PRINCETON, N.J. – The Yale women's swimming and diving team got off to a great start on Thursday at the 2013 Ivy League Swimming and Diving Championships. On a very exciting day of racing the Bulldogs broke five school records, culminating in an incredibly exciting 400-yard medley relay. After the first day of competition the Bulldogs are sitting in third place with 324 points.
The first event of the morning was the 500-yard freestyle where the Bulldogs positioned themselves well for the evening's finals. Freshman Eva Fabian posted the second-fastest time overall with a 4:47.82, but Yale also had three other swimmers headed to the A final. Freshman Callie Fosburgh (4:48.37), senior captain Joan Weaver (4:50.08) and freshman Casey Lincoln (4:50.55) finished fourth, sixth and seventh, respectively. Senior Molly Albrecht just missed out on the top eight with a time of 4:51.04 for ninth place, but she scratched from the evening's B final. Sophomore Rebecca DeLaFuente earned an alternate spot with a time of 4:58.85 but would not compete in the finals either.
In the 200-yard IM heats freshman Emma Smith finished ninth with a time of 2:02.12 to land a spot in the B final. Junior Courtney Randolph finished 14th with a time of 2:03.97, and sophomore Jacqui Levere finished 19th for a spot in the C final.
The prelims of the 50-yard freestyle brought in the first Yale record of the day. Senior Alexandra Forrester posted a time of 22.29 to finish in second place, just 0.05 seconds behind last year's Ivy champ Lisa Boyce of Princeton, who came in at 22.24. This time just about shatters Forrester's previous personal best and school record of 22.61 from this year's Brown Invite, and is well below this year's NCAA B-cut of 22.99. Senior Cynthia Tsay finished 12th with a time of 23.28 to go to the B final.
In the one-meter diving event the lone Bulldog headed to the evening's finals was senior Paige Meneses, who put up 258.30 points for fifth place.
The 200-yard freestyle relay was another stellar performance for the Bulldogs. Forrester, Tsay, sophomore Cassidy Lapp and Weaver finished second with a time of 1:31.56. Princeton won with a time of 1:30.49, and the Bulldogs battled back and forth with the Tigers throughout the race. Weaver came home in 22.58, the fastest split of any anchor in the event, but Princeton already had the win sewn up. Yale's time broke the previous Yale record of 1:32.70 set at Ivy's in 2010, which Forrester and Tsay had been a part of three years ago.
After posting a couple of times that cames close Fabian finally broke the Yale record in the 500-yard freestyle, clocking in at 4:43.97 for second place. This time earns Fabian an NCAA B-Cut and breaks Albrecht's school record of 4:47.14 set at Ivy's two years ago. Next came a trio of Yale swimmers, with Weaver coming in fifth with a time of 4:50.08 to match her time from the prelims exactly, followed by Lincoln in sixth (4:51.91) and then Fosburgh in seventh (4:52.26).
In the 200-yard IM Smith won the B final with a time of 2:01.99, improving on her time from the morning. Randolph finished 15th with a time of 2:03.63, also a slight improvement on her time from the prelims.
Forrester finished second in the finals of the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 22.30, meaning her time from the prelims will stand as the school record. In the B final Tsay finished fifth, or 13th overall, with a time of 23.39.
In the one-meter diving event Meneses finished third with a score of 275.00, a big improvement on her score from the morning.
The 400-yard medley relay was perhaps the most exciting race of the night. Tsay, freshman Ali Stephens-Pickeral, Forrester and Weaver finished fourth with a time of 3:38.32. Less than one second separated Princeton in second place (3:37.49) from Yale in fourth place, and the top four relay teams all beat the previous meet record set in 2010. The Bulldogs were just out of reach of Harvard, who finished third with a time of 3:38.21, but they shattered the previous Yale record of 3:40.76 set at Ivy's in 2010. Additionally, Tsay's 54.72 backstroke split that started things off breaks the Yale record of 54.80 in the 100-yard backstroke set in 2010.
Competition resumes Friday morning at 11:00 a.m. with the heats of the 200-yard medley relay. Live video of the finals begins at 6:00 p.m. and is available here.
Report filed by Tom Lynam '13, Yale Sports Publicity