Big Al Invite Completes Day Two at Princeton

PRINCETON, New Jersey, December 2. ANOTHER win for Alicia Aemisegger and a strong second-place showing by Tim Ruse were among the highlights for Princeton during a strong night of swimming at the 2006 Big Al Invitational Saturday night. Virginia leads both fields, while both the Princeton men and women are battling Pittsburgh for third place.

The night started with the 200 medley relay, where the women finished fourth in 1:45.04 and the men finished ninth in 1:33.17.

The first individual event of the night belonged to Aemisegger, who claimed her third event of the weekend by winning the 400 IM, a specialty of hers, in a Princeton record time of 4:09.27. It was the third time she set the Princeton record in this event already this season. Teammate Lisa Hamming placed seventh in the event in 4:28.25.

Ruse came up strong in the next race, taking second place in 3:57.56. He edged out senior teammate and 2006 All-America Meir Hasbani, who took third in 3:58.81. Virginia's Pat Mellors was the class of the event, winning in 3:51.98.

Sophomore Justina DiFazio had a strong pair of finishes in the next two events. She placed ninth in the 100 fly in 57.37 seconds, and she added a fifth-place finish in the 200 free in 1:50.42. A pair of male classmates topped all Princeton finishers in the same events; Doug Lennox placed eighth in the fly in 50.09 seconds, and distance specialist Robert Griest recorded an impressive 10th overall in the 200 free in 1:41.91.

Both Hamming and Kelly Hannigan reached the final of the 100 breast, and it was the latter who placed third in a time of 1:04.82. Hamming took eighth in 1:08.29. The men's top breaststroke finisher on this night was Easton Chen, who placed 12th in 58.53.

Mike Zee ended the final individual event of the evening, the 100 back, with a fifth-place finish in 50.80. For the women, Kristen Arey finished 14th in 1:00.07. The women's 800 free relay team placed third in 7:26.94, while the men's team took 6th in 6:53.20.

With Sunday's 6 p.m. finals session remaining, both Princeton teams are battling for third-place finishes. The women are currently in fourth overall with 415 points, 72 behing Big East rival Pittsburgh. Princeton is comfortably ahead of Brown, which it will likely also claim a dual-meet win over. Virginia holds a 70-point lead over Rutgers, with those two likely being the only championship contenders for the final session.

On the men's side, Virginia leads Tennessee by 47 points, and third-place Princeton is nearly 300 points behind Tennessee. Thus, the Tigers will look to hold on to their current spot. With 331 points, Princeton carries a 54-point lead over Pittsburgh into the final session.