PRINCETON, NJ., December 11. HOLD those Tigers?
Not these roaring tabbycats, as Coach Rob Orr's Princeton men's swimming and diving team, defending Ivy League champs and the power in Eastern collegiate swimming, closed their fall season in style here this afternoon with a 173-124 victory over the cadets of Army in an NCAA D1 dual meet.
The Tigers won 13 events and cruised to the win over the Black Knights at their home DeNunzio Pool.
Freshman Brian Shue paced Princeton with a pair of victories as the Tigers improved to 4-0 before the holiday break.
Shue took the 1000 yard freestyle in 9:37.59, beating out teammates Brian Ellis and Sami Mardam-Bay, who finished second and third respectively. Shue also won the 500 freestyle with a 4:40.08 to give the Tigers an edge in the distance races.
Junior Jeff Yellin led a 1-2-3 Tiger sweep in the 200 freestyle with a 1:42.86. Juniors Juan Valdivieso, a Peruvian Olympian and world-class 200 flyer, and Stephen Flemming followed Yellin in the 200 free. Junior Warren Cheng won the 100 backstroke, edging out senior Carl Hessler, who won the 100-yard butterfly in 51.87.
Hessler is the Tiger and Eastern Intercollegiate record-holder in the 200 fly with his 1:45.22 from last year's Harvard-Yale tri-meet and defending EISL champ,
Sophomore Evan Delaney (100 breast), junior Mike Salerno (100 free) plus junior Hallet Johnson (200 back) all won individual events for the Tigers while the 200-yard medley relay team rolled behind the senior foursome of Pat Donahue, Garth Fealey, Hessler and Jesse Gage.
Princeton is idle during the holiday break and returns to action on January 26 at Dartmouth.
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The win over Army comes just three days after the Tigers swept the Princeton Invitational meet, with both the men's and Coach Susan Teeter's defending champ Lady Tigers triumphing.
The Tigers dominated the competition, concluding the three days of competition with a combined 2,448.5 points to take the school title as well.
However, a pair of American University swimmers — breastroker Dominic Szabo and backstroker-medleyist-freestyler Mark Liscinsky — came away with five golds and one silver too.
Szabo, a junior who qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials two summers ago and finished among the Top 25 in the 100 breast fresh out of high school, blasted to a 54.14 100 win at Princeton and won the 200 too (2:01.00).
In the 100 prelims he was evern better — a pr, DeNuzio Pool, Tiger Invitational, American U and Patriot League record 54.00 (whew!). His time broke an 11-year Pat League standard and his old AU record was a 54.98 from two years ago.
He also finsihed runner-up to Liscinsky in the 200 IM.
Liscinsky was even more spectacular with wins, prs, AU and Patriot League records in three, count 'em three events. He won the 200 IM opening night in 1:48.46, breaking his own standard from last winter's league championships.
In the 200 free on Day 2 he clocked a 1:36.79 and on the meet's final eve he won the 200 back with a 1:45.85 (NCAA "B" cut)..
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The Princeton women's team won with 1,127 points, 386 points better than second-place Rutgers. Junior Sarah Frauman highlighted day three with a record-breaking performance in the 1650 freestyle. She smashed the old Princeton record (16:45.77 by Tara Martin in 1988) with a 16:38.80. Freshman Libby Engelmeier, who finished third (16:48.89) joins Frauman as an NCAA provisional qualifier with her time.
"Sarah has been one of my best swimmers all year," says Princeton coach Teeter, who has made the Tigers the dominant Eastern women's team to go along with Orr's dominance on the men's side. "She really swam well today and I'm happy with where she is right now."
One of the better performances by a non-Tiger was Rutgers' froshwoman Herrigan's dual backstroke victories with prs of 55.90 and 1:59.34 for the 100 and 200.
The men's team scored 1,321 points as Rutgers once again finished second with 603 points. Seniors Jesse Gage — treble-defending Ivy 100 fly titlest and also winner of last year's 100 free at the championships — and Hessler won individual events. Gage splshed to the 100 freestyle (45.02; his pr is 43.95) and Hessler won the 200-yard fly (1:48.73).
The Tiger 400 freestyle relay team also won with Hessler, Gage, Mike Salerno and Justin Chiles touching in 3:00.21.
– Bill Bell