Dartmouth swimming and diving finds mixed results

by Allison Ruderman | 12/3/07 3:31am

Strong contributions from the freshmen swimmers helped the women to their first victory of the season.
by Tilman C. Dette / The Dartmouth

For both teams, the BC meet marked an improvement over their performances on Nov. 17, when they lost to tough Division I competition in Bristol, R.I.

After Friday's meet, the women are 1-4 on the season (0-2 in league play) and the men are 1-5.

In Rhode Island two weeks ago, the Dartmouth women faced a strong Brown squad and lost 114-186. Three swimmers and divers recorded event victories: Liz Mancuso '08 clocked a 2:12.36 to win the 200 IM, Julianne Mifflin '08 and Kat Brady '10 finished 1-2 in the one-meter dive and Heather Jankins '09 won the 100 breast by swimming a blazing 35.93 in the final split.

"I think we swam and dove extremely well despite some adverse pool conditions," Mancuso said. "What is exciting is the amount of improvement the team had from the Brown to BC meet."

The Dartmouth women notched their first meet win of the season against Boston College this weekend, scoring 155 points to the Eagles' 145. The atmosphere at the meet, Dartmouth's fourth at home, was energetic.

"All the girls were up on their feet cheering. As the coaches said to us the next day at practice, it was one of the most exciting meets to watch," Mancuso said.

Brady, Bridget Duffey '11 and Mifflin started off the action by capturing the top three places in the three-meter dive. In the very next event, the A medley relay team of Carolyn Rippe '10, Heather Jankins '09, Virginia Selden '11 and Mancuso won convincingly, swimming its best time of the year (1:50.57). Mancuso also easily outdistanced the field in the 100 fly and 200 IM.

In addition to Duffey, several other freshmen scored key points. Freestylist Anna Sonstegard '11 opened up a huge lead and cruised to victory in the 500 free with a time of 5:17.67. She also scored big in the 1,000 free, clocking 10:53.58 on the way to a first-place finish. Virginia Selden '11 outtouched Boston College's Anna Smith by .04 seconds to place first in the 200 fly. Her time of 2:09.72 is good for ninth all-time in the Dartmouth record book.

"[The freshmen are] a great class, and we are excited to see how well they do the rest of the season," Mancuso said.

The men also put up a strong showing against Boston College, but the A 400 free relay team failed to deliver in the decisive final event, edged by the Eagles' A team by less than a second. The relay victory allowed Boston College to clinch a 152-148 win.

"We look to continue to be competitive in meets like BC and get fired up for those races. The energy and enthusiasm on deck was amazing," co-captain Joe Braunreuther '08 said.

Jonathan Panzl '11 posted another impressive performance in the meet, recording negative splits en route to sweeping both individual butterfly events, 54.57 in the 100 fly and 1:59.30 in the 200 fly. Chris Koppel '09 and Andrew Ballentine '09 placed second in those.

Braunreuther also commended the strong effort of freestylist Porter Diehl '09.

"[Diehl] scored some key points and had some great races in distances he doesn't normally swim against BC. He stepped up for the team and was versatile enough to swim a range of freestyle distances."

The Big Green almost won the meet largely on the dominance of the diving team. Andrew Berry '08 blew away the competition with a 353.93 score on the three-meter board. The score set new Dartmouth and Karl Michael Pool records. Mike Brown '11 and Daniel Weisman '08 trailed Berry with scores over 130 points higher than the next-highest Eagle. Berry, Charlie Knape '10, Brown, Weisman and Spenser Mestel '11 swept the first five places of the one-meter dive.

"The divers are the backbone of our team and consistently outscore our competition," Braunreuther said.

On Nov. 17, the Dartmouth men traveled with the women's team to Rhode Island to compete against Brown and Navy. Although Berry placed a strong second in the three-meter dive, the Big Green were unable to do much damage against two competitive league rivals, and lost 52-191 to Brown and 40.5-202.5 to Navy. Navy is the top-ranked team in Division I-Mid-Major.

After an invitational meet in Las Vegas, Nev., in mid-December, the men and women will travel to Ireland for winter training. The team's next regular meet is Jan. 12, at home against Boston University.

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