Women's swimming breaks eight school records at Ivies

by Schuyler Evans | 3/3/08 3:41am

The Big Green swimmers wrapped up their season at the Ivy Championship, while the team's divers will continue on to NCAA Zones on March 14.
by Tilman Dette / The Dartmouth

Brown (2-5, 2-5 Ivy) entered the final day of competition with a 100-point lead over Dartmouth (4-10, 0-7 Ivy), and the Bears were just able to hold on to their advantage.

In last year's Ivy League Championships Brown finished in sixth place, 177 points ahead of seventh place Dartmouth.

Princeton (8-0, 7-0 Ivy) claimed the Ivy Championship for the third consecutive year with a total of 1,651.5 points. Harvard (6-1, 6-1 Ivy) finished second with 1,494 points.

The atmosphere of Ivy Championships is tense, as all of the athletes compete in their final swims of the year.

"It's always pretty intense. I think it is what people look forward to, and because everyone was swimming so well the excitement was there; everyone was up and cheering," co-captain Zoe Bisk '08 said.

The Big Green, despite never earning a regular-season conference victory, nearly beat sixth-place Brown.

"I am really proud of the team," co-captain Liz Mancuso '08 said. "I think we did an amazing job and exceeded what we thought we could do. We made a mark in the Ivy League this year."

Dartmouth stayed competitive with Brown throughout the weekend with a strong team effort and a host of Dartmouth record-breaking swims. Over the course of the weekend, the team broke eight Dartmouth records and saw 25 top-10 performances. All of the Big Green's 18 swimmers and divers earned points for Dartmouth.

In the 200-yard freestyle relay, a team effort by Mancuso, Bisk, Hillary Preston '09 and Heather Jankins '09, shattered Dartmouth's recond, finishing in one minute and 34.67 seconds and coming in fourth overall.

Mancuso also broke an individual Dartmouth record in the 200-yard individual medley, finishing in 2:06.68.

Preston also set a new Dartmouth individual record in the 50-yard freestyle, coming in ninth place overall with a time of 23.52.

On the second day of the competition, the 200-yard medley team of Carolyn Rippe '10, Jankins, Mancuso and Preston broke the school record with a time of 1:45.42, finishing in fifth place.

Megan Crapster '08 broke the Dartmouth record in the 400-yard individual medley with a time of 4:29.19 and finished in 10th place overall.

Finally, the 800-yard freestyle relay team of Jankins, Mancuso, Preston and Anna Sonstegard '11 swam a time of 7:35.78, beating the previous Dartmouth mark.

The final day of competition saw the renewal of two more school records, one in the 100-yard freestyle by Preston in a lifetime best swim of 0:50.79 and the other in the 400-yard freestyle relay with a time of 3:38.48.

The team was able to end the season on a positive note, though Dartmouth suffered a number of setbacks over the course of the competition.

Dartmouth's relay team was disqualified on the first day of competition when a Dartmouth swimmer was registered as jumping too early.

The early disqualification in the 400-yard medley relay put Dartmouth behind but may also have had a galvanizing effect on the team.

"I think being disqualified that first relay made us work even harder," Mancuso said.

In addition, several Dartmouth swimmers were injured or sick, and the team was left with a roster that was not filled to capacity.

With divers only counting for a third of a person, Dartmouth could have brought a total of 17 swimmers and divers. The Big Green only brought 15 swimmers and three divers.

"I think it was a successful season, our goals are for everyone to do their personal best and we were about 98 percent successful in that goal," head coach Jim Wilson said.

"We are going to miss our senior class but we have a good group of freshman coming in, and we should be even stronger next year," head coach Jim Wilson said.

The meet concluded the 2007-2008 swim season for the Dartmouth women, and for the Big Green's seniors, the end of their Dartmouth swimming careers.

"As a senior, it was a special meet, concluded my twelve years of year-round swimming and I am proud of everyone who competed," Mancuso said.

For some, the strong finish came all too quickly.

"It has not really sunk in, it's hard to imagine that I don't have to wake up at 5 a.m. tomorrow and go to practice. It really hasn't sunk in," Bisk said.

The Dartmouth men's swimming and diving team (2-10, 0-8 EISL) will compete in the Eastern Intercollegiate Swimming League Championship at Harvard this upcoming weekend. The men's team has not competed since its loss to Columbia (5-6, 2-6 EISL) on Feb. 16.