February 28, 2009

Kim Wins 100-yard Breaststroke, Sets Ivy Record on Day Two at Championships

Feb. 27, 2009

Friday Prelim Results
Friday Final Results

LONG ISLAND, N.Y. - Junior Susan Kim swam the fastest 100-yard breaststroke of her life on Friday, and it turned out to be the fastest 100-yard breaststroke in the history of the Ivy League. Kim broke the all-time Ivy League record, the meet record, and earned an NCAA B cut, on day two at the Ivy League Championships. The Bulldogs (675) currently sit in third place, behind Harvard (1068) and Princeton (865). Penn (621) and Columbia (571.5) are just behind Yale.

"We are swimming great right now," said Robert J.H. Kiphuth Director of Swimming Frank Keefe. "There were good performances all day long. Susan Kim broke all the records in the league, Kristin Darwin took fourth in the 400-yard IM, and Hyde and McKinlay took third and fourth in the 100-yard butterfly. We just need to build on our lead tomorrow."

Before today's events began, the controversies from yesterday had to be solved. The dust has finally settled on the 400-yard medley relay and 200-yard freestyle relay after a slew of protests. Yale took fourth in the 400-yard medley relay with a time of 3:45.25. The team of senior Brenna Davis, Kim, freshman Hayes Hyde, and junior Andrea Clifford claimed 52 points for the Bulldogs in a race that saw the winning Tigers of Princeton break every record possible. Last year, Princeton set the all-time Ivy record and the meet record, with a time of 3:42.72. This year they shattered that mark resetting those records and earning an NCAA B cut with a time of 3:40.99. Columbia and Harvard finished in second and third, respectively.

The 200-yard freestyle relay was the source of much drama Thursday night. After consultation with the people at Colorado Timing Systems, it was determined that the timing equipment was functioning properly, therefore the results stood and five teams were disqualified. The only teams left standing at the end were Harvard, Yale and Brown. The top two finishers, Princeton and Columbia, separated by only .01 seconds, missed out on crucial points in an event that awards 64 points to first place. Harvard went on to win the event with a time of 1:32.90, followed by Yale at 1:34.44 and Brown at 1:35.42. The Yale team was comprised of Clifford, senior Alexis Mann, freshman Erica Kao and sophomore Ileana Lucos.

With the disqualifications in the 200-yard freestyle relay, Harvard went into Friday with a lead over Princeton, and Yale had their own advantage over Penn and Columbia in third place.

Morning Session

The morning session proved to be another strong one for Yale in a number of races. The Bulldogs opened the day in the 200-yard medley relay by taking second place, only .06 seconds off the winner Princeton. As with yesterday's relays, the goal for Yale was to avoid being disqualified in the prelims. The team of Davis, freshman Caroline Dewing, senior captain Aidan McKinlay and freshman Erica Kao finished in a time of 1:46.96.

In the 400-yard IM, Yale was able to get two swimmers into the A final and one into the C final. Sophomore Kristin Darwin and freshman Abigail Nunn claimed the sixth and seventh spots in the A final with times of 4:24.74 and 4:25.47, respectively. Alicia Aemisegger of Princeton won the race with a time of 4:10.91, a full nine seconds faster than second place and an NCAA B cut time. Senior Blake Walsh also made it through to the night session with a time of 4:41.61, earning her a spot in the C final.

Keefe said on Thursday that the way you win this championship is by getting all your swimmers into the nighttime session and having as few swimmers in the C final as possible. If that is the case, then the Bulldogs were perfect in the 100-yard butterfly, getting two swimmers into the A final and two into the B final. Hyde and McKinlay finished in third and fourth place, respectively, each earning a spot to compete in the night session. Hyde finished with a time of 55.48, just .01 second off of second place and .09 seconds off of first place. McKinlay's time was 56.04. Lucos and Clifford both earned spots in the B final with their 12th and 16th place finishes. Lucos finished in a time of 56.73, while Clifford went 56.91. Mann also competed in the event coming in 26th and just missing out on the C final.

The Bulldogs only swam one swimmer in the 200-yard freestyle. Lucos finished in 22nd place with a time of 1:57.90. Kao, sophomore Annie Killian, Darwin, and Hyde all scratched before the start of the race.

"You can only swim three individual events," said Keefe. "We probably could have swum a few more people, but they would have had to do some tough doubles, and I don't like to over-enter people."

Princeton's Courtney Kilkuts and Yale's Kim have waged a three-year battle in the 100- and 200-yard breaststroke events. Kim, by her own admission, had not beaten Kilkuts in a while until HYPs this year when she won the 200-yard breaststroke. However, when Kim lost to Kilkuts in the 100-yard breaststroke at HYPs, she still managed to break the Yale record in the event. Well Kim once again broke the Yale record Friday morning, but this time she beat Kilkuts as well. Kim swam a blisteringly fast prelim clocking in at 1:02.48, just .10 seconds off an NCAA B cut time. Kilkuts could not keep up, coming in at 1:02.77. Senior Marilee Kiernan also made it through to the A final, taking fifth with a time of 1:03.56. Dewing finished in 13th place, good enough for a spot in the B final. Her time was 1:05.70. Kao also competed, just missing out on the C with her time of 1:09.28.

The Bulldogs would struggle to get points in the 100-yard backstroke, with only one swimmer entered in the event. Davis came in a tie for 13th with a time of 57.39, good enough for a spot in the B final.

The final preliminary of the morning came in the three-meter diving. Yale managed to advance three divers into the B final. Junior Marisa J Poverman, freshman Rachel Rosenberg and freshman Elizabeth Andrekovich all finished in the top-20. Poverman led the way for Yale in 10th place with 228.85 points. Right behind her was Rosenberg with 226.10 in 11th place. Andrekovich scored 212.70 points for a 16th place finish. Senior Cameron Murphy just missed out on the top-20 in 22nd place with 204.10 points.

At the end of the morning session, Yale was in a strong third-place with 297 points. Harvard led all teams with a score of 471, followed closely by Princeton at 401. Yale's closest competition is Columbia at 217.5 points

Night Session

The Bulldogs started off the night session with a fourth place finish in the 200-yard medley relay. The Bulldog team of Davis, Kim, Hyde and Clifford finished with a time of 1:43.49, the second fastest Yale has ever swum. The Bulldogs picked up 52 points. Princeton's team won the event with a time of 1:41.61 breaking the meet record, the Ivy League record, and earning an NCAA B cut. Columbia and Harvard rounded out the top-three.

Moving to the 1000-yard freestyle, Yale turned in some solid results, but it was Harvard that made the statement. Harvard took the top three spots and fifth place for 112 points, effectively killing the momentum Princeton may have gained after their big win the 200-yard medley relay. With Nunn swimming in the 400-yard IM, it was up to Strittmatter, Killian and Fracapane to score points in the 1000-yard. Strittmatter took ninth for Yale with a time of 10:09.12, picking up 20 points. Killian was not far behind her in 11th with a time of 10:13.36 and Fracapane came in 15th with her time of 10:21.89. In total, Yale accumulated 48 points.

According to Keefe, the Bulldogs second best individual performance of the night came in the 400-yard IM. Kristin Darwin took fourth for Yale with her time of 4:23.04.

"For me the outstanding swim of the day, aside from Susan Kim, was Kristin Darwin in the 400-yard IM," said Keefe. "It was just a phenomenal improvement for her."

Darwin's best time in the 400-yard IM, coming into the meet was 4:30.28, a full 7.24 seconds slower than her time in Friday's event. Nunn also competed in the A final for the Bulldogs, coming in seventh place with a time of 4:26.35 and earning Yale 23 points. Walsh competed in the C final for Yale, coming in 24th overall with a time of 4:39.67.

Following the 400-yard IM, came Yale's best team performance in an individual event of the day. Yale managed to claim third, fourth, ninth, and 16th in the 100-yard butterfly, for a huge 84 points. Hyde followed up on her impressive second place finish in yesterday's 200-yard IM with a third place finish in the 100-yard butterfly. Her time of 55.17 was faster than last year's winner and only .25 seconds off this year's winner. Right behind Hyde, was McKinlay who claimed fourth with a time of 55.65. In the B final, Clifford and Lucos combined to take ninth and 16th overall. Clifford won the B final with a time of 56.51, a time that was faster than both seventh and eighth place in the A final. She dropped .40 seconds off her prelim time and claimed 20 points for Yale. Lucos swam a time of 57.29, earning 11 points for Yale. The event was won by Prinecton's Alicia Aemisegger, who, not only earned the only NCAA A cut of the meet so far, but also broke the meet record held by Cristina Teucher of Columbia, a former NCAA and Olympic champion.

Lucos had perhaps the hardest task of any Bulldog on Friday. Less than five minutes after taking sixteenth in the 100-yard butterfly, she was back in the pool swimming in the finals of the 200-yard freestyle. Lucos was the only Yale swimmer entered in the event and she was competing in the C final. She was able to drop over four seconds off her prelim time and win the C final with a time of 1:53.06, earning Yale nine points.

The 100-yard breaststroke saw all of its records fall on Friday, and it was Yale's Kim left holding them when the water settled. Kim broke the meet record, the all time Ivy League record, and earned her second NCAA B cut of the season. Kim improved on her already fast prelim time by dropping another .43 seconds. Her time of 1:02.05 was .29 seconds faster than the Ivy League record and .33 seconds faster than the NCAA B cut time. Also competing for Yale in the A final was Marilee Kiernan who took seventh with a time of 1:04.16. Dewing took 14th overall, competing in the B final, with a time of 1:05.75. In total, Yale claimed 68 points in the event.

The second to last event of the day was the 100-yard backstroke where Yale had only one entry. Davis took 12th overall, coming in fourth in the B final. Her time of 57.28 was good enough to earn Yale 15 points.

The Bulldogs took fourth in the 800-yard freestyle relay with a time of 7:29.76. The team of Hyde, Darwin, Nunn and Lucos earned 52 points for Yale. According to Keefe, it was a strong showing for Yale.

"Our relays swam really well today," said Keefe. "The 800-yard freestyle relay was just off the Yale record time and that was a team that featured two freshmen and two sophomores."

Both Harvard and Princeton earned NCAA B cut times with races of 7:13.71 and 7:14.03, respectively. Penn rounded out the top-three with a time of 7:23.38.

Looking ahead to tomorrow, the Bulldogs will be competing in the 1650-yard freestyle, 200-yard backstroke, 100-yard freestyle, 200-breaststroke, 200-yard butterfly, three-meter diving (final only) and 400-yard freestyle relay (final only). The 200-yard breaststroke promises to be another exciting event for Yale, as Kim has traditionally done better in the 200-yard than the 100-yard breaststroke.

"Susan Kim's 200-yard breaststroke could be the event that gets her into the NCAAs," said Keefe. "Based on her times today in the 100-yard breaststroke, she could have a very good swim tomorrow. We tend to do better in the longer events as a team, so tomorrow should be a good day for the team. I'm looking forward to some good events."

The prelims will begin at 11:00 a.m. with the finals starting at 6:00 p.m.

Report filed by Charles Moore '10, Yale Sports Publicity

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