DURHAM, N.H. – The Yale women's swimming and diving team continued its torrid start to the 2014 calendar year, beating the University of New Hampshire by a tight margin of 156.5 to 143.5. The Wildcats had been undefeated heading into the meet.
The meet began with the 400-yard medley relay, and the home team jumped out to a quick lead, as New Hampshire captured both first and third places. Yale's "A" relay team of Michelle Chintanaphol, Sydney Hirschi, Ali Stephens-Pickeral and Kina Zhou finished second in a time of 3:52.38.
After this initial setback, the Bulldogs got back on course, winning the next two events. Eva Fabian won the 1000-yard freestyle by a wide margin, finishing in 9:57.87. Casey Lincoln and Allison West also contributed points for Yale, finishing in third and fourth in 10:23.71 and 10:27.64, respectively.
In the 200-yard freestyle, Zhou won in 1:50.72, only .03 seconds ahead of the New Hampshire second-place finisher. Olivia Jameson was third in 1:53.93.
In the next event, the 100-yard backstroke, Chintanaphol was a close second, touching in 57.46 seconds.
Stephens-Pickeral was second in the 100-yard breaststroke, in a time of 1:05.84. Elizabeth Larsen was fourth in 1:07.73.
In the next event, the 200-yard butterfly, Isla Hutchinson-Maddox finished in second place in 2:02.11. On the final leg, Fabian chased down a Wildcat swimmer to tie exactly in third place, splitting the points. In a meet this close, every one of those points would be vital.
Zhou helped Yale pick up some more points in the 50-yard freestyle, as she won in 23.84. Fellow freshman Jameson finished third, in 24.76 seconds.
Yale was dominant in the diving events against UNH, as evidenced by the one-meter results. Lilybet MacRae produced a sensational 320.85 to finish in first, followed by Kelly Sherman in second with a 263.40 and Christina Brasco in third with a 234.08.
In the next event, Zhou continued her dominance of the short-distance freestyle events, winning her third event of the day, the 100-yard freestyle, in 52.06 seconds. Hirschi was third in 53.42 and Anna Wujciak was fourth in 53.48.
Chintanaphol notched the victory in the 200-yard backstroke in a time of 2:02.05, ahead of Jameson in third with a 2:04.40.
Yale went 1-2 in the 500-yard freestyle, as Fabian won in 4:55.63 ahead of Hutchinson-Maddox in second with a time of 4:57.28. Wujciak was fourth in 5:09.15 to grab some more crucial points for the Bulldogs.
Hirschi captured the win in the 100-yard butterfly, swimming it in a time of 55.94. Kasey Mann was fourth in 58.55.
In the three-meter diving, MacRae backed up her performance in the one-meter event with another victory, this time posting a score of 254.25. Sherman was second again, with a 241.65.
In the final event of the day, the 200-yard freestyle relay, Yale finished in second and third, with its "A" team of Hirschi, Jameson, Emma Smith and Wujciak finishing in 1:38.32 and the "B" relay team of Rebecca DeLaFuente, MacKenzie Franklin, Emily Gudbranson and West in third with a 1:40.59. This result allowed Yale to finish the meet on top of the Wildcats by a 13-point margin.
Robert J.H. Kiphuth Head Coach Jim Henry called it a "great team win," and noted the "incredible performances by the divers."
Yale now hopes to carry the momentum from this impressive victory into next weekend's meet against Harvard and Princeton, a meet that will be a difficult test of the Bulldogs' speed at this point in the season.
Report filed by Lyon Van Voorhis '15, Yale Sports Publicity