Jan. 31, 2009
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Sometimes in sports the other team is just stronger and deeper. That was the case for the women's swimming and diving team, whichfaced Princeton and Harvard this weekend. The Tigers and Crimson were the top two teams in the Ivy League last year, and this year appears to be no different. The Bulldogs put up a fight, however, losing 232-87 to Harvard and 209-110 to Princeton. Princeton won the meet by defeating Harvard 170.5-148.5.
"What this meet really showed us was Harvard and Princeton's depth," said junior Susan Kim. "We knew coming in that they were the top two teams in the league, but it was good to see how we would perform with a little bit of rest. It is a good benchmark for us. We had a lot of people drop times. It is encouraging to see that kind of improvement."
Kim was one such person who managed to drop her times this weekend and also the only Bulldog to win an event. On Friday, she broke the Yale record in the 100-yard breaststroke, previously held by Malindi Davies '98. Davies' record of 1:03.66 was broken by Kim's time of 1:03.29. Though Kim's time was good enough for the Yale record, she just missed winning the event. Princeton's Courtney Kilkuts edged out Kim by the smallest of margins, 0.03 seconds. But, Kim and Kilkuts met again on Saturday in the 200-yard breaststroke. This time Kim came out on the winning end, defeating Kilkuts by 0.90 seconds. Kim's time of 2:15.08 was good enough for another NCAA `B' cut, as well as personal best. Kim was already the school record holder in the 200-yard breaststroke.
"Courtney and I have been racing each other since freshman year," said Kim. "It has been a while since I came out on the winning end of one of our races. She swam at NCAAs last year, and I usually find myself trying to catch up in the second half of the race. It was nice to get a win, especially after not being able to rest this week like much of our team. For me, though, getting the 100-yard record was the accomplishment I was most proud of coming out of the weekend."
Yale managed to pick up a handful of other top-five finishes. The Bulldogs are still being hurt by the injury to freshman Emily Dominski, but in the 100-yard freestyle, sophomore Ileana Lucos managed to take fifth for the Bulldogs with a time of 52.08.
Yale's second-best finish of the day came from senior captain Aidan McKinlay, who took third in the 100-yard butterfly. McKinlay finished in a time of 56.22. She was followed closely by Lucos who took fourth with a time of 56.36.
Yale also had a strong showing in the 400-yard freestyle relay, besting Princeton's `A' team, but falling short to Harvard's `A' and `B' teams. The Yale team, comprised of junior Andrea Clifford, freshman Hayes Hyde, senior Alexis Mann and Lucos, finished the race in a time of 3:29.08.
"We just need to keep working hard and putting in the yardage," said Kim. "We have four weeks until Ivies. It's crunch time now."
The Bulldogs will hit the pool again next Saturday, Feb. 7, against the University of Connecticut.
Report filed by Charles Moore '10, Yale Sports Publicity