NEW HAVEN, Conn.—The Yale women's swimming and diving team completed the first of two days of competition against Penn State and Rutgers. Day one was highlighted by two relay victories and four individual victories against a very competitive field. Currently, Yale sits in the lead, 132-54 against Rutgers and 123-62 against Penn State.
The evening competition started with the 400-yard medley relay, where the Yale "A" squad (Heidi VanderWel, Charlotte O'Leary, Maddy Zimmerman, Kina Zhou) took first with a final time of 3:34.09. The "B" and "C" squads took third and fourth, respectively, behind a second-place Rutgers "A" squad. Penn State, normally quite competitive in the relay events, was disqualified.
The Bulldogs followed up their relay success in the first individual event, the 200-yard freestyle. Freshman Lili Margitai took second place, about one second behind Penn State competitor, touching with a final time of 1:50.57. Teammate Isabella Hindley was just one one-hundredth behind Margitai in third place with a final time of 1:50.58. Olivia Jameson was fifth with a final time of 1:51.04.
VanderWel, who competed on the "A" medley relay squad, won the 100-yard backstroke with a final time of 55.23, over a second ahead of her nearest Penn State competitor. Teammates Destiny Nelson and Michelle Chintanaphol grabbed third and fourth places in 56.96 and 58.18, respectively, to solidify the Bulldogs' early lead.
The next individual win came from freshman O'Leary in the 100-yard breaststroke. Her final time of 1:02.84 represented a solid one-second lead over her Rutgers competitor. Paulina Kaminski, Ashley Pales and Alexa Kalandiak took fourth, fifth and seventh places.
The 200-yard butterfly featured a tough field of competition, but the Bulldogs took third through sixth places. Isla Hutchinson-Maddox led the pack with a third place finish in 2:02.86. She was followed by Sydney Hirschi in 2:03.08, Beatrix Thompson in 2:03.17 and Sophie Fontaine in 2:04.51.
The third individual win of the evening came from Hindley in the 50-yard freestyle. Her final time of 23.17 was narrowly ahead of a Penn State competitor and just three one-hundredths ahead of teammate Zhou, who finished in third place with a final time 23.20.
Nelson took the fourth individual win in the 200-yard individual medley in 2:03.78. Sophie Pilkinton and Chintanaphol took third and fourth in 2:05.02 and 2:06.15, respectively. Danielle Liu was sixth in 2:07.07.
The 1000-yard freestyle featured a few strong Penn State athletes leading the pack, but Bulldog Cailley Silbert brought in a third place finish with a final time of 9:57.40. Teammates Kendall Brent and Thompson took fourth and fifth, respectively.
In the final swimming event, the 200-yard freestyle relay, the Yale "A" squad out-touched Penn State to win the event in 1:33.17. The "B" squad took fifth and the "C" squad took seventh.
Senior Lilybet MacRae was the top Bulldog finisher in the 3-meter diving event, taking third place with a score of 292.00 points. Talbott Paulsen and McKenna Tennant pulled in extra points with fifth and sixth place finishes with 277.45 points and 270.00 points, respectively.
"[That was a] solid start for our team after day one," said Robert J.H. Kiphuth Head Coach of Women's Swimming, Jim Henry. "We are doing a good job of carrying over the details in practice to our racing and we are competing against two great teams. They will be ready to go again on day two."
Competition will continue tomorrow morning, Jan. 14, at 11:00 a.m. Multiple individual events, two relays and the 1-meter diving event remain in the lineup.
Report filed by Emma Smith, YSPH '17, Yale Sports Publicity