Competing in its first home event of the season, the Yale women’s swimming and diving team maintained its undefeated streak, besting Columbia by a wide margin on Saturday.
After two successful matchups on the road against Brown and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Bulldogs demonstrated their strength yet again at Kiphuth Exhibition Pool on Saturday, besting the Lions. Undefeated through two meets, Columbia proved to be formidable foe. Still, some of Elis’ fastest times of the season allowed Yale to take a dramatic lead, winning the event by a score of 205–90.
“Our times this week were a lot faster than at our meet against Brown and MIT,” Bebe Thompson ’20 said. “The energy on deck was unmatched. Everyone had so much fun, and it was an important test run to perfect our pre-race routines and race strategies for our upcoming championship meet at Ohio State.”
The Bulldogs dominated in the freestyles, managing to sweep the top three places in four of the events for that form.
Kendall Brent ’20, Raime Jones ’22 and Bella Hindley ’19 took first in the 1000-, 200- and 50-yard freestyle events, respectively. Ashley Loomis ’22 posted another successful showing in her inaugural season on the team, taking first in the 500-yard freestyle.
“The energy we had was insane — I think a lot of that came from being at home and having a pretty big crowd,” Charlotte Hylinski ’21 said. “That energy in turn gave us a lot of confidence for the rest of the season and especially leading into Ohio State this week.”
Yale matched its success in the freestyle competitions with decisive showings in the stroke events.
Cha O’Leary ’20 took the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:04.54, and Olivia Paoletti ’22 won the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 2:19.94.
Destiny Nelson ’20 recorded the top times in both the 200-yard individual medley (2:04.01) and the 200-yard backstroke (2:00.83). In the 100-yard backstroke, Hindley out-touched her competitors with a time of 54.54.
“The team was really excited for our first home meet, and this translated to our swims, which allowed us to compete very well,” Paoletti said. “It was a lot of fun to cheer on the team as well as be cheered on by the team, and it was particularly great for the first years as the first time racing in the [exhibition] pool.”
The butterfly events witnessed Alessandra Baldari ’22 win the first race of her college career, taking the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 55.95. Meanwhile, teammate Carrie Heilbrun ’19 won the 200-yard event with a stellar time of 2:02.79.
After a superb showing the previous week against the Engineers, the divers posted more mixed results this week. Although they came up short in the three-meter dive, the Bulldogs took the entire podium in the one-meter dive, with Hannah Walsh ’19 claiming her second consecutive win in two weeks, followed by Talbott Paulsen ’19. Marisa Conner ’22 also made her first collegiate podium appearance with a third-place finish in the one-meter event.
Yale’s win clinched the third victory in a row for the Bulldogs to open the season. The dual meet was also the only home event in the Bulldogs’ travel-heavy fall schedule this calendar year and one of just two in New Haven for the 2018–19 season.
The Bulldogs next head west for the Ohio State Invitational on Nov. 15 over their Thanksgiving break.
Alex Reedy | email@example.com