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Women Swim to Fifth Place at Ivy League Championship

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Meredith Sweeney     By Mark Washburn

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - The Dartmouth women's swimming and diving team concluded action at the 2012 Ivy League Championship in fifth place with 846. 5 points. Dartmouth's fifth-place finish is its highest finish in the last 10 years.

Harvard took the top spot with 1,478.5 points while defending champion, Princeton, took second place 1310.5 points. Yale and Columbia rounded out the top five with 1075. 5 and 1057 points, respectively.  Penn finished in sixth place with 767 points while Brown and Cornell rounded out the teams with 688.5 and 630.5 points.

Christine Kerr (Gainesville, Fla.) placed 10th in the 1650 free with a time of 16:57.67 which is a lifetime best for the sophomore and is the second-best time for a Big Green swimmer.

In the final day of action, the Big Green produced several quality backstroke results including a runner-up finish from Meredith Sweeney (Hinsdale, Ill.) in the 200 back.  Sweeney swam a 1:59.42, to led the Big Green's efforts.  Her preliminary time of 1:58.84 is a new Dartmouth record and is an NCAA consideration time. Senior co-captain Galen Barry (Wayne, Pa.) took runner-up honors in the consolation final of the 200 backstroke with a time of 2:00.92 while freshman Rebecca Butler (West Orange, N.J.) took runner-up honors in the third final with a time of 2:04.27.

Sasha Alcon (Fremont, Calif.) picked up the second third place-finish of the meet for the Big Green in the 100 freestyle. She touched the wall with a time of 50.78, earning a spot on the podium. Classmates Siobhan Hengemuhle (Boulder, Colo.) and Mary Van Metre (Edina, Minn.) also were impressive in the 100 free. Hengemuhle took 11th overall and third in the consolation final with a time of 51.20 while Van Metre won the third final with a time of 51.93.

Charlotte Williams (Boca Raton, Fla.) who had a good second day of action at the meet, earned runner-up honors in the 200 breast with a time of 2:19.93 while the tandem of Valerie Orellana (Arleta, Calif.) and Danielle Kerr (Gainesville, Fla.) had great showings in the 200 butterfly. Orellana led the Big Green contingent with a seventh-place finish with a time of 2:02.02 while Kerr was just behind her with a time of 2:04.27. Kendall Farnham (Severna Park, Md.) also earned points towards the team score with a runner-up finish in the consolation final with a time of 2:02.43.

The Big Green closed out its best meet in recent history with a fifth-place finish in the 400 free relay. The quartet of Christine Kerr (Gainesville, Fla.), Hengemuhle, Alcon and Elizabeth Kamai (Corte Madera, Calif.) swam a 3:25.07, just four second off the fourth place team from Princeton.

Dartmouth concluded the 2012 Ivy League Championships with six new school records and with its first top-five finish since the 1981 season.

The Big Green divers will next be in competition at the NCAA Zone Meet held March 9-11 in Buffalo, N.Y. Erica Serpico (Moorestown, N.J.), Madison McClenney (The Woodlands, Texas), Kendall MacRae (Sherborn, Mass.) and Katy Feng (Westfield, Mass.) will represent the Big Green.

Team Standings (Final)
1. Harvard -- 1,478.5
2. Princeton -- 1,310.5
3. Yale -- 1,075.5
4. Columbia -- 1,057
5. Dartmouth -- 846.5

6. Penn -- 767
7. Brown -- 688.5
8. Cornell -- 630.5

Dartmouth Finishers
1650-yard Free

10th- Christine Kerr                     16:56.17        
21st - Erin Henn                           17:24.75

200-yard Backstroke
2nd - Meredith Sweeney                 1:59.42 (Prelim 1:58.84#)
10th - Galen Barry                         2:00.92
18th- Rebecca Butler                      2:04.27

100-yard Freestyle
3rd - Sasha Alcon                            50.78
11th- Siobhan Hengemuhle              51.20
17th - Mary Van Metre                     51.93
22nd - Elizabeth Kamai                    52.54

200-yard Breaststroke
18th - Charlotte Williams                 2:19.93

200-yard Butterfly
7th - Valerie Orellana                      2:02.02
8th - Danielle Kerr                          2:04.27
10th - Kendall Farnham                  2:02.43
18th - Kelsey Pinson                       2:05.87
21st - Caitlin Nicholson                   2:06.17

400-yard Freestyle Relay              3:25.07
5th - Dartmouth                 
(C. Kerr, Hengemuhle, Alcon, Kamai)

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