Sports

Swimming and diving battered by rivals in first Ivy League action

Both the men’s and women’s teams fell to Ivy foes Princeton, Harvard and Penn

By
Sports Staff Writer
Friday, January 24, 2014

The men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams, which have largely dominated their non-conference competitors, entered rough waters over the break as they faced Ivy League foes in the Princeton Invitational and in duals against Harvard and Penn.

 

Princeton Invitational

The men’s and women’s squads each placed third in the multi-team competition held Dec. 6-8. The men finished behind Princeton and Dartmouth but handily beat out Columbia, Rider University and Villanova University. The women lost to Princeton and Yale, tied Dartmouth and topped Rider, Villanova, and an incomplete Columbia squad.

Women’s co-captain Ellen Sellinger ’14 attributed her team’s competitive placement to a mid-season taper in training intensity.

“With the amount of work we’re putting in, it can be hard to get up and compete and be mentally in the game,” she said. “It was good to have a meet in the middle of the season where we get to rest a little bit and perform at the top of our capabilities.”

Co-captain Kate Dillione ’15 was the lone individual winner for the women’s team at the meet, finishing first in the 200-yard freestyle. She also contributed to Brown’s 200-yard freestyle relay, which claimed runner-up status behind Princeton.

On the men’s side, Tommy Glenn ’14 had perhaps the best showing of any Bear that day, winning both the 100-yard and 200-yard butterfly,  a fine display of  the prowess which has enabled him to amass four Ivy League titles in those events over the past two seasons.

Based on a time he recorded earlier this season, Glenn is “ranked second nationally in [the 200 butterfly],” said Head Coach Peter Brown. “He worked extremely hard to get to that point. He’s paid his dues over the years,” Brown said.

The Ivy losses at the Princeton Invitational belied the strong form, which Bruno has displayed in non-conference meets this season. Entering that contest, the men’s and women’s teams boasted perfect records, having rebuffed challenges from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, the University of Maine and Northeastern University.

Following the Princeton meet, both the men’s and women’s teams sustained their non-conference dominance against Providence College, dispatching with the Friars by scores of 121-67 and 131-69. “The non-conference meets are kind of like practice runs for the Ivy League competition,” Sellinger said. “It’s a good time to practice your racing skills, but you have to realize that the meets against the Ivy League teams are going to be a lot tougher.”

 

Harvard Dual 

True to Sellinger’s words, the Bears’ dual against Harvard proved a decidedly more difficult affair. Competing on the road Jan. 11, the men’s team was swamped 194-101 and the women floundered 202-98.

But Coach Brown was not overly concerned by this outcome, pointing out that his program places less emphasis on dual meets than other Ivy League teams.

“[Dual meet results] can be really deceptive because everyone takes dual meets differently. We just kind of plow through the dual meet season and do what we can,” Brown said. “These meets are pretty much stepping stones toward the Ivy League Championships.”

Nevertheless, certain Bears managed to make a splash. Glenn brought home wins in both the 100- and 200- butterfly, and Briana Borgolini ’14 matched that feat on the women’s side with wins in the 100-yard and 200-yard breaststroke.

“She can’t lose breaststroke, really,” Sellinger said of Borgolini. “I wouldn’t be surprised if she steals [the Ivy League title] this year.”

 

Penn Dual

The following Saturday’s dual against Penn, which also took place on the road, brought more of the same struggles for Brown. The men lost 179-116, while the women fell 172-126.

Still, the women claimed a handful of individual titles. Borgolini duplicated her double breaststroke wins, Dillione was first in the 200 freestyle, Gina Matsumoto ’16 won the 200 butterfly and Megan Viohl ’17 took the 500 freestyle.

For the men, Glenn paired a victory in the 200 butterfly with a first-place finish in the 200 freestyle. Later in the meet, Glenn swam a leg on the Bears’ winning 400-yard freestyle relay.

Diver Sazzy Gourley ’16 also had a big day, placing second in the three-meter event and recording a score that qualified him for the NCAA Zone Diving meet.

Gourley’s result was a “big deal,” Brown said. “This is one of the stronger diving groups we’ve had since I’ve been at Brown.”

This Friday, the team will contend against Bryant University in a dual at home. Brown will also host Columbia for another dual the following day.

“Having these meets back to back, Friday and Saturday, is really good practice for Ivies,” Sellinger said. “Columbia’s going to be tough … They tend to rest for this meet, while we’re still training pretty hard.”

Brown echoed Sellinger’s sentiments. “One of the things that Columbia’s women do is wear their racing suits for all their dual meets,” Brown said. “It kind of gives them a decided advantage.”