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Brown dashes Ivy Championship hopes of runner-up w. swimming

As Yogi Berra once mused, it was "déjà vu all over again."

Though the women's swimming and diving team found itself in a different competition, the result came back the disappointing same. Last year, in the Eastern Women's Swimming League Championship, Princeton (8-2 overall, 6-1 Ivy League) found itself playing runner-up to Brown (7-1, 7-0) in its final meet of the season.

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In the inaugural Ivy League Championship this weekend, the Tigers finished second to the Bears, 807.5-686.5, while host Harvard (8-2, 5-2) was a distant third with 552 points.

Coming into the competition, Princeton realized that it would be a challenge to score well in Thursday's events. Still, the Tigers accepted that mission and took advantage of the opportunities before them and took a first-day 238-237 lead over Brown.

Front of the pack

In the 50-yard freestyle, the triumvirate of junior Bess Frank, senior Amanda Carlson and sophomore Yen Tay took three of the top eight places. Frank's performance in the preliminary events broke Grace Cornelius '95's school record, as she set the pace with a time of 23.47 seconds. In the finals, Frank continued her success, winning in 23.52 and qualifying for the NCAA Championships. Her teammates Carlson and Tay followed behind in fifth and eighth places, respectively.

On the one-meter springboard, the Princeton divers scored 85.5 points as eight of nine divers placed in the top 16. As they did in the dual-meet season, the freshman tandem of Danielle Stramandi and Erin Lutz dominated the competition, walking away with another one-two finish in the process.

But Friday, Brown jumped ahead of the competition with its five first-place finishes, opening up a 123-point lead.

Omen

The evening's first event foretold the difficulties Princeton would later. Even though the 200 medley relay team of Frank, sophomore Lindsay Grimm, freshman Ashley Lefrak and Carlson improved on the school record set in 1994, Brown's anchor Megan Reha touched out Carlson by .15 seconds in a winning time of 1:44.84.

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On the other hand, in the preliminary competition, Lutz added her name to Princeton's record board by besting Sheryl Summerton '96's championship-meet record with a score of 494.15 points over 11 dives.

Spirits remained high through the frustrating moments of Friday's competition, and Princeton looked to rebound on the final day of competition.

And it seemed like the team would. Saturday, sophomore Tara Martin earned a berth to NCAAs and shattered a 16-year-old school record with her second-place finish (16:45.77) in the 1,650.

In the 100 free, Frank recorded her second win of the meet in 51.25, while Carlson notched her lifetime best of 52.26 in her final meet.

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Lutz, Stramandi and their diving teammates added needed points to Princeton's total, as the two freshman switched first and second places from the one-meter event and eight of nine divers scored with top-16 finishes.

The Tigers managed to narrow the gap between Brown and themselves, but their efforts fell short in the end.

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