Three women divers, Rachel Rosenberg ’12, Paige Meneses ’13, and Christina Brasco ’14, kicked off a dominating performance by the women’s swimming and diving team over the weekend.
The three took the top spots on the 1-meter board as the Elis continued their undefeated season with decisive victories over both the University of Pennsylvania and Dartmouth. The Bulldogs beat the Quakers 179-121 and crushed the Big Green 193-107.
Rosenberg won the 1-meter diving event with a score of 269.15, followed closely by Meneses who finished in second with 263.80 points. Brasco finished with 243.00 points to grab third against Penn and fourth against Dartmouth since the meets were scored separately.
Rosenberg and Meneses switched places in the 3-meter event. Meneses won with 278.30 points and Rosenberg finished second with 253.05 points.
“It was funny. [Rachel] always wins the 3-meter and I win the 1-meter,” Meneses explained. “This time it was the opposite. I threw up one dive [on the 1-meter] and she hit everyone. On the 3-meter, all my dives were solid and she threw up one.”
Part of the divers’ success may have come from the support of their teammates. Captain Annie Killian ’11 said that it was a team goal to have everyone on deck to cheer on the divers. The Bulldogs met that goal this week. Almost every swimmer was out on the pool deck during both diving events cheering for the trio.
“We want to give them recognition for how well they’re doing,” Killian said. “Also, we’re a small team, so we need to be louder to have more of an impression on pool deck.”
With only 20 swimmers and three divers on the roster, the Bulldogs are the smallest squad in the Ivy League. For comparison, Penn lists 38 swimmers and divers on its roster, while Dartmouth lists 30.
But the small size has not compromised the team’s success to date. Killian thinks that the low numbers may even have an upside.
“There are so few of us that every person counts,” Killian said. “This has actually fostered a feeling of greater responsibility. Everyone matters.”
The success of the relays on Saturday attests to this outlook. The combined effort of Cynthia Tsay ’13, Athena Liao ’12, Hayes Hyde ’12, and Joan Weaver ’13 led the Bulldogs to a win in the 200-yard medley relay. It was the first time the Bulldogs won that relay this season.
The relay team of Weaver, Hyde, Ileana Lucos ’11, and Tsay captured first place in the 400-yard freestyle relay with a time of 3:31.02.
Coming off two meet records last weekend at Cornell, Liao had another stellar meet, winning all three of her individual events. She won the 100-yard breaststroke in 1:04.13 and the 200-yard breaststroke in 2:17.13 and hung on in the final lap of her 200-yard individual medley to win the race in 2:08.39.
“The times I did at Cornell, I have no idea how I did them,” Liao said. “My times weren’t as fast this weekend, but I was really pleased with them.”
Molly Albrecht ’13 continued to dominate the 200-yard backstroke and won the event this weekend with a time of 2:03.30. Capitalizing on her versatility, the coaching staff also placed Albrecht in the 200-yard and 500-yard freestyle. She finished second to Christine Kerr of Dartmouth in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:53.17 and second to Weaver in the 500-yard freestyle in 5:01.74.
“Molly is so talented,” said Killian. “She really can swim almost anything. She even has the pool record in the 500. She did great this weekend.”
The Bulldogs look forward to next Saturday, when they will take on Navy at Lejeune Hall in Annapolis, Md. and then to the following weekend, when they will tackle their toughest opponents in the Ivy League, Harvard and Princeton.