In heartbreaking fashion, the women’s swimming and diving team fell to Navy last Saturday in a competition that came down to the final event.
Heading into the 400-yard freestyle relay, the Bulldogs were leading 143–140 in overall points and needed a victory to clinch the dual meet win. After leading the race until the last leg, the Bulldogs came up short — finishing less than half a second out of first place — at Yale’s Robert J.H. Kiphuth Pool.
“I do not think there is any excuse for losing a meet this close,” captain Susan Kim ’10 said. “Navy came in with absolute determination and focus, from the very first event all the way through till the last relay. That focus is something we lacked at this meet.”
The meet began similarly to how it ended, with the Bulldogs losing to Navy by less than half a second in the 200-yard medley relay. In the 1000-yard freestyle, Navy secured its second win of the meet, with Abigail Nunn ’12 and Annie Killian ’11 finishing second and third, respectively. Alex Forrester ’13 placed second in the 200-yard freestyle behind Navy’s Tara Chapmon — only the second race of the year that Forrester failed to win.
The Elis suffered an unexpected blow when Molly Albrecht ’13 fainted on the starting block before the 100-yard backstroke. As a result, she did not compete in this race or the 200-yard backstroke, both events that she won two weeks ago at the Penn-Dartmouth meet.
“Not to say that Molly isn’t important, but she is just one girl,” Kim said. “We are a very talented team and needed to outperform Navy with the swimmers we had on Saturday.”
Despite Albrecht’s absence, Yale scored points in the 100-yard backstroke with a victory from Emily Dominski ’12. Kim and Athena Liao ’12 had a first and third finish in the 100-yard breaststroke, respectively. Although the Bulldogs could not salvage a victory in the 200-yard butterfly, Hayes Hyde ’12, Monica Tung ’13 and Ileana Lucos ’11 took second through fourth, respectively. Cynthia Tsay ’13 captured second in the 50-yard freestyle.
The Yale divers were nearly perfect on the day, taking the top four spots in the one-meter diving, and first and third through fifth in the three-meter. Paige Meneses ’13 and Rachel Rosenberg ’12 won the one-meter and three-meter events, respectively, and qualified for the NCAA Zone Diving Championships.
Forrester claimed her only individual victory of the day in the 100-yard freestyle, breaking a pool record in the process with a time of 50.55 seconds. In the 200-yard backstroke, the Bulldogs, without Albrecht, secured second place behind Jane Kim ’10, while Navy placed first, third and fourth. Susan Kim broke her own pool record in the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 2:13.47. In the 500-yard freestyle, Joan Weaver ’13 finished second after being neck-and-neck with Navy’s Chapmon for much of the race.
Navy also won the 100-yard butterfly, but Hyde, Tung and Lucos once again took second through fourth, respectively. Susan Kim placed first in the 200-yard IM, with Liao and Nunn taking fourth and fifth, respectively.
“We got down to the last three or four events, and I was scrambling to move people around,” coach Frank Keefe said in a press release. “I was just trying to get us to the freestyle relay with a chance to win. We got to the relay, and if it had been a 390-yard relay, we would have won the meet.”
As suggested by Keefe, the Bulldogs led for over 95 percent of the race but came up short down the final stretch.
“We were psyched up for Navy, but we have been looking forward to [Harvard, Princeton and Yale] since the beginning of the year,” Lucos said. “They are our toughest competition, and we will do well.”
The Elis face Harvard and Princeton in the HYP meet this coming weekend at Princeton.