The women’s swimming and diving team concluded its season over the weekend with a strong fourth place finish at the Ivy League Championship meet at Princeton’s DeNunzio Pool.
The home team Tigers were champions for the fourth consecutive year, followed by Harvard and Brown. No. 4 Yale easily distanced itself from Columbia and Penn, both projected to defeat the Bulldogs.
“Our team performed great. I was so proud of everyone,” captain Catey Bradford ’03 said. “We were only a few points away from Harvard and Brown for most of the meet, and there were a lot of great performances.”
Victories by Susan Cooke ’03 in the 200 and 400 individual medlies and Paige Harazin ’04 in the 200 freestyle helped Yale stay close. Cooke avenged her defeat to two Princeton and Harvard swimmers at the H-Y-P meet a month ago. She broke Yale’s school record in the 400 IM in the process at 4:20.20.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better end to 13 years of swimming,” Cooke said.
Harazin, seeded No. 1 in the 200 freestyle by setting Yale’s school-record at the H-Y-P meet, held her position in Friday night’s final, winning in 1:49.42 and nearly duplicating her 1:49.30 record.
Yale divers performed well. Melanie Loftus ’05 and Kathleen McKeon ’04 placed first and second in the one-meter springboard competition with scores of 265.50 and 238.10, respectively. Loftus placed fourth in the three-meter springboard competition, scoring 441.85 points.
“A lot of competitors struggled with consistency,” Loftus said. “Many of the top places in the three meter event didn’t final on one meter, and vice versa.” For her consistency, Loftus received the Diver of the Meet award.
Other standout performers included Heidi Kraus ’03, who placed in the top five in all three distance events: the 500, 1,000 and 1,650 freestyles. Amy Hancock ’04 placed in the final heat of both the 100 and 200 butterfly races. Harazin was a finalist in both the 100 freestyle and 200 IM, and Allison Rogers ’05 was a finalist in both the 1,000 and 1,650 freestyles.
To close the meet, the 400 freestyle relay team of Harazin, Cooke, Hancock, and Nicoletta Ruhl ’06 surprised everyone by out-sprinting both Harvard and Princeton to take second behind favored Brown.
“It just reflects how much heart we have on this team. We were definitely fired up, and it showed,” Harazin said. “Things like that definitely give us a lot of confidence and provide a great starting point for next year.”
But next year, Yale will be without Bradford, Cooke and Kraus.
“Our three seniors swam their hearts out and led the team with true grit and determination, as they have all season long,” Harazin said. “I can safely speak for the whole team when we say we’re going to miss them dearly next year.”