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Men's Swimming and Diving Finishes Second At Big Al Open

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Sophomore James Verhagen claimed a new school record in the 100-back during the 400-Medley...     By Mark Washburn
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PRINCETON, N.J. – The Dartmouth men’s swimming and diving team placed second at the 2013 Big Al Open hosted by Princeton University over the weekend.

Dartmouth finished second out of six squads competing in the three-day event. Defending Ivy League champion and host Princeton took first with 1,283 points, while the Big Green finished with 850. Ivy members Brown and Columbia took third and fourth, respectively. Rider and Villanova rounded out the field in the open.

The Big Green finished the open with three first-place and five second-place finishes. 

Sophomore Brett Gillis won the one-meter diving competition with a 343.60. Gillis secured 20 points for team. In the three-meter diving competition, Gillis placed second behind Princeton. The Big Green also had a first-place finish in the 100-Breast, as senior Nejc Zupan won the event in 54.04.  Sophomore James Verhagen gave the Green another first-place finish, this time in the 100-Back, as he finished in 47.48.

In the 400-Medley Relay, the Big Green finished mere seconds behind event winner Princeton, but a new school record by Verhagen in the 100-back highlighted the race. The Dartmouth foursome of junior Ian Woon, freshman David Harmon, Verhagen and Zupan finished in 3:13.95.

The Green and White continued to pressure Princeton in team relays, and picked up a second place finish in the 200-Medley Relay. In this race, senior Andrew North and sophomore Daniel Whitcomb joined Verhagen and Zupan finishing the race in 1:28.64, just one-second behind the Tigers. The foursome also placed second in the 200-Medley in 1:28.64 behind the hosts.

Dartmouth took third in the 800-Free relay in 6:40.96. The quad team of Zupan,Woon, sophomore Jun Oh and freshman Jack Long finished just behind the Princeton ‘B’ squad.

In the 200-IM, Zupan placed second at 1:47.97 and sophomore Aaron Athanas finished fourth. Whitcomb placed fourth in the 50-Free at 20.32 and North crossed in seventh.

In the 400-IM, sophomore Logan Briggs and Athanas finished fourth and fifth, respectively. Briggs and Athanas both finished at 3:58.18.

The Big Green had four top-eight finishes in the 100-Fly, with North, Harmon and Zupan finishing fourth through sixth. Verhagen crossed in eighth. North and Harmon both hit the touch pads at 48.91, while Zupan completed the race 0.9 seconds later at 49.00. 

The swimmers from the Upper Valley also had four racers finish in the top-eight of the 200-Free, with Long finishing the event in fourth place in 1:40.17.

The squad will now head down to San Juan, Puerto Rico for its Winter Training Trip.  Check throughout the training session for daily blogs and updates from the team.