Columbia Edges Brown, 156-144

In their first meet of the season at their adopted home pool on the UMass-Dartmouth campus, the Bears came up just short against Columbia, dropping a 156-144 meet against the Lions that went down to the final events.  Junior Natascha Mangan (Keizer, OR) led the way for Bruno, winning two individual events and swimming as part of a victorious relay.

The meet kicked off with the 200 medley relay, where Mangan was joined in a winning effort by senior Bridget Ballard, sophomore Cadice Sisouvanvieng-Kim, and rookie Kristin Jackson.  The quartet crossed the line in an impressive 1:47.69, edging the Lions by more than a second.

In the individual events, sophomore Allyson Schumacher picked things up for Brown in the 200 free, earning a comeback win over teammate Kristen Caldarella as the Bears swept the top two places.  Schumacher crossed the line in 1:53.56, followed closely by Caldarela in 1:53.97.

Mangan earned another spot on the medal stand in the 200 fly, taking a thrilling win over Columbia's Caroline Lukins.  Mangan grabbed the lead off the blocks, and held off a furious final 50 meters from Lukins to win the event in 2:07.89, just .04 seconds ahead of Lukins.

The Bears turned in an impressive day on the diving boards, taking first and second in both the one-meter and three-meter events.  In the one-meter, senior Katie Olko led the way for Brown, earning a 6.00 to pick up the win.  Sophomore Rebecca Tassell had her best showing of the season as well, with a 5.00 for second.  Tassell also posted the top score in the three-meter to earn the win.

Back in the pool, Jackson continued to swim well for Bruno, taking a dominating win in the 200 IM.  Jackson swam a blistering 2:07.47 in the event, gapping the field to win by almost three seconds and keep Brown alive for the overall win.  In the final event of the day though, the Lions took a narrow victory in the 400 free relay, just edging the Bears for a 156-144 victory.

The Bears wil be back in action on Wednesday, when they host Yale in Lowell, Mass. at 3:00 p.m.