Feb. 7, 2009
STORRS, Conn. - The women's swimming and diving team struggled to put up victories in Saturday's meet against UConn. The Bulldogs fell to the Huskies by a score of 184-116, on a day when the Bulldogs took first place in only three of 16 events. Senior Alexis Mann and junior Susan Kim were the only individual Bulldogs to take first place. Yale also won the 400-yard freestyle relay.
"This was a really tough loss for our team," said senior captain Aidan McKinlay. "UConn was better rested and more motivated then us. They were just coming off a big conference meet, and were still benefiting from the rest they had for that meet. It was also their last home meet and senior night. They came pumped up and it showed in the results."
The meet's high point came from Kim as she once again dominated the 200-yard breaststroke en route to another personal best and a pool record. Kim missed out on first place in the 100-yard breaststroke earlier in meet, falling to freshman Caitlin Gallagher by a mere .07 seconds. The top three finishers in that race all broke the pool record, but it is Gallagher's time of 1:03.39 that will go into the record books. It was déjà vu for Kim, who last week at HYP's lost an extremely close 100-yard breaststroke, only to turn around and defeat her same opponent in the 200-yard event. Last week it was Princeton's Courtney Kilkuts, this week it was Gallagher. Kim won the 200-yard in a time of 2:15.05, breaking the pool record by a staggering 2.64 seconds. The record had previously been held by Annie Tudryn of Syracuse. It was a record that had stood for just over six years.
The Bulldogs started off the meet with a loss to the Huskies 200-yard medley relay team. The Yale team of freshman Hayes Hyde, Kim, McKinlay and Mann fell to a UConn team made up of three freshmen and a senior. UConn clocked in with a time of 1:47.46, besting the Bulldogs time of 1:49.46.
In the distance freestyle events, senior Laura Strittmatter took second place both times. The distance freestyle events are usually dominated by the duo of freshman Abigail Nunn and Strittmatter, but Nunn was noticeably absent from both events this weekend.
"We have a lot of injuries on our team right now," said McKinlay. "We did not have sophomore Ileana Lucos, senior Blake Walsh, and we have not had freshman Emily Dominski for a while now. We had to have our more versatile swimmers, like Abigail Nunn, swim in different events to fill in the gaps."
In the 1000-yard freestyle, Strittmatter finished in a time of 10:21.79, just 2.18 seconds behind UConn's Erin DeVinney. That same order was maintained in the 500-yard freestyle where the freshman DeVinney again claimed the top spot, with a time of 5:03.63. Strittmatter narrowed the gap to 2.08 seconds, but could not close it enough with her time of 5:05.71.
With freshman Emily Dominski injured, the Bulldogs were already hurting in the freestyle events. To add insult to injury, sophomore Ileana Lucos was out for this meet with an injury of her own. Sophomores Kristin Darwin and Angela Yu picked up the slack in the 200-yard freestyle, taking second- and third-place, respectively. Darwin finished with a time of 1:57.38, with Yu just under a second behind her at 1:58.15. The Bulldogs found the same result in the 100-yard freestyle, but with different swimmers. Freshman Erica Kao and Mann took the second and third spots, respectively. Kao touched the wall in a time of 54.05, with Mann right behind her at 54.26.
Injuries did not stop Yale from taking first in the 50-yard freestyle, an event that Mann, more often than not, claims for the Bulldogs. She did so again on Saturday, barely out-touching freshman Ye Ling of UConn. Mann finished with a time of 24.49, just .02 seconds ahead of Ling, who finished in 24.51. Junior Andrea Clifford was not far behind, coming in third with a time of 24.65.
The Bulldogs put up a strong showing in the diving, claiming second place in both the one- and three-meter diving. In the three-meter diving, it was freshman Elizabeth Andrekovich who claimed second place for the Bulldogs. She put up 248.17 points, trailing first place by 40.13 points. Junior Marisa J Poverman, freshman Rachel Rosenberg and senior Cameron Murphy took fourth, fifth and sixth place, respectively. The two Yale freshmen swapped places for the one-meter diving, with Rosenberg taking second place this time. She put up 245.77 points to UConn's Liza Marianni's 268.05 points. Andrekovich and Murphy filed in line behind her in third and fourth place, respectively. Poverman rounded out the Yale team in sixth.
The backstroke events saw mixed results for the Bulldogs, who took fourth, fifth and sixth in the 100-yard backstroke and second, fourth and sixth in the 200-yard backstroke. In both cases, it was senior Brenna Davis who placed the highest for the Bulldogs. In the 100-yard backstroke, she finished in a time of 1:00.12, followed by sophomore Leslie Roberson at 1:03.91. Emma Chapman rounded out the Bulldog team in sixth with a time of 1:04.62. In the 200-yard backstroke, Davis took second with a time of 2:07.74. Nunn took fourth at 2:11.15, followed by Roberson in sixth at 2:16.61.
The butterfly was another event hurt by the loss of Lucos and Walsh. The Bulldogs fared well in the 200-yard butterfly, however, taking second, third and fourth place. Hyde took second for the Bulldogs in a time of 2:05.17. She was followed by Nunn, who was helping fill in for the injured swimmers, with a time of 2:06.29. McKinlay rounded out the Yale team with a time of 2:09.03. The 100-yard butterfly saw the Bulldogs again take second and third place. Clifford took second for Yale with a time of 58.58, followed closely by McKinlay at 58.66.
The Bulldogs final event of the day was also their third and final first-place finish. Yale's 400-yard freestyle relay team claimed the top spot with a time of 3:34.90. The team comprised of Clifford, Kao, Mann and Hyde out-swam the Connecticut team by 2.34 seconds.
With the prospect of having Lucos and Walsh back next week, the Bulldogs look to take down what should be a tough Brown team. This will be the Bulldogs final home meet, as well as senior night. The meet will take place on Sunday, Feb. 15 at 12 p.m.
Report filed by Charles Moore '10, Yale Sports Publicity