February 28, 2013

Brown Smashes School Record in 400 Medley Relay on First Day of Ivy League Championships

PRINCETON, NEW JERSEY – At the conclusion of day one of the 37th  Women's Swimming and Diving Ivy League Championships, held at Princeton's DeNunzio pool, the Brown women's swimming and diving team sits in sixth place with 189.5 points. Over the course of six events, the squad accumulated one school record, three top eight finishes and 13 best times, leaving the Bears' primed for two more stellar days of swimming.

In the first event of the evening's competition, the 200 freestyle relay, the Bears raced to a fourth place finish. The squad of freshman Reia Tong (Bethesda, MD), sophomore Kate Dillione (Newtown, PA), junior Emma Lamothe (Brimfield, MA) and junior Megan Nolet (Saratoga, CA) combined for a time of 1:32.00, just six one-hundredths off of the Brown school record and the same distance behind the third place team from Columbia.

From there, action moved into the first individual event of the meet, the 500 freestyle. The Bears produced several impressive swims in the event, highlighted by junior Leigh Holmes' (Alma, MI) season-best time of 4:57.31, the 11th fastest swim in Brown history. Holmes earned a spot in the bonus final of the event, finishing 24th in the evening session with a time of 5:01.27.

Senior Ellen Downing (Denver, CO), freshman Lauren Levy (Bethesda, MD) and junior Ellen Sellinger (Shorewood, WI) also competed in the morning heats of the 500 freestyle for the Bears. Downing swam a season best time of 5:01.88, Levy turned in a season best of 5:02.29 and Sellinger produced a solid effort of 5:03.04.

Evening competition in the 200 individual medley featured three Brown swimmers, one in consolation finals and two in the bonus final. Senior Kristin Jackson (Falmouth, ME) earned the Bears' top finish, taking the 12th spot with a season best time of 2:02.53. Her time was less than two tenths off the Brown school record, making her the third fastest performer on the all-time top 25 list. Senior Elizabeth Matthews (Makawao, HI) and junior Hillary Mulvey (Bristol, RI) finished 20th and 24th in the bonus final, turning in times of 2:05.72 and 2:07.24, respectively. In the morning preliminaries both swam season-best times, with Mulvey stopping the clock at 2:05.40, the 13th fastest time ever to be clocked by a Brown swimmer, and Matthews finishing in 2:05.64 to earn the 14th spot on the all-time performers list.

Freshman Gina Matsumoto (Farmington Hills, MI) and sophomore Nicole Provenza (Millersville, MD) competed in the morning heats of the 200 individual medley, turning in times of 2:06.06 and 2:07.33, respectively. Matsumoto's swim was the 17th fastest performance by a Brown swimmer.

Tong was the Bears' highest individual finisher of the evening, tying for fourth place in the 50 freestyle with a time of 22.87. The freshman contested the event three times over the course of the day, competing in prelims, leading off Brown's 200 freestyle relay and racing in the championship final, and she bettered her season-best with each performance. Her nighttime swim was also an NCAA 'B' cut and the third fastest time on the Bears' list of top 25 swims.

Dillione raced to a season-best time of 23.23 in the morning heats of the 50 freestyle and then came back to finish 14th at night, swimming a time of 23.45 in the consolation final. Her morning swim was sixth all-time at Brown. Three additional Bears competed in the bonus final of the event, finishing 20th, 21st and 22nd. Junior Paige Gilley (Cupertino, CA) stopped the clock in a season-best time of 23.71, Lamothe produced a time of 23.74 and Nolet finished in 23.78, just two one-hundredths behind the season best time that she turned in during the morning session.

Junior Catherine Pittman (Williamsburg, VA) and classmate Briana Borgolini (Ballston Spa, NY) also competed in the 50 freestyle, turning in season best times of 24.32 and 25.48, respectively.

Three of Brown's divers competed in the 1-meter event, contested this afternoon, with freshman Rachel Speakman (Hudson, OH) turning in the top performance of the trio. She finished 13th with a score of 235.50, while junior Meghan Wenzel (Indianapolis, IN) produced a score of 214.20 to finish 24th for the Bears. Sophomore Michelle Miller (Kenilworth, IL) also competed, earning a score of 189.80.

In the final event of the first day of competition, the 400 medley relay, the squad of Pittman, Borgolini, Holmes and Dillione raced to a fifth place finish, stopping the clock at 3:42.77 to set a Brown school record. The new mark was just under two seconds faster than the old record which has stood since last year's Ivy League meet.

After six events, Princeton tops the team standings with 473.5 points, followed by Harvard with 412 and Yale with 324. Columbia is right on the Bulldogs' heels with 313 points, while Dartmouth sits just ahead of Brown with 244. The Bears have accumulated 189.5 points, slightly ahead of Penn and Cornell who have 173 and 147 points, respectively.

Championship action will begin again tomorrow morning with the preliminary session at 11:00am. Live results are available online and through the Meet Mobile app. Finals will begin at 6:00pm, with the Ivy League providing live video through its website. Links to all three modes of following the meet can be found on the women's swimming and diving schedule page.