PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND – At the end of the first day of competition in the 2012 Brown Invitational, the first to be held in the newly constructed Katherine Moran Coleman Aquatics Center, the Brown women's swimming and diving team sits in fourth place out of the eight teams in attendance, less than 50 points shy of Ivy League rival, Dartmouth. In a day that featured just four individual events and two relays, the Bears accumulated 31 season-best times and scores, as well as five top-eight finishes.
After a stellar preliminary session, Brown opened up the evening competition with a fourth place finish in the 200 freestyle relay. The team of Paige Gilley (Cupertino, CA), Megan Nolet (Saratoga, CA), Kate Dillione (Newton, PA) and Reia Tong (Bethesda, MD) clocked a time of 1:33.52, just two one-hundredths of a second behind the third place squad from Dartmouth. The Bears were bolstered by a blistering 22.58 from Tong, as the freshman had the fastest split in the entire event. The 'B' squad finished in 10th place, just out touching a surging team from the United States Military Academy.
Five Bears swam in the finals of the 500 freestyle, with Ellen Sellinger (Shorewood, WI) earning the best finish of the quintet. She swam a 4:59.06 en route to13th place, and her time also ranks her 20th all-time at Brown. Sophomore Charlene Flores (Chatsworth, CA) also competed in the consolation final, finishing 15th with a time of 5:00.21. Leigh Holmes (Alma, MI - 5:02.33), Ellen Downing (Denver, CO - 5:03.30) and Lauren Levy (Bethesda, MD - 5:06.70) each competed in the bonus final for the Bears.
Dillione claimed the eighth spot in the women's 200 IM, touching in 2:06.11, just slightly over the season-best of 2:05.23 that she swam in the morning preliminaries. Her time was the 12th fastest ever to be swum by a Brown Bear. Senior Elizabeth Matthews (Makawao, HI) finished 13th in the consolation heat with a time of 2:06.02, followed closely by Kristin Jackson (Falmouth, ME) who stopped the clock at 2:06.70 to finish in 14th place.
In the evening's quickest event, the 50 freestyle, Tong earned third place honors with her time of 23.26. Her final time moved her to fifth all-time at Brown, and was a quarter of a second away from an NCAA 'B' qualifying time. Nolet swam a 24.26 to finish 15th in the event, while Gilley finished third in the bonus heat with an impressive 23.82. Both Nolet and Gilley moved onto the list of Brown's top-25 performers with their swims.
On the boards, freshman Rachel Speakman (Hudson, OH) scored a 220.25 to grab the 16th spot in the 3 meter diving event, while junior Meghan Wenzel (Indianapolis, IN) earned a season-high point total of 216.35.
In the final event of the evening, the quartet of Catherine Pittman (Williamsburg, VA), Briana Borgolini (Ballston Spa, NY), Holmes and Tong narrowly missed a Brown University school record in the 400 medley relay, claiming third place with a time of 3:44.59. The Bears' 'B' squad finished in sixth, capping off a successful first night for the women's team.
Moving into tomorrow's preliminary session, Princeton leads the pack with 343 points, Yale sits in second with 249 points and Dartmouth rounds out the top three with 197 points. Brown is in fourth with 149 points, followed by Army (136), New Hampshire (60), Rider (42) and Columbia (27). Saturday morning's swimming and diving will begin at 11am, with finals set to start at 6pm. Live results are available for both sessions through the MeetMobile application, and video streaming for finals can be accessed on the swimming and diving schedule pages on brownbears.com.