Jan. 17, 2009
HANOVER, N.H. - The women's swimming and diving team improves to 3-1 in the Ivy League, with victories over Penn and Dartmouth on Saturday. Yale took care of Dartmouth by a score of 191-109. It came down to the wire with Penn, but the Bulldogs were able to hold them off by a score of 152-148. Along the way, junior Susan Kim broke the Dartmouth pool record in the 200-yard breaststroke.
"It was a much closer meet than we expected," said Kim. "We really had to pull it together in the second half. But everyone stepped up and we were able to get the win."
Yale won eight of the sixteen events on the day, taking at least one event in each individual stroke. The only place Yale failed to win an event was in the relays. Penn claimed the top spots in both the 200-yard medley relay and the 400-yard freestyle relay.
Freshman Abigail Nunn and senior Laura Strittmatter dominated the distance events. Nunn and Strittmatter finished one-two in both the 1000-yard freestyle and the 500-yard freestyle. Nunn finished the 1000-yard event in a time of 10:22.39, Strittmatter right behind her at 10:23.24. The next closest finisher, Amanda Ackerman of Penn, finished the race in a time of 10:37.92, 14.68 seconds behind Strittmatter. While the 500-yard event was closer, the duo had no problem again claiming the top two spots. Nunn took first in a time of 5:02.79, with Strittmatter just 3.07 seconds behind at 5:05.86. Stephanie Nerby of Penn rounded out the top-three with a time of 5:08.02.
While Nunn and Strittmatter were busy dominating the distance events, Kim and senior Marilee Kiernan held their own monopoly on the breaststroke events. The two swimmers took first and second in both the 100- and 200-yard breaststroke. In the 100-yard event, Kim claimed first with a time of 1:05.40. Kiernan took second in dramatic fashion, by the smallest of margins. She out-touched Laura Klick of Penn by just one one-hundredth of a second. Kiernan clocked in at 1:07.26, while Klick finished in 1:07.27.
The 200-yard breaststroke was even more exciting, due to its record setting nature. Kim took first place by a staggering 5.81 seconds, en route to a new pool record. She broke the 15 year-old record, set in 1996 by Andrea Hill of Penn. Hill's previous record had been 2:19.41. Kim finished the race in 2:17.80, breaking the record by 1.61 seconds. Kiernan took second again for the Bulldogs, finishing in a time of 2:23.61.
"I was happy with the swim," said Kim. "I have been working on a lot of technical things in that event, so it was nice to see it pay off by getting the pool record. It was a good race."
Of the eight events which Yale won on Saturday, Nunn and Kim combined to win half of them. The other four events that Yale won were claimed by sophomore Ileana Lucos, senior Alexis Mann, freshman Rachel Rosenberg and senior Brenna Davis.
Lucos took charge of the 200-yard butterfly winning in a time of 2:07.49. Also competing in that event were senior captain Aidan McKinlay and freshman Hayes Hyde, who took fourth and sixth, respectively. Lucos would also go on to take second in the 100-yard freestyle, missing out on first by just .22 seconds.
Mann took home the always exciting 50-yard freestyle crown. She finished the event in a time of 24.60, just .22 seconds ahead of Heather Jankins of Dartmouth. Junior Andrea Clifford, freshman Erica Kao and sophomore Angela Yu also competed for the Bulldogs in the event.
Rosenberg claimed top diver in the one-meter competition. She won the event by a margin of 18.8 points with a score of 246.70. Yale divers also claimed fifth through seventh place, as Junior Marisa Poverman came in fifth with a score of 216.25, freshman Elizabeth Andrekovich in sixth with 211.0 and senior Cameron Murphy with 204.5.
Yale also claimed first in the 200-yard backstroke, as Davis took home top honors. She finished the race in a time of 2:08.39 just .21 seconds ahead of Galen Barry from Dartmouth. Sophomore Leslie Roberson, sophomore Kristin Darwin and senior Emma Chapman also competed in the event, coming in sixth, eighth and tenth, respectively.
"This was an important win for us coming out of the break," said Kim. "We were down two or three points at the halfway point, and Brenna really came out and set the tone for us with this win. Brenna had just come off a tough loss in the 100-yard backstroke, so it was good win for her and the team"
Kim and Nunn may have combined to win four events, but their most important finish might have been a second- and third-place finish. With just two events left the Bulldogs and Quakers were neck-to-neck. Coming into the 200-IM, Kim knew they were going to be up against tough competition.
"Andrea Balint of Penn had already won the 200- and 100-yard freestyle," said Kim. "It ended up being a really close race. We just tried to focus on the back-half of the race."
Kim almost caught Balint, missing out on first place by just .17 seconds, with a time of 2:08.22. Nunn came in behind her, with a time of 2:10.43. The two claimed enough points to keep Yale out in front heading into the last event.
Yale improves to 5-2 overall and 3-1 in the Ivy League. The Bulldogs will now have two weeks until their showdown with Ivy League Rivals Harvard and Princeton. The meet will take place in Cambridge, Mass. on Jan. 30 and 31.
Report filed by Charles Moore `10, Yale Sports Publicity