best.  Her twisting dives earned her the most points, bringing in scores of 7.5 for her back one-and-a-half with three half twists and her reverse one-and-a-half with three half twists.  Freshman Olivia Grinker was second with 253.19 points, her best dive being her back one-and-a-half with one half twist.  Freshman Kelly Sherman was Yale's third scorer with 246.15 points, but junior Christina Brasco had a personal best with 274.05 points.  Harada also had a great performance with 253.65 points.

The first swimming event of the night was the 200-yard medley relay where the Bulldogs got out to an early lead.  Yale's 'A' team of Tsay, sophomore Cassidy Lapp, Forrester and Weaver posted the top time of 1:42.66, well ahead of Brown's 'A' relay (1:46.86).  The Bulldogs were one second faster than the competition on each of the first three legs, giving Weaver a comfortable lead for the freestyle leg where she clocked in at 23.17 to make Yale's margin of victory more than four seconds.

The 1000-yard freestyle was a 1-2-3 sweep for the Bulldogs.  Freshman Eva Fabian took first with a time of 10:01.92, followed by freshman Casey Lincoln in second (10:19.48) and freshman Callie Fosburgh (10:22.29) in third.

Weaver's first individual win of the night came in the 200-yard freestyle as part of another 1-2-3 Yale sweep.  Weaver was holding off Albrecht all the way to the last turn, where Weaver started to turn on the gas.  At the wall it was Weaver first with a time of 1:51.56, followed by Albrecht with a time of 1:52.45.  Freshman Emily Gudbranson was in the mix for the first 100 yards but ultimately took third with a time of 1:53.62.

The seniors continued to dominate as Tsay won the 100-yard backstroke.  Tsay was the only one in the pool to post a sub-28 split for the first 50 yards, and was again the fastest for the second 50 to clock in at 56.15 for first place.  Junior Michelle Huang was third with a time of 59.69.

Lapp then finished second in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:05.65, just half a second out of first place.  Lapp was in first after the first 50 yards but Brown's Briana Borgolini came back in 33.48 to Lapp's 34.28 to take the win.  Sophomore Jacqui Levere was fourth with a time of 1:07.56 and sophomore Elizabeth Larsen was fifth with a time of 1:08.23.

The 200-yard butterfly was Forrester's first individual win of the night.  She had a lead of 2.32 seconds after the first 50 yards and from there she cruised to a win.  Forrester clocked in at 1:57.79; the next-fastest time was 2:05.46.

In the 50-yard freestyle Tsay took third with a time of 24.23.

The one-meter diving event was another win for Meneses.  She put up 285.59 points for first place, with consistent scores of seven or higher on her back one-and-a-half with one-half twist, inward one-and-a-half tuck and reverse one-and-a-half pike.  This time around Grinker was third with 265.80 points, and Sherman fourth with 236.92.

Forrester picked up another win in the 100-yard freestyle, her second of the night.  She posted a time of 50.31, while Gudbranson was third with a time of 53.26.

In the 200-yard backstroke Albrecht put another win on the board for the seniors when she finished first with a time of 2:03.62.  Junior Courtney Randolph finished third with a time of 2:11.18.

Brown took the top two spots in the 200-yard breaststroke, but the Bulldogs rounded out the scoring positions. Levere finished third with a time of 2:24.89, followed by freshman Emma Smith in fourth (2:26.10) and Larsen right behind her in fifth (2:26.52).

Weaver had her second individual win in the 500-yard freestyle, touching the wall just ahead of Fabian.  Fabian has the second-fastest time in the Ivy League in the 500 so far this season, but it was Weaver who had a strong last 100 yards to finish first.  Weaver clocked in at 4:56.91, with Fabian right on her heels in 4:57.37.  Lincoln was third in a time of 5:10.79 to round out the 1-2-3 Yale sweep, the third of the night for the Bulldogs.

In the 100-yard butterfly, junior Allison West finished second with a time of 58.41.  Gudbranson also picked up some points with a time of 59.44.

Smith won the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 2:07.62.  Junior Angela Lee followed with a time of 2:08.28 for second place.

To finish out the meet the Bulldogs set a pool record in the 200-yard freestyle relay.  Yale's 'A' team of Forrester, Tsay, Lapp and Weaver combined for a time of 1:33.56 to take down the previous Kiphuth Pool record of 1:34.45 set by Brown in 2004.  The Bulldogs were consistent across the board, with each swimmer posting a split of 23 seconds and change.  Yale's finish only counted as exhibition, however, as the Bulldogs had already won the meet.

The Bulldogs now have less than three weeks before the all-important Ivy League Swimming and Diving Championships.  The meet will take place at Princeton from Thursday, Feb. 28 to Saturday, Mar. 2.

Report filed by Tom Lynam '13, Yale Sports Publicity