Ladies get strong start in the pool

by Katelyn McCarthy | 11/15/04 6:00am

The Big Green women's swimming and diving team kicked off the 2004-2005 season with a hard fought effort with a tough tri-meet, losing to Harvard 190-110 and narrowly to Cornell 154-146.

Dartmouth opened with an impressive showing by Melissa Kern '07, who placed second in the 1,000-yard freestyle, followed by a third-place finish against Cornell by Nicole Zarba '06. Two events later, Dana Charles '06 surged ahead of Cornell to take first place in the 100-yard breastroke in a time of 1:07.98.

With Cornell narrowly leading by two points, Dartmouth entered the one-meter diving with high confidence and a fighting spirit. Captain Erin Bingham '05 continued with the tough battle against the Big Red, placing second overall in the 1-meter dive with 235.30 points. Encouraged by her performance, Bingham spoke words of support to her fellow teammates after her event, "Five fingers aren't as strong as a fist. Go Green."

Charles and Kern heeded their captain's words, leading the Big Green Women in their next events. Charles defeated Cornell swimmers in the 200-yard breastroke by .30 seconds for a first place win. Kern thwarted both Ivy League teams' attempts at a win in the 500-yard freestyle, garnering first place by over two seconds. Impressed by Dartmouth's first place finish in the 500, Alyssa Hochman '05 commented, "Mo' money, mo' problems. That's just the way it is when MoMo swims."

The rested, shaved and tapered Cornell women attempted to fight back against the hard-trained, broken down Big Green. Despite the Big Red's "win-at-all-costs" attitude, the meet was sprinkled with stellar swims by Dartmouth. Lizzie Rippe '07 finished second overall in the 100-yard butterfly, Elizabeth Mancuso '08 placed second overall in the 50-yard freestyle and Lauren Betzing '07 swam to second place overall in the 200-yard butterfly.

"We felt good in the water. The freshmen were excited for their first Ivy League meet and the upperclassmen were solidly prepared," noted Captain Laura "Nelly" Nelson '05, "We knew what we were doing; it was an 'all-you-can-thrash buffet.'"

Inspired by Coach Joann Brislin's famous "Towel Cheer," the team closed with a second place finish in the 400-yard freestyle relay, comprised of the fast and furious Rippe, Mancuso, Kern, and Kristin Simunovich '06.

Despite the pair of tough Ivy League losses, the Dartmouth women's swimming and diving team is motivated for the upcoming season. "The crowd was a big inspiration factor for our first home meet," said Captain Alexandra Bochicchio '05. "They revved us up with their incredible support. Their loyalty and spooning means a lot to us -- it makes for a jolly good time at Karl Michael Pool."

The Big Green swimmers return to rock out with their socks out against Brown next Saturday.