Tag Archive: W. Swimming

  1. W. SWIMMING | Bulldogs take fifth at Ivies

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    Going into the final day of the Ivy League Championships, the women’s swimming and diving team was clinging onto third place with a four-point lead over Penn (600-596). But despite an inspiring final day of competition, the Bulldogs were passed by both Columbia and Penn and took fifth place at the meet with 860 points, just 34 points shy of third place.

    Princeton netted 1,562 points to win the Championships, their 10th title in the last 12 years, while Harvard finished second with 1,436 points.

    “Thirty-four points can be made up in so many ways,” head coach Cristina Teuscher said. “We were all a bit disappointed, but I couldn’t be prouder of all the girls. All of them stepped up their game and we saw some amazing time drops. I really couldn’t have asked for more.”

    The relay team of Cynthia Tsay ’13, Ileana Lucos ’11, Hayes Hyde ’12 and Joan Weaver ’13 opened the meet for the Bulldogs with a third-place finish in the 200-yd freestyle relay.

    Molly Albrecht ’13 and Weaver were the next Bulldogs in the water, competing in the 500-yd freestyle. In the B final, Weaver surged passed Harvard’s Meghan Leddy to take the lead and went on to win the heat with a time of 4:52.70 to place ninth overall. In the A final, Albrecht had slightly different tactics and battled for the lead from the start. But after a final surge from Penn’s Shelby Fortin, Albrecht finished second with a time of 4:47.14, a one-second improvement over her performance last year.

    In the 200-yd IM, one of the fastest events of the meet with six swimmers under the NCAA B cut, Hyde touched sixth with a season-best time of 2:01.82. Lucos swam the event for the first time this season against Ivy League competition and placed 13th in 2:04.28. In the C final, Liao finished with a time of 2:03.80, placing 18th overall.

    The Bulldogs wrapped up the first day of competition with a second-place finish in the 400-yd medley relay with a time of 3:44.18. Albrecht split 56.26 for the backstroke leg, a time which would have placed her in the top eight of the 100-yd backstroke if she had swum the individual event. Both Liao and Hayes had breakthrough performances with splits nearly a second faster than their best times. Liao split 1:02.12 for the breaststroke leg and Hyde split 54.47 for the butterfly leg, her first time breaking 55 seconds. Weaver anchored the relay in 51.33.

    The team of Tsay, Liao, Hyde and Lucos kicked off the second day of competition with a third-place finish in the 200-yd medley relay. They touched in 1:42.98, the squad’s fastest time this season.

    Freshman Courtney Randolph ’14 had a breakout swim in the 400-yd IM, dropping two seconds from her prelim time to place sixth in 4:23.92. Hyde continued her stellar meet with a third-place finish in the 100-yd butterfly with a time of 54.53.

    The Bulldogs had a strong showing in the 200-yd freestyle, putting four swimmers in the top 16. Albrecht was the fastest Bulldog, finishing third in 1:48.43. Lucos was fifth in 1:49.23, Tsay was 10th in 1:50.82, and Weaver was 16th in 1:53.91.

    In the 200-yd backstroke, Albrecht matched Harvard’s Leddy and Princeton’s Meredith Monroe stroke-for-stroke through the entire race and snuck her hand to the wall for second place with a time of 1:56.72, only six-hundredths of a second behind Leddy who won the event.

    A one-and-a-half seconds separated the top five spots in the 100-yd breaststroke. Liao swam a personal-best time to finish third with a time of 1:02.13.

    “I was hoping to beat the girl from Brown [who ended up finishing second in the event] … But with the 100, it’s always over before I realize what’s going. It’s really quick … And honestly, I feel like I only have one speed of breaststroke,” Liao said.

    That one speed of breaststroke almost sent Liao home with an Ivy League Championship title in the 200-yd breaststroke. Liao finished just .35 seconds behind Princeton’s Andrea Kropp, an Olympic Trial qualifier, with a time of 2:12.64 for second place. It was Liao’s personal best in the event.

    “I was really inspired by [Albrecht’s] backstroke swim,” Liao said. “She did really, really well. After that, I thought if she can put herself out there and not leave anything behind, I could too.”

    Only a few minutes later, Hyde dove in for the 200-yd butterfly. She was motivated by the memory of the meet two years ago, when, as a freshman she won the event because her closest competitor, Harvard’s Kate Mills, had an asthma attack when her goggles fell off in the middle of the race.

    “I wanted to win this one for real this time,” Hyde said.

    And that she did. Not only did she defeat Mills and win the race this year, her time of 1:57.74 was an NCAA B qualifying time that currently seeds her 28th at NCAAs.

    “I felt that I was the one in control of the race,” Hyde explained. “I made a move in the third 50, but she was sticking with me. But I did more underwater kicks than I’ve ever done. I don’t know what possessed me but off that turn I was like, ‘she cannot catch me,’ and I pulled away. It was surreal. It was a great feeling to finally feel validated with the victory.”

    After disappointing 10th- and 14th-place finishes on the 3-mtr board on Thursday, divers Rachel Rosenberg ’12 and Paige Meneses ’13 came back to finish third and fifth on the 1-mtr board on Saturday. Only one point separated Rosenberg from first place.

    “I really wanted to win after the 3-mtr,” Rosenberg said. “I was so mad about that. But on the 1-mtr I was diving really well and just needed 7.5s or eights on my inward one-and-a-half pike, which I knew I could do, but I got sevens.”

    Teuscher was pleased with her team’s performance but is already looking to next year.

    “We’re hungry,” Teuscher said. “We walk away from this meet knowing our potential. We know where we’re heading. In three to five years, we’re aiming to win this. We’re on that road.”

    Over spring break, Rosenberg and Meneses will compete at the diving NCAA Zones in Anapolis, Md., while Hyde may compete at the NCAA Championships in Austin, Tex. pending other B cut qualifiers.

  2. W. SWIMMING | From injuries to records

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    There was no question in his mind that Athena Liao ’12 belonged at Yale.

    Don Galluzzi, the assistant coach and women’s recruiting coach of the swimming and diving team at the time, recognized the potential in Liao from the first time they met.

    “It was a no-brainer. She was a good student and a great kid. I saw she had fun with the sport.”

    Liao’s season to date includes multiple pool records, NCAA “B” qualifying times and personal best times. In the Ivy League Championship meet this weekend, Liao is a favorite to compete for the top spots in the breaststroke events, seeded third in the 100-yard breaststroke and second in the 200-yard breaststroke.

    But stymied by injuries, she has had an uphill battle to get to where she is now.

    Three and a half years ago, Liao, then a senior in high school, limped into Galluzzi’s office for the first time. She had just undergone surgery for an ACL injury suffered at the end of her junior year. Liao knew she wanted to swim in college but was concerned about the prognosis of a full recovery and her ability to contribute to the team.

    “Don wasn’t bothered by the injury and just told me, ‘You’ll recovery quickly,’” Liao explained. “Once other universities found out about the injury, they stopped talking to me. Yale was one of the only colleges that stuck with me to the end. That’s why I’m here.”

    Her freshman season did not pan out as well as she had hoped. Having just recovered from the ACL injury, she unexpectedly had to undergo surgery on her wrist, which had not healed properly after a bike accident during her senior year of high school. Sitting on pool deck for all but two meets of the season was not the introduction to college athletics that Liao had envisioned. She longed for the day when she could be in the water with the team.

    By the beginning of sophomore year, she was fully healed and determined to climb back to her previous fitness level and the times she had attained in high school. By the end of the season, she not only had reached those goals but exceeded them, achieving lifetime best times at the 2010 Ivy League Championships in what she considers her proudest moment in swimming.

    “I ended up doing a lot better than I thought I would,” Liao explained of her fourth- and fifth-place finishes in the 100-yard and 200-yard breaststroke events. “It was one of my first times racing in three years because of all my injuries. It was really reassuring. … [I]t’d been a long while but I was still able to go fast.”

    This was no fluke performance. At U.S. Short Course Nationals this past December, she eclipsed her personal bests from last season, finishing with times of 1:03.43, 2:15.23 and 2:05.78 in the 100-yard breaststroke, 200-yard breaststroke and 200-yard IM respectively. By early last month, she was breaking pool records, creating her own momentum, and leaving prior injuries and competitors in her wake.

    At dual meets this season, Liao consistently topped the scoreboard and was counted on to swim at her best times in every race. At the dual meet against Cornell on Jan. 8, she won both the 100-yard and 200-yard breaststroke races with meet record times of 1:03.94 and 2:16.47. Those performances were particularly outstanding since the meet took place at the end of two weeks of intense training.

    Liao has continued to dominate the breaststroke events. In the 200-yard breaststroke, which she perceives as her best event, she has been beaten only twice this season, once by Laura Gorinski of Navy and once by Olympic Trial qualifier Andrea Kropp of Princeton. Usually, she has easily outpaced her competitors and won by margins of over five seconds.

    Not only has she catapulted herself onto the Ivy League stage as one of the fastest breaststrokers, she also swims a strong 200-yard IM. The consummate team player, she swims these three events — the 100-yard and 200-yard breaststroke, and 200-yard IM — in nearly every meet.

    “She has not complained once,” complimented head coach Cristina Teuscher. “It’s boring to swim the same event over and over again. To take each race as a fresh attempt, it’s very hard to do that. We could have put her in the 100 fly or the 100 free, or even take her out of a third event, but we were 20 girls and needed her in those events.”

    It is in her training that Liao has had the opportunity for variation and self-focus. She often opts to train butterfly instead of breaststroke — which to many teammates is a more challenging alternative — and incorporates a variety of drills into her practice and meet warmup routine. She even chose to train with the men’s team one day a week to practice under a different coach and workout regime.

    “When I think of Athena and what’s she’s done this year, it’s all her,” Teuscher said. “It’s her commitment. It’s how she works hard. She feels things out for herself of what she needs and what she wants.”

    Liao realized many years ago that she swam her best when she was relaxed and confident. To this day, unlike many swimmers, she does not scrutinize heat sheets or rankings before meets and rarely glances at her opponents before a race. Her goal in each event is to focus entirely on herself and her race, to concentrate on pacing and technique, and to get to the wall as fast as she can.

    Liao’s personality is not what you might expect from such a highly accomplished, determined athlete. To her teammates, friends and coaches, Liao is one of a kind — a mixture of humility and confidence, seriousness and spunk. She embraces the team aspect of her sport. Whether it be team dinners or making posters for Senior Day, Liao is there. She is as much a presence on pool deck during meets cheering for her teammates as she is winning races in the pool.

    Teuscher believes that Liao has struck the perfect balance between individual intensity and spirited support, as well between swimming and other extracurriculars. After swim practice, she often heads to rehearsal with her dance group, Dance Works. Members of the group said Liao is an invaluable member and, because of her fitness, can handle challenging moves that other members cannot.

    “She’s really strong and clean with her movements so I can always put her in the front,” Dance Works choreographer Yanyao Fu ’11 said. “She also has a really great mind for it. I’ve seen her teaching other members, clarifying some of the moves.”

    Teuscher confirmed coach Galluzzi’s initial impressions about Liao as not just a talented athlete but outstanding student and person.

    “She’s a role model. She’s humble. She’s a team player. She’s consistent. She does a great job balancing and is simply a wonderful personality.”

  3. W. SWIMMING | Senior Day success for women’s team

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    It was simply a fantastic meet, head coach Cristina Teuscher said again and again. Almost every event was an outstanding race for the Bulldogs. With the largest crowd of parents, friends, and alumni supporters of the season, the women’s swimming and diving team embraced the spirit of Senior Day to conclude their duel meet season with a 171–129 win over Brown this past Saturday.

    The crowd was on its feet from minute one of the swim meet.

    In the 200-yd medley relay, backstroker Cynthia Tsay ’13 established an early lead of 0.91 seconds for the Bulldogs, which Athena Liao ’12 maintained throughout the breaststroke leg. However, as quickly as the Bulldogs had established their lead, it disappeared. Despite a strong butterfly leg from Hayes Hyde ’12, the Bears closed the gap to less than half a second. This week, the freestyle leg was swum by Michelle Huang ’14 who, despite a fast split of 24.00 seconds, could not get her hand to the wall fast enough. The Bulldogs finished second in 1:46.54, a mere five hundredths of a second after the Bears’ squad had finished.

    “This has happened to us a few times in that relay,” captain Annie Killian ’11 said of the close loss. “We’ve been struggling to find a freestyle anchor. It pretty much changes each week. It was a disappointing start to the meet, but we moved on.”

    Moved on might be an understatement, as the Bulldogs charged ahead to sweep the next event: the 1000-yd freestyle. Joan Weaver ’13 won the event with a time of 10:16.77 followed by her teammates Abby Nunn ’12 and Courtney Randolph ’14, who both finished ahead of the first Brown swimmer. Nunn touched second in 10:21.30 and Randolph finished third in 10:33.73.

    The 100-yd backstroke and 100-yd breaststroke were two of the closest races of the day. Versatile sophomore Molly Albrecht ’13 swam the 100-yd backstroke this week, and despite finishing in 57.85 — more than half a second faster than her winning time last year — was out-touched by Catie Pittman of Brown.

    “I couldn’t really see [Pittman],” Albrecht explained. “I was just plugging along. But I was really happy with the time. It’s not my favorite race, but I’m happy I got to swim it.”

    Liao, too, was out-touched in her race, the 100-yd breaststroke. Stroke-for-stroke, breath-for-breath, Liao and the neighboring two Brown swimmers were separated by just five hundredths of a second at the 50-yd mark. Liao fell just slightly behind on the last lap and finished third with a time of 1:05.08. Chelsea Dunlap ’14, who has been consistently the second Bulldog in this event all season, placed fourth in 1:08.91.

    The 200-yd butterfly was once again led by the Bulldogs’ duo of Hyde and Ileana Lucos ’11, who have consistently dominated this event all season. Hyde won the event this week with a time of 2:03.10 and Lucos finished close behind in 2:03.99. Both swimmers had season best times.

    The divers, too, had season-best scores and swept both the 1-mtr and 3-mtr events. Before the swim meet began, Rachel Rosenberg ’12 had six stellar dives on the 3-mtr board to win the event with a score of 306.15. This score was a lifetime-best and more than 30 points better than her winning score at this meet last year.

    “I had a great meet indeed,” Rosenberg said. “I did all of my really hard dives well. The judges were scoring pretty high so it was a bit inflated. But it was a fantastic final meet and everyone feels ready for Ivies.”

    Rosenberg also won the 1-mtr event with a score of 290.92. Paige Meneses ’13 finished second in both events and Christina Brasco ’14 rounded out the scoring for the Bulldogs in third in both events.

    “Christina has done a tremendous job as a freshman,” Teuscher said. “She’s really improved. I’m so proud of her.”

    The second half of the meet was even stronger than the first half for the Bulldogs; they won all but two events. Albrecht won both the 200-yd backstroke and 500-yd freestyle, well ahead of her competition in both events. She finished with times of 2:03.37 and 4:58.71 respectively. In the 500-yd freestyle, Weaver finished second in 5:04.80 and Killian finished fourth in 5:07.17.

    “The 500 is always at the end of the meet,” Albrecht explained. “Joan, Annie and I always have a lot before it so it’s hard to make it the focus. I guess it teaches us good strategy and making do with being tired and sore, and just doing the best we can.”

    Rebounding from her close loss in the 100-yd breaststroke, Liao easily won the 200-yd breaststroke in 2:17.42 as her closest competitor, Brianna Borgolini of Brown, was disqualified in the final 50 yards. Dunlap and Randolph finished in third and fourth with times of 2:29.27 and 2:29.38 respectively.

    Two events later, Liao was back in the pool for the 200-yd individual medley. Neck-and-neck for the first 150 yards with Kristin Jackson, Liao fell behind in the final freestyle leg and placed second with a time of 2:08.19. Angela Lee ’14 and Nunn placed fourth and fifth respectively.

    Having scored 160 points — well over the 151 points needed to win the meet — the Bulldogs dove in for the 400-yd freestyle relay, the last event of the day. Lucos, Tsay and Hyde swam the first three legs, trading the lead with the Bears’ squad. Weaver dove in for the anchor leg six-tenths of a second behind, but with a determined last lap, surged into the lead to secure the win.

    This Senior Day meet did not end with tears or nostalgia for the seniors — the underclassman, though, may have had slightly different reactions.

    “I was on the last relay with two freshmen and I think they were more emotional than I was,” Killian said. “It was a really lovely meet and the underclassman did a great job decorating the pool and making us seniors feel special for our last home meet.”

    But there is still the Ivy League Championships to look forward to. With the championship meet less than two weeks away, the team has begun tapering, reducing the yardage and intensity of their training. The meet begins on Thursday, Feb. 24 at Blogdett Pool in Cambridge, Mass.

  4. W. SWIMMING | Bulldogs fall to Connecticut rival

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    The meet came down to the last two events. After an afternoon of frantic reorganization and changes in the lineup, the Bulldogs had clamored back within striking distance of the UConn Huskies and needed to win both the 200-yd individual medley and 400-yd freestyle relay to have a chance at winning the meet. The Huskies, energized by their home crowd and Senior day, were just too strong for the Bulldogs, winning the 200-yd individual medley to claim the meet victory, 157–143, on Saturday.

    The Huskies were dominant in the first half of the meet, jumping to an early lead after successive wins in the 200-yd medley relay and 1000-yd freestyle. The Bulldogs soon became frustrated and concerned as what was anticipated to be a relatively easy meet was shaping into a challenging battle.

    “Going into the meet, I think we were a little overconfident thinking that we were going to beat them,” Ileana Lucos ’11 explained. “The first few events, they won, which was a blow to our self-esteem. There was a whole range of emotions.”

    In the 200-yd medley relay, the Bulldogs held an early lead thanks to Cynthia Tsay ’13, who had the fastest backstroke split in the field. By the time Hayes Hyde ’12 dove in for the butterfly leg, the UConn relay team established a 0.40 second lead. With a stellar 25.69 second split, Hyde leveled the field but could only watch in dismay as Meesh Ling of UConn swam the fastest freestyle split of the day, snatching first place away from the Bulldogs. The Yale relay team finished second in 1:47.65.

    The Huskies went on to place first and second in the 1000-yd freestyle as captain Annie Killian ’11 and Maggie Brown ’13 took third and fourth with times of 10:37.11 and 10:46.07 respectively.

    Joan Weaver ’13 and Hyde disrupted the Huskies’ winning streak, but only temporarily. They finished first and second respectively in the 200-yd freestyle. The next event, the 100-yd backstroke, saw another UConn victory. Tsay was stroke-for-stroke with Huskie swimmer Kati Kyle through the first three laps but was narrowly out-touched, 58.74 to 58.47.

    The Bulldogs needed some more points not only to narrow the meet but to restore some energy to the team. Lucos and Liao provided the Bulldogs with the boost they needed. Behind after the first 50, Liao swam the strongest final two laps in the field to win the 100-yd breaststroke by two hundredths of a second. Lucos swam her race differently and took the lead in the 200-yd butterfly from the start. She led through every lap and won the event with a time of 2:04.32. She also won the 100-yd freestyle.

    Lucos not only inspired her team with her performances in the water but also with her words. At the halfway point in the meet, she gathered the team together and encouraged everyone to attack each and every race.

    “Ileana gave a great speech in the middle of the meet,” Liao said. “She told us there was no reason we shouldn’t be winning the races. She was good at bringing the energy back into the meet.”

    The coaching staff, also recognizing that the meet was going poorly, rearranged the lineup. The initial lineup had most swimmers competing in off-events. For example, Liao had been given a rest from the 200-yd breaststroke, her best event which she frequently swims. Similarly, Hyde had a weekend off from the 200-yd butterfly and Weaver from the 100-yd freestyle. That all changed though and those swimmers were placed back into their strongest events.

    The Bulldogs were a new team after the break. They won five successive races, pulling themselves within 14 points of the Huskies. Molly Albrecht ’13 won the 200-yd backstroke and set a new pool record in the 500-yd freestyle with a time of 4:56.33. Liao won her specialty, the 200-yd breaststroke, with a time of 2:18.08, while Hyde and Lucos took first and third respectively in the 100-yd butterfly.

    Despite the slew of first places, the lack of depth — which the team of only 23 women has been struggling with all season — took its toll. In many events, the Huskies out-touched the second and third Bulldog swimmer, clinching an extra few points which ultimately determined the meet.

    “It was the most frustrating meet I’ve been to,” Lucos said exasperatedly. “We should have won. It was completely plausible to beat them.”

    While the Bulldogs walk away from this meet with another loss to their record, they recognize this was a good learning experience.

    “This was a good wake up call,” head coach Cristina Teuscher said. “We had some great swims but it reminds us we need to stay focused and sharp for the next few weeks. We can never let up an inch.”

    Their next dual meet is next Saturday against Brown at home at 1 p.m.

  5. W. SWIMMING | Bulldogs finish third – again

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    Many things changed for the Bulldogs this year — a new coaching staff, a home pool advantage, and a new squad of freshmen — but the results of the Harvard-Yale-Princeton meet did not. Princeton won the meet for the fourth year in a row, beating Harvard, 207–73, and Yale, 234.4–65.5. The Bulldogs fell to the Crimson, 217–83.

    [ydn-legacy-photo-inline id=”5089″ ]

    The spotlight of the meet belonged to the Tigers, who won all 16 events and setting seven pool records. The smaller Bulldog squad, with 20 fewer swimmers on its roster than Princeton’s, could not keep up.

    “I think it was a little intimidating and it overwhelmed people this weekend — especially the underclassmen,” Ileana Lucos ’11 said. “We weren’t going slower than we usually do. The other teams were just so fast and so big.”

    While the Bulldogs are none to make excuses, many swimmers mentioned that the Harvard and Princeton swimmers wore racing suits and were rested and shaved for the meet. The Bulldogs, on the other hand, went into this meet unrested, amidst a month of tough training. Cynthia Tsay ’13 posited that even if the Bulldogs had been rested and shaved, the final score wouldn’t have been that different.

    “The talent on the other teams far surpassed us,” Tsay said. “They have really, really strong freshman classes. There were times it was pretty rough, but overall I thought we did well and stayed focused and raced well.”

    The rough times did not start right away. In the first swimming event, the 200-yd medley relay, the team of Tsay, Athena Liao ’12, Hayes Hyde ’12 and Lucos outpaced the Harvard relay squad to take third behind Princeton’s ‘A’ and ‘B’ relay teams in a time of 1:45.16. Tsay, Liao, and Hyde have swum this race together many times this season, but the fourth swimmer has varied. Lucos stepped in this weekend and was a force to be reckoned with. She anchored the relay with a blistering 23.26 second split to touch seven hundredths of a second ahead of the Harvard squad.

    “It was really exciting,” Hyde said. “Ileana did really well. When she touched the wall, the men started chanting ‘no suits, no suits.’ We were definitely motivated after that. We felt we were in the hunt.”

    Harvard, however, overtook the Bulldogs in the next event, the 1000-yd freestyle, and never looked back. Molly Albrecht ’13, the top finisher for the Bulldogs in the 1000-yd freestyle, finished in tenth with a time of 10:15.84. Princeton and Harvard grabbed the top nine places.

    The 200-yd freestyle did not differ much from the 1000-yd freestyle. Joan Weaver ’13 placed eighth in 1:53.90, followed by teammates Michelle Huang ’14 and Kristin Darwin ’11 who finished 14th and 20th respectively.

    In the 100-yd backstroke, Albrecht placed sixth, only eight hundredths of a second ahead of Tsay who touched in 58.55 for seventh place.

    “We came in knowing that they were going to go really, really fast,” Tsay said. “There were times when girls in the earlier heats were going faster than my personal bests. I just had to be more concerned with my times rather than my place.”

    Liao, too, said she preferred to focus on her own race and was pleased with her 100-yd and 200-yd breaststroke swims. She placed fourth in the 100-yd breaststroke with a time of 1:04.64 and second in the 200-yd breaststroke in 2:17.69. Her second place finish was the highest place of any Bulldog in the meet.

    “That time I went in the 200 is what I’ve been doing in the rest of the meets so far,” Liao explained. “Since I race the 200 breaststroke so often, I’m good at internalizing what I need to do. Usually, I can swim the same good race.”

    The 200-yd individual medley was not as successful as she had hoped. She was the top finisher for the Bulldogs, finishing 10th in 2:09.96, but said that there remain many aspects of her race to improve.

    Hyde continued her consistent junior season, once again leading the charge for the Bulldogs in the butterfly events. She finished third in the 200-yd and sixth in the 100-yd butterfly. Lucos followed close behind in both races, finishing eighth in the 200-yd and 100-yd butterfly.

    “The 200 fly felt pretty good,” Hyde said. “I think this is my best time all season without resting and suits. It’s exciting to be at this point since I’m averaging two seconds faster than last year.”

    The last event, the 400-yd freestyle relay, was a dramatic conclusion to the two-day meet. After two legs of the relay, only a second and a half separated first from third. With all of the swimmers, divers, and spectators on their feet, Princeton began to open up a slight lead over Harvard and Yale and touched the wall first in 3:22.31. The Bulldogs finished third in 3:28.78.

    While the pool records and ultimate victory belonged to Princeton, the consensus of the Bulldog squad was positive. Many said that the Bulldogs swam quite well but simply were overshadowed by the sheer depth of talent that Princeton and Harvard boasted.

    “When you look at it on paper, it doesn’t look so good,” Hyde said. “But if you were at the meet, you saw how hard the girls were working and how hard they were trying.”

    The Bulldogs will take on UConn at 1 p.m. on Saturday.

  6. W. SWIMMING | Navy tests swimmers to the limit

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    It was a battle of undefeated teams, an afternoon of thrilling races and pool records. Even the fastest Bulldogs were challenged. Despite a myriad of determined, solid performances, the Bulldogs could not prevent Navy from handing them their first loss of the season, 161–139.

    “We lost not because we swam worse than normal but because they were just a better team,” Athena Liao ’12 explained. “We knew winning would be really hard, so I’d say we held on pretty well.”

    The Bulldogs were lead by Molly Albrecht ’13, who continued her stellar sophomore season — she won all three of her individual races — and by divers Rachel Rosenberg ’12 and Paige Meneses ’13, who posted personal-best scores to take first and second in both diving events.

    Meneses won the 1-mtr diving event with a personal-best score of 282.53. Rosenberg was second with 264.00 points. They then switched places in the 3-mtr event as Rosenberg won with 305.48 points, her personal-best on the board. Meneses comfortably placed second with 282.68 points.

    As the divers were outscoring Navy in the diving well, the swimmers were engaged in a heated battle at the other side of the pool.

    The Bulldog swimmers got off to a rocky start when their ‘A’ relay was disqualified when Cynthia Tsay ’13 false started at the beginning of the race, leaving all the pressure on the ‘B’ relay team of Albrecht, Chelsea Dunlap ’14, Allison West ’14 and Michelle Huang ’14. The Bulldog ‘B’ team could not keep up with Navy’s ‘A’ and ‘B’ relay teams and ended up finishing third, leaving the Bulldogs in a 15-2 point deficit after the first event.

    But the Bulldogs quickly rebounded. The next event, the 800-mtr freestyle, leveled the meet at 18–18 as Joan Weaver ’13 and Abby Nunn ’12 easily outpaced the rest of the competition to place first and second respectively. Courtney Randolph ’14 had a spectacular finish in the race, gaining four seconds on Haley Nowak of Navy in the final 150 meters to touch just ahead of Nowak for third place with a time of 9:12.00.

    “That was a really great finish,” complimented captain Annie Killian ’11. “We were so excited. That was a great event for us all around.”

    Albrecht gave the Bulldogs another boost in a thrilling 200-mtr freestyle race. Trailing by nearly a second, then half a second, then two hundredths of a second, Abrecht finally overtook Allison Ranzau of Navy in the last few meters of the race to win the event in 2:03.45. Ileana Lucos ’11 stoically swam through a shoulder injury and placed third in this event in 2:06.30.

    Albrecht also won the 400-mtr freestyle with a time of 4:23.70 and remained undefeated this season in the 200 backstroke, winning the event this weekend in 2:16.58.

    “I was really pleased with my swims,” Albrecht said. “Because the pool was in meters, we didn’t have anything to compare our times to. So, it was fun to forget about times for once and just focus on racing.”

    The meet was held at Lejeune Hall in Annapolis, Md., a short course meter pool. This is the Bulldogs’ only meet this season in a short-course meter pool. All the other meets are at short course yard facilities. Some swimmers said there is little perceptible difference between yards and meters, but others said the extra distance results in a few extra seconds of unwanted exhaustion.

    Even if the Bulldogs were a bit more tired than normal in the final few seconds of their races, they did not show it. Like Albrecht, Hayes Hyde ’12 steadily gained on her opponent Toni Paruso who raced out to an early lead in the 200-mtr butterfly. Hayes caught Paruso in the final few strokes but Paruso dove for the wall just ahead of Hyde to win the event in 2:16.43. Hyde finished only a few hundredths of a second behind with a time of 2:16.52.

    “I am little frustrated I couldn’t catch her,” Hyde said. “I outsplit her on the last 50 by 1.5 seconds. I didn’t even think at the 150 that I was going to catch her but I’m glad that I came as close as I did. I split the race really well.”

    Hyde finished second to Paruso again in the 100-mtr butterfly. Paruso set a pool record of 1:01.51 as Hyde touched in 1:03.36.

    “The hundred was a bit different,” Hyde continued. “I know speed for me always comes with a taper so if I’m capable of going that fast unrested, then I’m really excited for Ivies.”

    Liao, who has won all her events the past two weekends, had a much more challenging meet this Saturday. Her formidable opponent was Navy’s Laura Gorinski, who smashed two pool records as she went on to win the 100-mtr breaststroke, 200-mtr breaststroke, and 200-mtr individual medley ahead of Liao.

    “Every time I was behind the blocks for my races, there was always the same person standing next to me,” Liao said in exasperation. “She raced me every time and she beat me every time. It was a bit frustrating.”

    After the meet, the swimmers and coaches converted the short course meter times from the meet to short course yard times that they are more familiar with. They said they were pleasantly surprised with what they saw.

    “The times were comparable to where we want to be at this point in the season,” Teuscher said. “We’re looking good.”

    Despite the loss, the Bulldogs look back on this meet as valuable preparation for next weekend’s showdown with Harvard and Princeton. They plan to treat this upcoming meet as any other regular season meet but recognize that it is a great opportunity to see how well they match up against their toughest Ivy League opponents before the Ivy League Championships in February.

    The two-day tri-meet meet with the Crimson and Tigers will take place at home at the Kiputh Exhibition Pool. The diving events begin on Friday at 2:00 p.m. and the swimming events begin at 6:00 p.m. Diving will recommence on Saturday at 10:00 A.M. and swimming at 12:00 p.m.

  7. W. SWIMMING | Divers and relays shine against Penn and Dartmouth

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    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.

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    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.

  8. SWIMMING | Mixed results for swimmers at Cornell

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    The men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams started off the new year with dual meets at Cornell on Saturday, and saw opposite results. The men’s team fell to the Big Red 134–166 while the women won a decisive victory, winning all but four events to finish with a final score of 187–113.

    The men came out to a hot start with four successive victories. Eric Olson ’11 won the 1-mtr diving event while Tyler Pramer ’14 won the 3-mtr diving event with scores of 289.13 and 333.90 respectively.

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    “Cornell has pretty good divers but our divers were great,” captain Kyle Veatch ’11 said. “We were ahead before the [swim] meet even started.”

    The relay team of Jason Choi ’11, Chris Luu ’12, Veatch and Pat Killian ’14 began the swimming events with an exciting finish in the 200-yd medley relay. They clinched first in 1:34.03, only tenths of a second ahead of Cornell.

    The meet continued to look good for the Yale men as Matt Lee ’11 and Mikey Bogese ’14 finished first and third respectively in the 1000-yd freestyle.

    Despite strong performances by Killian, West Cuthbert ’14 and Ed Becker ’14 in the next event, the 200-yd freestyle, the Big Red disrupted the Bulldogs’ momentum and grabbed the victory in the event. Killian finished second in 1:43.42, Cuhtbert finished third in 1:44.50, and Becker finished fifth in 1:44.96.

    The event was the turning point in the meet as Cornell went on to win the next three races.

    Luu lead the charge for the Bulldogs in the breaststroke events but could not keep up with the final surges of Julian Chan of Cornell. Luu finished second in both the 100-yd and 200-yd breaststroke with times of 58.91 and 2:08.52 respectively.

    Veatch continued his successful season in the sprint events, winning both the 50-yd freestyle and 100-yd butterfly with times of 21.30 and 50.11 respectively.

    “I felt best in my 100 fly,” Veatch said. “I thought I swam well considering the ten days of hard swimming before hand. I should have won the 100 free though.”

    Dean Holcomb of Cornell came from behind to win the 100-yd freestyle in 46.85, less than three-tenths of a second ahead of Veatch.

    The Bulldogs needed strong swims from the distance trio, Lee, West Cuthbert ’14 and Bogese, in the 500-yd freestyle to keep within striking distance of the Big Red. Cornell, however, had two touches go in their favor, leaving the Bulldogs with a 2-4-5 finish. Lee touched in 4:39.18, four tenths behind first place. Cuthbert finished in 4:44.62, less than three tenths behind third place, and Bogese finished in 4:45.37.

    “That was the nail in the coffin,” explained Veatch. “We put up a strong fight but just couldn’t do it.”

    The women had a different fate.

    They were propelled to a 187-113 victory by Molly Albrecht ’13, Hayes Hyde ’12, Athena Liao ’12, and Rachel Rosenberg ’12, who won two individual events each.

    “It’s been since the beginning of December since they’ve swum a meet,” head coach Cristina Teuscher said. “They stepped up and did really well. I’m really excited and proud of them.”

    Despite the meet’s conclusive final score, the Bulldogs were challenged in the beginning. The relay team of Cynthia Tsay ’13, Liao, Hyde, and Joan Weaver ’13 were touched-out in the 200-yd medley relay. They finished second in 1:46.38, less than three tenths off of first place.

    That initial loss was quickly remedied in the 1000-yd freestyle. Abby Nunn ’12, Angela Lee ’14 and Maggie Brown ’13 placed first, third, and fourth respectively. And the Bulldogs never looked back from there.

    They went 1-2-3 in the 200-yd freestyle. Albrecht won the event in 1:52.24 as teammates Ileana Lucos ’11 and Annie Killian ’11 finished second and third respectively.

    Tsay continued the Bulldogs’ winning streak, placing first in the 100-yd backstroke in 58.25.

    The most outstanding performances of the day belonged to Liao, who not only won two events but also broke two pool records. In the 100-yd breaststroke, Cornell sophomore Jessie Holley matched Liao stroke-for-stroke through the first two laps but could not hold on as Liao pulled ahead in the final two laps to win with a pool-record time of 1:03.94.

    No competitor came close to Liao in the 200-yd breaststroke. She took the lead from the start and won by over eight seconds with a time of 2:16.47, an NCAA B cut and pool record. The previous record was held by standout Yale swimmer Susan Kim ’10.

    “I was really excited because when I touched the wall after both my races, I didn’t expect to see those times up there [on the scoreboard],” Liao remarked elatedly. “Hopefully it’s a good sign for the rest of the season.”

    The Bulldogs had two more 1-2-3 finishes. In the 100-yd freestyle, Weaver, Erica Kao ’12 and Michelle Huang ’14 finished in 53.66, 54.14, and 54.21 respectively. And in the 500-yd freestyle, Killian, Weaver and Courtney Randolph ’14 touched in 5:09.28, 5:09.38, and 5:10.94 respectively.

    Hyde touched first in both the 200-yd butterfly and 200-yd individual medley.

    “I’m pleased,” Hyde said. “This meet was about getting into the habit of racing. Doing everything right, tactically and mentally. Everyone did really well.”

    Rosenberg also was a double winner. She won both the 1-mtr and 3-mtr diving events with scores of 275.93 and 299.03 respectively.

    The women hope to continue their winning streak next Saturday when both the men’s and women’s teams have home meets against University of Pennsylvania and Dartmouth.

    “There’s a great team atmosphere,” Teuscher said. “We need to keep the pace going and keep everyone healthy. We’ll take one meet at a time.”

  9. W. SWIMMING | Kodak finish in Vermont

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    For the first time this year, the women’s swimming team’s weekend meet came down to the very last race.

    Coming into that event, the 200-yd butterfly, the Bulldogs found themselves with only a 114–112 advantage over the University of Vermont’s Catamounts and needed a win to pull off a victory. The relay team was down by half a second coming into the fourth leg and a Vermont victory seemed likely. But in a picture perfect finish, anchor Michelle Huang ’14 swam the last 50 yds in 24.38 seconds, clinching the relay by just five-hundredths of a second and the meet victory for Yale, 125–118.

    “We were really excited at the end when Michelle had that amazing relay leg,” Nunn said. “After the relay won, Annie started chanting ‘Bulldogs’ and everyone joined in. It was awesome.”

    The dual meet proved to be the most exciting and intense meet of the year thus far, as the two teams battled back and forth for any slight edge throughout the competition.

    Despite what swimmers described as an unusually cold pool and the hoards of Vermont student and resident supporters, the Bulldogs won seven of the 12 races. Cynthia Tsay ’13 led the way in the swimming events, winning two individual races. With the fastest last lap in the field, she came from behind to win the 200-yd freestyle with a time of 1:54.60. Her second victory came in the 100-yd freestyle where she touched in 52.81, over two seconds ahead of the next finisher.

    Kao won the 50-yd freestyle in 25.19, as teammate Gabrielle Bunney ’14 also scored points for the team, placing fourth in 26.21.

    Nunn found success despite having three closely scheduled races. Less than half an hour after placing second in the 400-yd individual medley with a time of 4:35.54, Nunn dove in for the 200-yd butterfly. With a final surge in the last 50 meters, Nunn touched the wall in first with a time of 2:09.29. Ten minutes later, she was in the pool again, this time for the 500-yd freestyle. She placed second in 5:11.00.

    “I was happy with my performances given the circumstances,” Nunn said. “Normally if I’m swimming that much, the events are more spread out. I was pretty tired by the 500. I knew the meet was close so I just kept going.”

    Courtney Randolph ’14 and captain Annie Killian ’11 rounded out the scoring for the Bulldogs in the 500-yd freestyle, placing third and fifth respectively. The same distance duo had strong swims in the 1000-yd freestyle, finishing in second and third with times of 10:37.21 and 10:44.57 respectively. Both distance freestyle events were won by Kailey Gardner of University of Vermont.

    The competition was not confined to the pool. The Yale team valiantly combated Vermont supporters with their own Bulldog cheers and chants, particularly during the diving events. The divers thrived off of the energy of their shouting teammates and convincingly won both diving events with 1–2–3 finishes. Rachel Rosenberg ’12 finished on top in both the 1-m and 3-m events with scores of 275.62 and 288.30 respectively. Paige Meneses ’13 and Christina Brasco ’14 were second and third respectively in both events.

    “It was awesome,” Rosenberg said. “The swimmers went nuts after every dive. The louder they were, the higher the scores the officials flashed.”

    After the 3-m diving event, the Bulldogs led the Catamounts, 107-100. However, the Catamounts won the next event, the 200-yd breaststroke, to pull within two points, 114–112. Chelsea Dunlap ’14 and Angela Lee’s ’14 second and third place finishes in the race helped Yale keep their narrow lead before the Bulldogs’ 200-yd freestyle relay team took first place for the meet win.

    While their teammates braved the cold in Vermont, Molly Albrecht ’13, Alex Forrester ’13, Hayes Hyde ’12, Athena Liao ’12, Ileana Lucos ’11 and Joan Weaver ’13 headed west to Ohio to compete at U.S. Short Course Nationals alongside other collegiate swimmers and Olympians like Jessica Hardy and Ryan Lochte.

    “It was a great opportunity to compete with some of the best teams in the college circuit,” Hyde explained. “In the 200 fly I was in a heat with a girl who won NCAAs last year. That was when it hit home. I was like ‘Wow, this is cool.’”

    Forrester had a strong meet, placing fifth in the 100-yd butterfly in 52.70, 18th in the 50-yd freestyle in 23.03, and sixth in the 200-yd butterfly in 1:55.51. Hyde finished 15th in the 200-yd butterfly in 1:59.70, a time with which she was particularly pleased.

    “My 200 fly was the first time I’ve broken two minutes since freshmen year. It was exciting to get back to that level again,” Hyde said.

    Liao also had a great meet, swimming personal best times in the 100-yd and 200-yd breaststroke. She touched in 1:03.43 in the 100-yd breaststroke, and 2:15.23 in the 200-yd breaststroke, which placed her twenty-third overall in that event.

    “The whole meet was really fun,” Hyde said enthusiastically. “I think it’s a great thing to swim on a national level this early in the year. It’s really good mentally, and I would definitely hope we do something like this again.”

    The next meet for the Bulldogs is during winter break on Jan. 3 at Cornell University.

  10. W. SWIMMING | Strong swims in Boston

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    Like the majority of Yale, the women’s swimming team traveled to Boston last weekend. But unlike their classmates who were at the Yale-Harvard football game, the swimming team spent Saturday and Sunday in the pool at Boston University, competing at the Terrier Invitational.

    The team finished in fifth place with 407 points. Boston University won the invitational with 865.5 points. The final score reflects the events from all three days of competition, including the Friday sessions in which the women did not compete because of budget restrictions.

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    “Our goal was to swim smart races — get hands on the wall and just race,” head coach Cristina Teuscher said.

    The relay team of Alex Forrester ’13, Cynthia Tsay ’13, Joan Weaver ’13 and Hayes Hyde ’12 won the 800-yd freestyle relay in a time of 7:33.27. The same squad placed second in the 400-yd freestyle relay in 3:28.03. The 200-yd medley relay team of Tsay, Athena Liao ’12, Hyde and Forrester placed third with a time of 1:47.55.

    The Bulldogs also had strong performances in the individual events. Forrester won the 100-yd butterfly, 200-yd butterfly and 200-yd freestyle. Her 53.84 second time in the 100-yd butterfly finals hovered just under half a second above the pool record she set as a swimmer for Bluefish Swim Club in 2008, when high-tech suits were still permitted.

    “I’m pleased with my swims, but it’s hard to tell this early in the season. You get up and race, and that’s that,” Forrester said.

    Weaver had a fantastic race in the 1650-yd freestyle on Sunday, dropping 22 seconds off of her lifetime best and finished second in 17:02.61.

    “I’ve only swum the mile once before,” Weaver said. “I was nervous to go out too fast. I went out slow, felt good, and picked it up, and it turned out alright.”

    Meaghan Grimes of Boston University won the race in 16:44.62, setting a meet record. Molly Albrecht ’13 and Abby Nunn ’12 finished in fifth and sixth place with times of 17:15.65 and 17:18.30 respectively.

    According to Teuscher, the swimmers proved their toughness and raced well. “We are a small but mighty team,” Teuscher said.

    Forrester echoed Teuscher’s sentiments. “I think people got up and raced and definitely did their best given that we weren’t rested,” Forrester said.

    Six swimmers who have achieved the necessary qualifying times will travel to Columbus, Ohio for Short Course Nationals on Dec. 2-4, while the remainder of the swimmers and divers will compete in a dual meet at the University of Vermont on Dec. 4.

  11. W. SWIMMING | Bulldogs triumph over Columbia

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    The women’s swimming and diving team kicked off the season with a convincing 174–126 victory over Columbia this past Friday, winning 11 of the 16 events.

    The dual meet was the first official test for the new coaching staff of head coach Cristina Teuscher, assistant coach Toni Pullman, and diving coach Chris Bergère. It was a positive start for the young team led by only three seniors, Kristin Darwin ’11, Ileana Lucos ’11, and captain Annie Killian ’11.

    “I was happy. We have been talking a lot about racing and we proved we are headed in the right direction,” Killian said.

    After a difficult start in the swimming events with losses in the 200-yard medley relay and 1,000-yard freestyle, the Bulldogs countered Columbia’s initial momentum with a one-two-three finish in the 200-yard freestyle. Molly Albrecht ’13 swam a strong final lap to win the event with a time of 1:51.48, followed closely by her teammates Ileana Lucos and Joan Weaver ’13.

    The Bulldogs carried their momentum into the 100-yard backstroke, claiming first and second. Alex Forester ’13 won the event, touching way ahead of the field with a time of 56.64. Cynthia Tsay ’13 grabbed second in 59.04.

    But the Bulldogs could not keep that momentum going into the 100-yard breaststroke. Without the dominating presence of Susan Kim ’10, who graduated last year after an undefeated season in the breaststroke events, the Bulldogs were unable to restrain Columbia in the event as the Lions took first, second and fourth. Athena Liao ’12 broke up the Lions’ charge, finishing third in 1:06.29, only .02 seconds out of second place.

    With the meet tied at 56–56, Hayes Hyde ’12 had a strong performance in the 200-yard butterfly, winning the event in 2:03.81 to tip the score in the Bulldogs’ favor. Lucos finished strong in 2:05.37 to place second. Hyde also won the 200-yard individual medley.

    Forester continued her dominant performances, decisively winning the 50-yard freestyle and 100-yard butterfly. In the 50-yard freestyle, Erica Kao ’12 touched for third, leaving the Bulldogs with an 83–67 lead going into the 1-meter diving.

    The divers had stellar performances on both the 1-meter and 3-meter boards. Rachel Rosenberg ’12 won the 3-meter event, while Paige Meneses ’13 placed second. They switched places in the 1-meter as Meneses won the event with a score of 265.67, qualifying for NCAA Zones.

    “I never thought I’d qualify for Zones in our first meet,” Meneses said. “It was such an exciting meet.”

    The diving squad has had a particularly challenging past four weeks. After the unexpected departure of diving coach Ryan Moehnke only three days into the season, the seven women and men divers were left without a head coach and consistent practice routine. Chris Bergère, the new diving coach from the University of Michigan, was appointed at the end of last week, instructing the divers for the first time at the meet.

    “Despite the tumultuous preseason, we stepped up and performed really well,” Meneses said. “Everyone — Coach Bergère and us divers — has a positive attitude. This is a huge time of change, but we are excited for what is to come.”

    After the diving break, Albrecht continued her successful meet, winning the 200-yard backstroke and 500-yard freestyle by comfortable margins with times of 2:04.31 and 4:59.81, respectively. Weaver supported Albrecht in the 500-yard freestyle, taking second in 5:03.44.

    “I’m happy with my performances and the determination and perseverance of the team,” Albrecht said. “What a great start to the season.”

    The Bulldogs concluded the meet with a one-three finish in the 400-yard freestyle relay. At the halfway point of the race, Columbia led by half a second. With swimmers, divers and spectators cheering, the Bulldogs chased down the Lions and concluded the meet with two thrilling relay performances. The team of Weaver, Hyde, Kao, and Tsay won the event with a time of 3:33.28. The team of Lucos, Gabrielle Bunney ’14, Allison West ’14 and Michelle Huang ’14 placed third.

    The dual meet came after six weeks of intense training. Practice officially started on Oct. 1.

    “October was a hard month,” Killian said. “There were some rough times. However, we’re really serious about our training and supporting others. We had a good start and are headed in the right direction.”

    Although the Bulldog squad is the smallest swimming and diving team in the Ivy League this year, it is determined to prove its position as one of the best teams. Last year the team had a 5–2 dual meet record against its Ivy League opponents. At the Ivy League Championships, the team placed third, behind first place by less than 120 points.

    “We have an underdog position this year. We can use that to our advantage,” Killian said. “We are aiming for a new level of success. It’s about creating something for where we as a team are going.”

    The Bulldogs race again this upcoming weekend at the Boston Terrier Invitational. Swimmers will have the opportunity to race in morning preliminaries and if they qualify, they can compete at finals in the evening. Killian said this preliminary-final format is good practice for the Ivy League Championships, which follow the same format.