PRINCETON, New Jersey, December 6. PRINCETON senior Lisa Boyce made a statement during the first night of finals at the Big Al Open, winning the 50 free in a sizzling 22.33 and then leading off the Princeton 400 medley relay in 53.95. On the men’s side, two Princeton school records fell at the hands of Teo D’Alessandro (200 IM, 1:45.08) and Michael Strand (100 back, 46.68) as both the men’s and women’s teams established leads after the first night of competition.
Princeton Women’s Press Release
It’s her final Big Al Open, and senior Lisa Boyce is making sure she makes the most of it. The 2013 All-America performer won the 50 free and led off two winning relays to help the Princeton women’s swimming and diving team to a lead over Yale after the first day of the Big Al Open.
Princeton leads the field with 281 points, while Yale stands second with 258 points. Those two look like they will compete for the title, as third-place Dartmouth is well behind with 183 points.
The competition continues Saturday with prelims at 11 am and finals at 6 pm. The full schedule can be seen by clicking on the link above.
Princeton got off to a strong start, winning the 200 free relay in 1:32.24. Boyce led off with a blistering 22.44 split, and the sophomore trio of Elizabeth McDonald, Morgan Karetnick and Nikki Larson took it home for the victory.
An all-underclassman squad, including a freshman trio, added a fourth-place finish in 1:34.94. Sophomore Maylin Meisenheimer joined the trio of Katie Diller, Kathleen Mulligan and Olivia Chan, each of whom impressed in their Big Al debuts.
Yale made its big move in the 500 IM, where sophomore Eva Fabian — arguably the league’s top distance swimmer — won in 4:47.86. Princeton’s top finisher was senior co-captain Maureen McCotter, who took 10th in 4:56.16.
Princeton countered Yale’s move in the 200 IM, where the Tigers put five in the finals and grabbed three of the top four spots. Sophomore Beverly Nguyen took second in 2:01.51 — only .1 of a second off the win — while Chan (2:01.60) and Larson (2:03.04) took third and fourth. Karetnick and sophomore Sada Stewart also placed in the finals.
Boyce gave Princeton its first individual victory, taking the 50 free in 22.33. The two-time defending Ivy League champion in the event, Boyce joined Karetnick (fifth, 23.64) and McDonald (eighth, 23.80) in the finals.
Princeton closed the session with a dominant win in the 400 medley relay, as the team of Boyce, Chan, Karetnick and Larson posted a time of 3:41.91 to top Yale by nearly five full seconds.
Princeton Men’s Press Release
Sophomore Teo D’Alessandro and junior Michael Strand turned the first night of the Big Al Open into a record-breaking occasion. The duo, part of Princeton’s six-man NCAA contingent last spring, broke a pair of Princeton records to help the Tigers out to a big lead after Day 1 of the 2013 Big Al Open.
D’Alessandro lowered his own school record in the 200 IM, going 1:45.08 in the prelims, while Strand went 46.68 in the opening leg of the 400 medley relay to break his own record of 47.04. Strand’s time currently ranks among the Top 10 nationally, while D’Alessandro has a Top 15 time.
Together, they helped Princeton score 369 team points during the first day of the weekend meet. Dartmouth (221) holds a slim edge over Brown (204) for second place; the meet continues Saturday with prelims at 11 am and finals at 6 pm.
Neither record breaker was part of Princeton’s first win of the meet, as the quartet of Harrison Wagner, Connor Maher, Julian Mackrel and Jeremy Wong won the 200 free relay in 1:20.06. Strand did lead off a second-place effort for a second Tiger team, as he joined En-Wei Hu-Van Wright, Sandy Bole and Brooks Powell for a time of 1:21.25.
Freshman Sam Smiddy continued his terrific start to the season by winning the 500 free in 4:27.82. He won an exciting battle with Brown’s Cory Mayfield, who finished second in 4:27.93. Senior Paul Nolle took fourth in 4:31.54, while freshman Lance Rutkin placed sixth in 4:32.48.
D’Alessandro had his record-breaking swim during the morning session, though he finished off his day with a 200 IM victory in 1:45.37. Classmate Marco Bove added a third-place finish in 1:48.61, while senior tri-captain Daniel Hasler placed fifth in 1:50.65.
Wagner finished second in the 50 free in 20.24, while Wong (20.35) and Mackrel (20.72) added fifth- and sixth-place finishes for the Tigers.
Junior Michael Manhard placed second in the 1-meter diving finals with 308.75 points, while senior Mark O’Connell finished fourth with 299.20 points.
Strand’s record-setting relay leg ignited strong swims from Jack Pohlmann, D’Alessandro and Wagner to post a winning time of 3:12.88 in the 400 medley relay. Princeton took two of the top three spots, as the quartet of Hu-Van Wright, Hasler, Bove and Wong placed third in 3:17.17.