Dec. 3, 2008
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The Bulldogs will head to Charlottesville this week to compete at the University of Virginia Invitational. The event will be formatted just like the NCAA Championship and will take place over three days, beginning Thursday, Dec. 4.
The event will feature the host school, Virginia, and Division II school West Chester. Virginia is currently ranked No. 13 in Division I, according to the College Swimming Coaches Association. The Cavaliers are coming off of a win against Florida State and No. 15 Penn State. Mei Christensen of Virginia was named ACC performer of the week, as well as national swimmer of the week, by CollegeSwimming.com. West Chester, meanwhile, has not competed in two weeks, but defeated Division I school Lehigh in its last contest.
Yale is coming off of a victory of its own. The Bulldogs defeated Southern Connecticut State over Thanksgiving break by a score of 178-117. Yale won 10 of 16 events, sweeping three of them. Yale's divers started off the meet with a sweep in the three-meter diving. Freshmen Rachel Rosenberg and Elizabeth Andrekovich came in first and second, respectively, with junior Marisa J Poverman rounding out the top three. Yale's other sweeps came in the 100-yard butterfly and 50-yard freestyle. Junior Susan Kim won the 100-yard butterfly and senior Alexis Mann won the 50-yard freestyle.
Thursday's events will include the 200 free relay, 500 free, 200 IM, 50 free and the 400 medley relay. The schedule for Friday includes the 200 medley relay, 400 IM, 100 fly, 200 free, 100 breast, 100 back and 800 free relay. The meet will conclude Saturday with the 1650 free, 200 back, 100 free, 200 breast, 200 fly and 400 free relay.
This is the first time the Bulldogs will compete at the University of Virginia Invitational, but it promises to be a tough competition. The Bulldogs will be sending 16 swimmers to Virginia. Competing will be Kim, Mann, senior Emma Chapman, junior Andrea Clifford, sophomore Kristin Darwin, freshman Caroline Dewing, freshman Emily Dominski, freshman Hayes Hyde, freshman Erica Kao, senior Marilee Kiernan, sophomore Annie Killian, sophomore Ileana Lucos, senior captain Aidan McKinlay, freshman Abigail Nunn, senior Laura Strittmatter and senior Blake Walsh.
Noticeably absent from the list of athletes heading to Virginia are any of Yale's divers. That is because the divers will be competing in their own event at Rutgers. The Galbraith Diving Invitational will take place over two days, beginning on Saturday, Dec. 6. Since the event features only divers the focus is on the individual, as no team score is taken.
"This is an important meet for the divers," said Diving Coach Ryan Moehnke. "Since it is only diving, it gives each diver a sense of individual accomplishment. There are no team points given at this meet."
Last year, the Bulldogs had top-ten finishes in both the one- and three-meter diving, and finalists in both events. In the one-meter, Ali Jones '08 took fourth place and junior Marisa J Poverman took ninth. Senior Cameron Murphy and Rachel Litt '08 took 10th and 16th, respectively. In the three-meter, Murphy took eighth, while Jones took ninth. Litt placed in 16th again.
The meet will be just as competitive for the Bulldogs again. Army, LaSalle, Ivy rival Penn, Penn State, Rutgers and UMass will all be in attendance.
"Penn State has traditionally been very strong in the Big Ten Conference as well as nationally," said Moehnke. "I feel very good about this meet. The divers have been working very hard in and out of the pool. We look strong and confident."
The swimmers will begin competition at Virginia at 11:00 a.m. Thursday morning, while the divers take the stage on Saturday.
Report filed by Charles Moore '10, Yale Sports Publicity