After dominating the Ivy Championships and setting three school records three weeks ago, Meredith Bryarly ’01 spent spring break training for the NCAA Championships.
Yale’s top female swimmer turned in a solid performance at the NCAA Championships March 15-17 at the Nassau Aquatic Center in East Meadow, N.Y.
The only female qualifier from Yale, Bryarly finished 18th, 20th and 46th in the 50, 100 and 200-yard freestyle races, respectively.
The NCAA meet is one of the most prestigious meets in the country, and has tougher qualifying times than the U.S. Olympic Trials. This was the first year Bryarly has qualified for the meet.
“It is an intimidating meet,” Bryarly said. “I’ve never swum at a meet at that level before. I’ve always wanted to go to NCAAs, and it was definitely my goal for this year.”
Bryarly competed in three races over three days. Her first event of the meet was the 50-yard freestyle Thursday. In the race, Bryarly sprinted to 18th place in 23.04. She finished nine-hundredths of a second out of 16th place, which would have qualified her for the consolation final.
“It was a good swim,” Bryarly said. “But I would have really liked to have 16th, so I was kind of disappointed. After the turn, for 10 yards, I just wasn’t pulling water like I should have.”
Friday morning, she returned to the pool for the 200-yard freestyle and finished 46th in 1:50.41. Bryarly said she had mixed emotions about the race, which is traditionally her weakest event.
“It was a fun race,” she said. “My time was slightly slower than Ivies, and I wanted to do better.”
Bryarly finished the meet with the 100-yard freestyle Saturday. She raced to 20th place in 50.19, and missed the consolation final by .33 seconds.
Head coach Frank Keefe was pleased by Bryarly’s performances.
“She swam very, very well,” he said. “It’s the best she’s swum in the morning, and she handled the meet really well. And she enjoyed the experience.”
After her performance at NCAAs, Bryarly said she is considering swimming after college, although she will not train seriously this spring.
“Right now, I have a senior project to do,” she said. “This summer I’ll get back in the water. I might keep swimming for a couple of years.”
Keefe said he is confident that Bryarly has the ability to continue swimming competitively.
“Meredith is a big-time swimmer,” he said. “She could be successful, and it’s just a matter of finding a place to do it.”