Yale Still In Contention After Day 2 of Princeton Invitational

Courtney Randolph. (photo by Tom Lynam '13, Yale Sports Publicity)

PRINCETON, N.J. – Through two days of Princeton's Big Al Open invitational, the Yale women's swimming and diving team is showing very impressive speed for this early point in the season.  Following the second day of action, the Bulldogs are still in second place with 656 points, behind Princeton with 721 points.  Both teams are well in front of third-place Dartmouth.

The first final of the day was the 200-yard medley relay, which saw Yale's "A" relay team of Sydney Hirschi, Olivia Jameson, Ali Stephens-Pickeral and Kina Zhou finish second in a time of 1:44.40, with only Princeton in front of them. 

In the next race, the 400-yard individual medley, Yale put up what was perhaps its most impressive team performance of the day, as Yale swimmers took four of the top five places.  Emma Smith finished first, setting a new Yale record of 4:14.24, followed by Hirschi in second with a 4:16.40.  Courtney Randolph was fourth in 4:18.38 and Michelle Chintanaphol finished fifth in 4:20.45. 

Hirschi also finished second in the next event, the 100-yard butterfly, swimming a 54.44, edging out a Princeton swimmer for the second spot.  Isla Hutchinson-Maddox, another freshman, swam a 56.19 to finish in seventh place. 

Yale had another strong performance as a team in the 200-meter freestyle, as four of the eight swimmers in the A final were Bulldogs.  Zhou was second in 1:48.43, Anna Wujciak was third in 1:48.69, and Eva Fabian finished in fourth place, right behind Wujciak in a time of 1:48.87.  Rounding out the Yale contingent in the top eight was Jameson, who swam a 1:52.11.

The Bulldogs had another excellent swim in the 100-yard breaststroke, this time with four Yale swimmers in the top nine.  Stephens-Pickeral finished second, in 1:03.22 and Smith was third in 1:05.12.  Emily Gudbranson finished eighth in 1:06.94 and Elizabeth Larsen won the B final in 1:05.97.

In the 100-yard backstroke, Chintanaphol finished fourth in a close race, swimming it in 55.88 seconds.

The 800-yard freestyle relay was another impressive demonstration of Yale's depth, as the Bulldogs took the top two spots.  The "A" relay team of Fabian, Jameson, Wujciak and Zhou took the top spot, finishing in 7:21.16.  The "B" team proved themselves superior to all the other schools' "A" teams, finishing second in 7:26.97.

The last event of the day was the 1-meter diving competition, in which freshman Lilybet MacRae dominated the field, posting a score of 272.20.  Also scoring points in the event for Yale were Kelly Sherman, who finished sixth with a 236.35 and Olivia Loucks, who was eighth, scoring a 222.25.

The meet concludes Sunday with another full schedule of competition.   Only 65 points behind the Tigers, the Bulldogs are looking to roar back into contention on the final day of competition.  The day starts with the 1650-yard freestyle, followed by the 200-yard backstroke, 100-yard freestyle, 200-yard breaststroke, 200-yard butterfly and 400-yard freestyle relay as well as the three-meter diving.

Preliminaries start at 10 a.m. and finals begin at 5 p.m.

Report filed by Lyon Van Voorhis '15, Yale Sports Publicity.

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