SWIMMING | Kim ends career at NCAAs

The men’s swimming and diving team competed against UConn on Feb. 6 at the Robert J.H. Kiphuth Exhibition Pool. Yale beat its in-state rivals 174–126.
The men’s swimming and diving team competed against UConn on Feb. 6 at the Robert J.H. Kiphuth Exhibition Pool. Yale beat its in-state rivals 174–126. Photo by Nicholas Lombardo.

Susan Kim ’10 and Alex Forrester ’13 finished their seasons with top-15 finishes in the NCAA Championships in Indianapolis, Ind., this past Saturday night. Kim took 12th in the 200-yard breaststroke with a personal best of 2:09.85, while Forrester finished the 200-yard butterfly in 1:55.32, securing a 10th place finish.

Kim and Forrester were the only two Bulldogs competing in the championships, for which they qualified during the Ivy League Championships on Feb. 25-27.

Both Elis swam below their personal best times in the preliminary rounds, so they only qualified for the B finals — meaning they could finish no higher than ninth regardless of their final round times. Had Kim and Forrester qualified for the A finals, they would have finished in seventh and eighth, respectively, based on their final times.

Yet for Kim, the act of competing in the championships was enough of an accomplishment itself.

“Qualifying for and being a competitor at NCAAs was my personal goal for four years and certainly the focal point of my senior season,” she said. “I am proud to have competed for Yale in this way, at the very highest level.”

She added: “In the end, I won’t remember what my best times were — those numbers won’t matter at all. But I will always remember the long and difficult process that went into pursuing this goal.”

Kim finished her career holding the Yale, Ivy League Championship and Ivy League records in the 100- and 200-yard breaststroke. She earned four All-Ivy honors and was named Swimmer of the Meet at this year’s Ivy League Championship.

Forrester was the only Ivy League swimmer to qualify for either the A or B finals in both the 100- and 200-yard butterfly.

Eli divers Rachel Rosenberg ’12 and Paige Meneses ’13 ended their seasons at the Zone Diving Championships in Piscataway, N.J., on March 12-13, posting strong results in both the one- and three-meter events. Rosenberg qualified for the A finals in both, taking 12th and 15th, respectively, while Meneses placed 22nd and 16th. Despite their strong results, neither diver was able to join Forrester and Kim at the NCAA championships.

The men’s swimming and diving team ended its season with a fifth-place finish at the Ivy League Championships hosted by Princeton from March 4-6. Yale finished behind Princeton, Harvard, Columbia and Penn, the same four teams the Bulldogs fell to in regular season dual meets.

“The team goal was to get third place,” Matt Lee ’11 said. “We failed to achieve this goal with our fifth-place finish, which I know was a disappointment to the entire team. Now it’s important for us to use our failure as motivation for next year’s season.”

The Elis finished fifth with 895.5 points, 61 shy of Penn’s total and 101 off Columbia’s. Princeton easily claimed first with 1552.5 points, compared to second-place Harvard’s 1341.5.

The Bulldogs finished the first day in sixth place, with top Eli individual performances coming from Mike Dominski ’13 and Goksu Bicer ’12. Dominski placed fifth in the 500-yard freestyle, while Bicer tied for sixth in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 20.72. Dominski, Bicer, Craig Steen ’10 and captain Tom Robinson ’10 then finished fourth in the 400-yard medley relay.

The Elis had improved their position to fifth overall heading into Saturday, but they could not salvage enough points on the final day to claim a higher position.

Lee started the day strong for the Elis by finishing sixth overall in the 1,000-yard freestyle with a time of 9:16.69. Robinson then finished his Yale career with a second place performance in the 200-yard backstroke, good enough for second-team All-Ivy honors. His time of 1:46.79 was only seven hundredths of a second off first place. Bicer placed seventh in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 44.85.

The Bulldogs finished the championships in convincing fashion, taking second in the 400-yard freestyle relay as the team of Bicer, Kyle Veatch ’11, Dominski and Robinson finished the race in 2:59.91 — two seconds behind first place Princeton.

“As a whole, our team made a great run at some very aggressive goals,” Robinson said. “It seemed like it was always an uphill battle from the first close [dual meet] loss to Columbia. However, points and the team record are not the most important measures of success. This team showed a lot of promise this year for great improvement next year.”

Lee added that a strong recruiting class will be joining the team next fall.

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