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Big Green Victorious at Dartmouth Invitational

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Caitlin Nicholson     By John and Matt Risley

WHITE RIVER JUNCTION, Vt. - The Dartmouth men's and women's swimming and diving programs both claimed top honors at the second annual Dartmouth Invitational on Saturday (Jan. 28). The Big Green won the men's side with 1305.5 points, while the women took top honors with 1671 points.

UMass took second place honors on the men and women's sides with scores of 1087 and 1246.5, respectively. Bryant rounded out the competition with scores of 460 and 419.  In total, Dartmouth claimed 20 event titles over the two-day event.

Dartmouth started right off where it finished on Friday's sessions. The Big Green opened Saturday's morning session with a sweep of the 200-medley relay. The women got things going claiming the event with a time of 1:49.38 and the men followed suit taking first place with a time of 1:35.34

The Big Green continues to set records and set three new Upper Valley Aquatic Center records on Saturday. Sophomore Christine Kerr (Gainesville, Fla.) set a record in the 200 free with a time of 1:52.79 while sister Danielle Kerr (Gainesville, Fla.) set a new record in the 1650 free. Senior co-captain Michael Ahern (Old Westbury, N.Y.) picked up the last record of the day in the 200 back, taking first with a time of 1:51.60.

The Dartmouth divers also excelled in the meet with several top 3 finishes. Freshman Ryan Shelley (Sudbury, Mass.) took runner-up honors on the 1-meter and 3-meter boards with scores of 296.17 and 295.28. On the women's side, Erica Serpico (Moorestown, N.J.) took second place with a score of 248.69 while teammate Kendall MacRae (The Woodlands, Texas) took second on the 3-meter board with a score of 248.62.

Danielle Kerr (Gainesville, Fla.) continued her impressive dominance in the distance events this season. She claimed her second 1650 free title with a pool record time of 17:22.02, her second pool record in the event this season. Twin sister, Christine took second place with a time of 17:34.70 while Erin Henn (Lawrenceville, N.J.) and Kirstin Hocheder (Tucson, Ariz.) rounded out the Dartmouth finishers with time of 17:53.85 and 17:59.94, respectively.

The Big Green had great showings in the butterfly events.  In the 100 fly on the men's side, Dartmouth went 1-2-3 with senior Ray Li (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.) winning the event with a time of 50.78. Ahern took second place with a time of 51.68 while One June Chang (Great Neck, N.Y.) took third with a time of 51.97. 

The Dartmouth women provided some excitement in the 100 fly with a tie for third place between Sasha Alcon (Fremont, Calif.) and Kelsey Pinson (Portland, Ore.). The Big Green pair touched the wall with a time of 58.38.  Kendall Farnham (Severna Park, Md.) won the event with a time of 58.01 while Valerie Orellana (Arleta, Calif.) took second place with a time of 58.36.

The 200 fly also featured some good racing. On the women's side, the Big Green went 1-2-3-4 highlighted by Orellana's first place finish. Farnham and Danielle Kerr took second and third place with times of 2:07.82 and 2:10.36, respectively. Senior Caitlin Nicholson (Ithaca, N.Y.) took fourth with a time of 2:10.59.  On the men's side, Albert Roth (Aurora, Ill.) claimed top honors with a time of 1:54.10.

Freshman Rebecca Butler (West Orange, N.J.) claimed her second event title of the meet in the 400 IM with a time of 4:34.86. Farnham and Charlotte Williams (Boca Raton, Fla.) finished in second and third place while Danielle Kerr rounded out the Dartmouth swimmers.

Williams took runner-up honors in the 200 breast with a time of 2:26.36 and the Dartmouth women closed the meet with a win in the 400 free relay. The quartet of Christine Kerr, Danielle Kerr, Siobhan Hengemuhle (Boulder, Colo.) and Elizabeth Kamai (Corte Madera, Calif.), took the top spot with a time of 3:32.90.

The Big Green have little time to rest as they jump back into Ivy League action on Sunday (Jan. 29) when they welcome 2011 Ivy League champions, Princeton, to Karl Michael Pool for dual meet action. Dartmouth will honor the Senior Class prior to the meet.