With snowy New Haven as its backdrop, the Yale women’s swimming and diving team (5–2, 5–2 Ivy) entered the Robert J.H. Kiphuth Exhibition Pool for its last home meet of the season against Brown (5–5, 2–5 Ivy) on Monday. For the senior members of the team, this would be the last home meet of their collegiate swimming careers.
After a third-place finish at the annual Harvard-Yale-Princeton meet on Feb. 1–2, the team bounced back strongly, defeating Brown by a score of 173–127. Captain Joan Weaver ’13 rejected the notion that the disappointing performance in the previous meet had any impact on the team’s morale going into this one.
“What happened last weekend was no indication of what was going to happen this time,” she said. “It’s a matter of hitting the reset button and focusing on somewhere we can make a difference.”
Molly Albrecht ’13 added that the Bulldogs put last weekend’s meet out of their minds and focused on the matchup with Brown.
As it turned out, the last home meet of the season would have a few storybook elements involved. Yale does not have the separate pool that diving teams compete in at most meets. Instead, the divers were able to start off the competition in the same pool as the rest of the team, with their swimmer teammates cheering for them.
Right off the bat, Paige Meneses ’13 set the tone for the senior class, scoring a season-best 289.87 in the three meter event, 17 points better than her performance at HYP.
Swimmer Eva Fabian ’16 said that the seniors’ final competition in their home pool was special for the entire team.
“The seniors have been inspirational and supportive all season and we wanted to honor them at their last home meet,” Fabian said.
And in their last home meet, the senior class produced eight first-place finishes. Weaver and Alex Forrester ’13 each produced three first-place finishes, including a win in the 200-yard medley relay, which they swam together, to open the swimming events.
The energy spread to the rest of the team, as Fabian, Casey Lincoln ’16 and Callie Fosburgh ’16 produced a freshman class sweep of the top three spots in the 1000-yard freestyle. Fabian and Lincoln also helped the team complete the sweep in the 500-yard freestyle, coming in second and third, respectively, behind first-place Weaver.
The diving members of the team secured 29 out of a possible 38 points in their two events, quietly setting the pace for the rest of the team. Meneses followed up her season high in the three-meter with another first-place finish in the one-meter, earning 18 out of the Elis’ 29 diving points.
“The divers are so reliable and so consistently good,” Weaver said. “We can always rely on them for serious points.”
By the end of the meet, the Bulldogs had won handily and were left to reflect on their last home meet. The senior class, in particular, had a lot to think about.
Both Albrecht and Weaver expressed their gratitude for being a part of the team for so long, but they were both adamant in their desire to end the season on a good note.
“This has been the most fulfilling experience of my entire life,” Weaver said. “It’s over now and it’s kind of sad, but it’s also exciting to go out this way because our team is so awesome. We couldn’t have turned out with a better group of girls.”
Albrecht added that she was glad to be able to close this chapter of her life on a high note.
The Bulldogs will have over two weeks to train and rest before heading back to Princeton, N.J.,for the Ivy League Championships on the Feb. 28.