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Bulldogs Finish Last Day of Championships with 3 Wins, 10 NCAA B-cuts, and 2 NCAA A-cuts

Bulldogs Finish Last Day of Championships with 3 Wins, 10 NCAA B-cuts, and 2 NCAA A-cuts

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - The Yale women's swimming and diving team completed the Ivy League Championships Saturday with strong races and performances. The Bulldogs placed second overall with a total score of 1,490.5 points - 125.5 points behind Harvard but 189.5 points ahead of Princeton.

In the 1,650-yard freestyle, Cailley Silbert and Kendall Brent annihilated the competition, taking first (16:20.01) and second (16:20.01), both making the NCAA B-cut. Their teammate Danielle Liu finished fifth with a time of 16:42.14, 0.85 seconds ahead of University of Pennsylvania's swimmer. Nathalie Eid finished tenth (16:49.44), scoring 17 points for the Bulldogs.

In the A-finals of the 200-yard backstroke, all three swimmers - Heidi Vanderwel, Cate Sawkins, and Destiny Nelson - made NCAA B-cuts, touching the wall third (1:56.11), fifth (1:57.76), and eighth (1:58.58).

In the 100-yard freestyle, Yale had one swimmer - Bella Hindley - in the A-finals, two swimmers - Lili Margitai and Claire O'Mara - in the B-finals, and one swimmer in the C-finals - Kate Rogers. Hindley snuck into second, making the NCAA B-cut with a time of 49.05. Margitai and O'Mara snuck into second (50.27) and sixth (50.54), respectively in their heat. Rogers out-touched Princeton's swimmer, taking second (51.09) in her heat.

Cha O'Leary and Paulina Kaminski competed in the A-finals of the 200-yard breastroke, both making the NCAA B-cut. O'Leary crushed the competition, winning the event with a time of 2:11.26. Kaminski touched the wall not too far away from O'Leary, finishing seventh with a time of 2:14.91.

Maddy Zimmerman and Bebe Thompson raced in the A-finals of the 200-yard butterfly. Zimmerman finished third with a time of 1:58.99, making the NCAA B-cut by 0.60 seconds. Meanwhile Thompson placed fifth with a time of 1:59.50, also making the NCAA B-cut. In the B-finals were Sophie Fontaine and Carrie Heilbrun. Heilbrun tied for third in her heat, finishing with a time of 2:00.87. Shortly after, Fontaine finished fifth in her heat with a time of 2:00.90.

Taking over the 3-meter dive, Nikki Watters and McKenna Tennant won first and second with total scores of 358.15 and 319.60, respectively, both making the NCAA A-cut.

To complete the Championships, Margitai, O'Mara, Rogers and Hindley represented Yale in the 400-yard freestyle relay. Margitai led the first leg, splitting a time of 50.14. O'Mara followed, splitting 50.05. Rogers splits a time of 50.06, and Hindley finished the last leg with a split time of 48.55. Together the relay placed third with an overall time of 3:18.80.

Though the Bulldogs didn't win a second Championship in a row, they fought incredibly hard over four action-packed days. Robert J.H. Kiputh Head Coach Jim Henry commented how proud he is of the team and how they came together when it mattered the most.

"We had amazing contributions from all in the pool and on the boards with numerous wins, best times, team, pool, and Ivy League records. I want to thank the seniors for their leadership and toughness. It was great having our entire team together tonight supporting one another. I am grateful to our amazing coaching staff who did a fantastic job the entire season."

The team is looking forward to possibly continuing the season at the NCAA Championships.


Report filed by Angela Lee, YSPH '18, Yale Sports Publicity