Yale Women’s Swimming and Diving Adds Ten Swimmers, One Diver in Class of 2018

Modified from Press Release courtesy of Yale Sports Publicity

The Yale women’s swimming and diving team is coming off a very successful year that saw it move up to third place at the Ivy League Championship on the strength of individual wins from Eva Fabian, Emma Smith, Sydney Hirschi, and diver Lilybet MacRae, as well as numerous top-eight finishes from a deep and talented freshman class.

The Bulldogs recently announced their incoming class of 2018, consisting of ten swimmers and one diver from nine different states (California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Washington).

This freshman class joins the program ahead of head coach Jim Henry’s third season in New Haven.  Henry has proven to be a strong recruiter as well as a gifted coach, as the team has shown major improvements during his tenure.  The women’s staff is comprised of Head Diving Coach Chris Bergère and 2014 College Swimming’s Assistant Coach of the Year nominee Danielle Korman.

“The momentum of the program continues to improve with the addition of the Yale Women’s Swimming and Diving Class of 2018,” said Henry. “This group of outstanding women will add to Yale University and the program in numerous ways. After reading their quotes on why they chose Yale it is easy to grasp their love for the University and all it has to offer. In getting to know them over the last year it is clear to our coaches that their strong personal character will be a great asset to the Yale community. This class has a passion for learning and exploration that will allow them to thrive academically and athletically during their careers here at Yale and beyond. This group’s pioneering spirit is ready to contribute to our team and take it to heights it hasn’t been to since 1997. Chris Bergere, Dani Korman, and I are thrilled to welcome them the Yale Swimming & Diving family.”

Listed below are the incoming athletes’ fastest times and their reasons for choosing to attend Yale.

Alexa Kalandiak: Fly/IM • Miami, FL • Ransom Everglades • Club: Miami Swimming

100 Fly                  56.48
200 IM                  2:06.86
200 Fly                  2:06.67

“I chose Yale because it was the whole package – it has the perfect combination of rigorous academics, athletics, incredible people, all within a tight knit community. When I came on campus for the first time, everyone was so kind and welcoming, especially the girls on the team and Coach Jim and Coach Dani. It felt like I was coming home. I’m so excited to be part of such an amazing place!”

Paulina Kaminski: Breast/IM • Riverside, IL • Fenwick • Club: Academy Bullet

200 Breast           2:13.99
100 Breast           1:02.36
200 IM                 2:03.67

“I chose Yale because of the tradition, sense of community, and combination of academic and athletic excellence. The close knit student body and swimming and diving team provide the opportunity to be a family away from home while simultaneously being surrounded by some of the most passionate, motivated, dedicated and driven students and athletes. Ultimately, I knew that Yale was the place I could make the most of my college experience and where I would be the happiest.”

Danielle Liu: IM/Free • Chapel Hill, NC • Phillips Academy • Club: Duke Aquatics

200 IM                 2:04.34
200 Free               1:50.03
400 IM                 4:25.93

“I chose Yale because Yale provides an atmosphere that I find myself eager to immerse in. The rigorous academic programs, array of extracurricular opportunities, and competitive swimming and diving team were just a few of the many things that attracted me to Yale. The community also offers such a diverse group of people that I’m excited to meet and is what makes me enthusiastic about becoming a Bulldog.”

Haley Mitchell-Adams: Sprint Free • Stratford, CT • Bunnell • Club: Shoreline Elite Aquatics

50 Free                 24.47
100 Free               53.45

“I chose Yale because it is a home away from home. The love that students, faculty, and alums have for Yale is unparalleled to any other institution. This, along with the academic prestige and family community among the swim team, led me to choose Yale and I haven’t looked back.”

Kate Rogers: Back/IM • Ann Arbor, MI • Saline • Club:Plymouth Canton Cruisers

200 Back               2:01.93
100 Back               56.56
200 IM                  2:06.02

“I chose Yale because I wanted the best possible combination of elite academics and elite swimming.  When I took my official visit, I found a group of girls who were just like me.  We all want to achieve in the classroom and bring an Ivy League Championship back to Yale.  Coach Henry and Coach Korman have the resources and the plan to make this happen and I can’t wait to be a part of it.”

Cailley Silbert: Distance • Short Hills, NJ • Millburn • Club: Cougar Aquatics

1000 Free            9:41.13
1650 Free            16:24.08
500 Free               4:48.13

“When I first stepped onto campus, I immediately felt the universal love for Yale. Everyone was so passionate about everything they did, both academically and athletically, making it the perfect place to call home.”

McKenna Tennant: Diving • Los Angeles, CA • Marlborough School •  Club: UCLA Diving

“For me, I chose Yale because it was my dream school- I loved everything about it and was immediately drawn to the sense of community, unbelievable academic opportunities, strong athletics, and incredible art department.”

Heidi VanderWel: Back/Fly • Monroe, WA • Cedar Park Christian – Bothell • Club: KING Aquatics

100 Back               53.62
200 Back               1:57.49
100 Fly                  54.50

“Yale had everything I was looking! The team was very welcoming, making me feel right at home. I also feel that Coach Henry has some great goals that I am looking forward to being a part of. Needless to say, the school is AMAZING!”

Cheryl Xiang: Free/IM • Vernon Hills, IL • Adlai E Stevenson • Club: Patriot Aquatics

200 Free               1:49.97
100 Free               51.46
200 IM                  2:06.38

“I chose Yale because it combines challenging academics and outstanding athletics with a remarkable community and amazing opportunities. Yale offers me the perfect balance of everything.”

Amy Zhao: Free/Fly • Guilford, CT • Phillips Academy • Club: Crimson Aquatics

50 Free                 23.47
100 Free               51.39
100 Fly                  56.48

“At Yale, not only are the academics phenomenal, but the athletics, extracurricular activities, and people are also extraordinary. When I met the team, they were all incredibly nice and talented and I instantly felt at home!”

Maddie Zimmerman: Fly/Free • Royersford, PA • Spring Ford • Club: Upper Main Line YMCA

100 Fly                  53.88
200 Fly                  2:05.47
50 Free                 24.23

“I love every aspect of Yale. From the academics to the team to the coaches, I know it is the perfect fit for me.”

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About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swim/swam in college. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD, she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently …

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