Unbeaten rivals, Harvard, Princeton and Yale all faced off last Saturday in a meet that essentially decided the Ivy League women’s swimming and diving title.
Princeton (6–0) defeated both the Crimson (6–1) and Bulldogs (6–3, 4–2 Ivy), securing at least a share of the Ivy League win. Yale left Princeton with two losses, denying them any chance at the regular season championship.
“This meet definitely showed us some of our weaknesses, but I think we can learn from our mistakes so that we are ready to swim faster, smarter races when we face these teams again at Ivies,” captain Andrea Clifford ’10 said. “We’re only going to get better over the next couple of weeks as we start to rest for championships.”
Despite wins from Alex Forrester ’13 and Susan Kim ’10, the Bulldogs came up short in overall points, falling to Harvard and Princeton by scores of 180–120 and 191–107, respectively.
The Elis had a slow start to the meet: After a narrow loss and third place finish to Princeton’s A and B squads in the 200-yard medley relay, the Bulldogs could barely crack the top ten places in the next two events. In the 1,000-yard freestyle, Abigail Nunn ’12 was Yale’s highest finisher, placing tenth. Joan Weaver ’13, Annie Killian ’11, and Margaret Brown ’13 took the next three spots, respectively. In the 200-yard freestyle Yale fared similarly, with Kristin Darwin ’11, Cynthia Tsay ’13, Laura Grigereit ’10, and Ileana Lucos ’11 finishing ninth through 12th, respectively.
The Bulldogs had their first top-three finish of the day in the 100-yard breaststroke. Emily Dominski ’12 placed second with a time of 57.41. Molly Albrecht ’13 also scored points for Yale, finishing sixth in the event.
Kim was beaten in the 100-yard breaststroke — her first loss of the year in the event — by Princeton’s Courtney Kilkuts, but still managed to salvage second place, earning herself an NCAA B cut. Later, Kim got her revenge against Kilkuts in the 200-breaststroke, emerging with a win and another NCAA B cut.
An NCAA B cut means that the swimmer will be given consideration for a spot in the NCAA championships, while an A-cut guarantees the swimmer a spot.
The freshman Forrester earned NCCA B cuts in each of her three individual events of the day. She finished second in the 200-yard butterfly, just two seconds slower than an NCAA A cut time, then recorded victories in both the 100-yard freestyle and 100-yard butterfly. Clifford also came up strong in the 100-yard butterfly, dropping over four seconds from her season best and taking sixth place.
Paige Meneses ’13 and Rachel Rosenberg ’12 placed second and fifth, respectively, in both the three-meter and one-meter diving events. They both had already clinched spots in the NCAA Zone Diving Championships after their performances last week against Navy.
“H-Y-P was a good meet to have right before Ivies because it gave us the chance to face our strongest competition and figure out what we need to do in the next month to be better prepared,” Meneses said.
Erica Kao ’12, Tsay, and Dominski took sixth through eighth in the always-close 50-yard freestyle. Yale’s only points in the 200-yard backstroke came from Albrecht, who finished fifth. Similarly, in both the 500-yard freestyle and 200-IM, Yale only had one top-ten finish — from Weaver and Kim, respectively. The Bulldogs finished second in the final event of the day, the 400-yard freestyle relay, but it was not enough to change the overall standings for the meet.
“We were extremely psyched before the meet but I don’t think out morale has dipped,” Hayes Hyde ‘12 said. “[H-Y-P] was more of motivator than a deterrent.”
With one dual meet left in the season, Yale is now third in the conference. Since Princeton is 6–0 and Harvard is 5–1, the highest the Elis can finish is tied for second with Harvard depending on how each finish the regular season.
The Elis next face Brown on Wednesday at UMass-Dartmouth.